The Ultimate Guide To Acne Causes And Acne Types

The Ultimate Guide To Acne Causes And Acne Types

Hello again, dear friend and potential customer. You’ve undoubtedly read through some of our articles dedicated tsebumo the various ways of treating acne and dealing with severe acne scars, all the way to getting rid of acne fast, and finally, getting rid of acne for good.

We’ve also dedicated time and attention to discovering how to make your skin look younger, how to get clear skin and keep it, and even showed you how to get flawless skin and keep it forever. We’ve also covered such, well, awkward, but necessary topics like how to get rid of butt acne, and even gave our best to address very specific concerns such as does coffee cause acne, and does vaping cause acne as well.

But in doing all of that, we spent so much time and effort on the solutions that we have neglected shedding light on the problem itself. Today, we will fix that mistake and learn all there is about acne! So, I welcome you to our ultimate guide to acne causes and acne types. May it serve you well. Let’s start at the beginning…

the ultimate guide to acne causes and acne types

What Is Acne?

We all know what it looks like, but what is it, actually? That’s not such a simple question. But we all know what it looks like because it’s so prevalent. If you haven’t had acne yourself, I bet that you know at least one person who has. And chances are that includes your immediate family members.

To show you just how common acne is, consider the fact that over 50 million Americans experience acne every year. If we round up the total population of the USA to around 350 million people, that means that almost 15% of the population has acne. Every year. And while that’s mostly comprised of young people and teenagers, acne is not that rare in adults too.

The broadness of the phenomenon doesn’t really work in our favor either. Acne has several different causes and comes in a variety of forms and types. To make matters even more complicated, the various causes and types are not mutually exclusive.

Generally speaking, acne is a skin condition (some would say one of the most common skin disorders) that stems from those tiny pores and hair follicles all over your skin. When these become clogged with sebum, or skin oil, and dead skin cells, the process of acne formation begins. Once that happens, there are several stages during which the clogged pores take different forms, which will eventually lead to a case of acne, or as scientists term it, Acne vulgaris.

the ultimate guide to acne causes and acne types

This first step of acne formation manifests in the forms of closed comedones, which then differentiate themselves into whiteheads (if they remain closed) or blackheads (if they become open). From then on, should the clogging process continue, the whitehead or the blackhead continues to grow in size. The contents of sebum (skin oil) and dead cells continue to increase, causing swelling and damage to the surrounding tissue.

And not only that - the sebum acts as a nutrient for Propionibacterium acnes, an otherwise pretty harmless, and potentially useful resident on the human skin. However, those clogged pores are brimming with Propionibacterium acnes’ favorite food, at which point it enters the pore itself and begins stuffing itself on all that sweet, greasy, nasty sebum.

So your body keeps producing sebum, which the bacteria keep feasting on and therefore, multiplying like crazy. This, in turn, alerts your body’s immune response, and it begins sending white cells to deal with the bacteria. Which don’t die because they have endless supplies of food, thank you very much. And not only that - the bacteria can also release a substance which fools your body’s white celled armed forces to attack normal cells. That, in turn, is what is known as inflammation.

See that? Complicated as heck, isn’t it?

the ultimate guide to acne causes and acne types

And all of that takes place in a single clogged pore, which… Has now transformed itself into a proper pimple. Congratulations, you have acne now. And as you probably already know, this phenomenon isn’t only limited to a person’s face.

Acne can appear on a wild variety of areas around the body. Besides the face, the neck isn’t spared either. The forehead can be an acne prone area for some people too. The nose, the cheeks, the chin, none are spared. Acne often occurs on our shoulders, chests, and backs too. And last but not least, your butt and private areas are fair game for acne as well.

But wait, there is more. You thought that as soon as a pimple formed, that’s it, you’re done with acne? Think again, buddy. The pimple is just one, and the least severe, type of acne. If we imagine acne types to be some sort of video game bosses, then the pimple would be that placeholder “boss” you get to punch on the first level. Having a pimple is basically the first stage of acne. Further stages include a papule, a pustule, a nodule, and a cyst. These range from small, harmless reddish protrusions on the skin, all the way to wobbly, big, swollen cysts that can leave permanent scarring.

Acne Stages And Acne Types

As we mentioned above, it takes a while until acne actually becomes acne. Let’s go over each stage in a bit more detail.

A Healthy Pore

Do me a favor. Go to the bathroom (or wherever you keep a mirror), and take a look at your face. Popping up your phone’s camera and taking a selfie will do the trick too. Or… You could just take a look at your hand.

But look closer. You’ll notice that your skin has these tiny holes in it, called pores. These tiny structures are what allows your skin to breathe. Additionally, if you see some of these holes with little hairs in it, those are called hair follicles. In essence, both skin pores and hair follicles are the very beginning of acne.

the ultimate guide to acne causes and acne types

For them to become sick, and to begin their long march all the way to acnedom, they need to become clogged with an excess of sebum (skin oil), dead skin cells, random dirt from the environment, and, in some cases, even overgrowth of bacteria. Once that happens, we get…

Clogged Pores, Also Known As Comedones

Now, comedones form whenever a pore or a hair follicle becomes clogged with sebum, dirt, dead skin cells or bacteria. These can be of two types, closed comedones, also known as whiteheads, or open comedones, known as blackheads.

Closed Comedones, Also Known As Whiteheads

A whitehead is basically a clogged pore that has a white-ish, beige, or yellow-ish tip. The pore has now become a bit inflamed, and this center of white is usually ringed with a tissue that is red, pink, and sore. As the name might tell you, closed comedones are called whiteheads due to their distinctive tip.

But why is it white? Well, it’s because the white thing is actually the sebum. It retains its color because it’s covered with a thin film of the uppermost layer of the skin, called the epidermis. The epidermis is thin and translucent, which makes the white/yellow-ish sebum inside the clogged pore visible. In essence, a whitehead is like a baby pimple. But it’s not there yet.

the ultimate guide to acne causes and acne types

Open Comedones, Also Known As Blackheads

Now, contrary to closed comedones which are white or yellow-ish, open comedones have a black, or darkly-hued tip. That is why they are called blackheads. Basically, blackheads are pretty much the same as whiteheads, with the exception that the pore is no longer covered by the thin, transparent film of the epidermis.

The sebum, dead skin cells, the dirt, and the bacteria are now all exposed to oxygen and the elements, which makes them lose color. The sebum usually becomes darker, and since it’s greasy and sticky, it attracts even more environmental dirt and debris. This makes the open comedones receive this dark, almost black look, which is why they’re called blackheads. But when a blackhead becomes inflamed, we get…

the ultimate guide to acne causes and acne types

Papules Acne

Take any comedone, and add to it some bacterial infection and inflammation. Suddenly, it stops being black or white, and it closes up on itself. However, it still retains its red and pinkish color, and it can still feel sore to the touch. This is because the body is fighting the inflammation. But when it comes to combating these acne-causing bacteria, our body’s white cells become tricked. The bacteria have a defense mechanism that makes white cells attack otherwise healthy tissue, which is why the area is sore and reddish. You have an inflammation now, but it’s still contained inside, within the clogged pore - which is called papules acne. This is the first “official” stage of acne. If the inflammation continues and things become worse, we get…


Ah, the proper pimple. Pustules, contrary to papules, are not entirely closed up on themselves. Instead, you can observe a center to the acne, and the white spot is usually visible. Pustules resemble highly-inflamed whiteheads on steroids. They’re bigger, badder, redder, nastier. Since they are filled with pus and sebum, many people are tempted to finger them a bit and try to pop them.

However, doing so doesn’t just carry the risk of you spreading the bacterial infection all over your face, but it also makes it very likely that you will end up with a nice little scar. Pustules are also usually warm to the touch, which is due to the inflammation, and the increased activity by the cells inside it. There is, after all, a microscopic war going on. Pustules fall in the category of moderate acne and are not that difficult to treat. However, if you end up with pustules, you should seek advice from your doctor and dermatologist. And then we have…


Nodules are basically the next level of papules. This type of acne is still closed up and seems to lack any hard center. However, nodules can become quite large and are hard to the touch. While not always appearing red or pinkish, acne nodules are usually sore and reach deeper into the skin. It’s for that reason that it is very difficult to pop them (which you shouldn’t do!). Besides, popping them will only cause you immense pain, bleeding, and scarring.

the ultimate guide to acne causes and acne types

Nodules are considered to be a severe type of acne. Because they’re deeper, they don’t react well to surface treatments, you will probably need your doctor’s attention, combined with your dermatologist’s opinion. Antibiotics and other prescribed medications are usually called for. Nodules don’t contain too much puss and blood, because they’re mostly formed not by a single cavity in the skin, but by a spongy set of many tiny cavities. It’s basically a case where the acne inflammation has become so severe that has resulted in damaged tissue.

Cysts, Or Cystic Acne

Cystic acne is the most severe type of acne. They are the largest types of acne, and the most likely to leave long-term scars. They look like large, smooth, wobbly bumps on the skin, filled with large amounts of puss and blood. Did I mention they’re sore to the touch? Do I have to?

Cystic acne is also the deepest type of acne in existence. It goes even deeper than nodules, which makes cystic acne even more difficult to treat. However, modern science has come up with some fairly powerful solutions for treating cystic acne like Accutane, but these usually carry risks. At any rate, cystic acne can be somewhat disfiguring and can impact a person’s image more severely than other types of acne. This is why, if you ever end up with a case of cystic acne, you should contact your doctor and dermatologist immediately. Treatment can sometimes last for months and even years, so the sooner you begin, the better.

Now that we looked at each of these types of acne in more detail, let’s look at what causes acne.

What Causes Acne?

Roughly put, there is no one single factor that is enough to cause acne on its own. Instead, acne is the result of the interaction of several risk factors. These include excess skin oil production (sebum), a bacterial infection, hormonal imbalances, and even genetic factors.

the ultimate guide to acne causes and acne types

Acne Can Be Caused By Excess Skin Oil Production

Skin oil, also known as sebum, is one of the main factors that lead to the formation of acne and the subsequent acne inflammation. As we mentioned above, acne forms when a hair follicle, or a pore, becomes clogged with a combination of skin oil and dead skin cells. But how does that happen?

Well, each pore and hair follicle contains a microscopic apparatus, called a sebaceous gland. These glands are only found in mammals and perform the very important function of lubricating the skin and the hair. Why you might ask? What’s the use of this lubrication really, especially in us, humans?

Chances are you won’t guess it right even if I gave you hours to think. The answer is - waterproofing the skin and the hide. By making our skin oily, and isolating our pores and hair follicles with sebum, the sebaceous glands make our bodies watertight. Thanks to this, you can swim without problems, and without all the salt, debris, and microorganisms from water sources infiltrating our bodies through our pores.

The dysfunction of the sebaceous glands can lead to a number of skin conditions, acne being the least worrisome of those. The excess production of skin oil (sebum) in the hair follicles and skin pores can also lead to hyperplasia, sebaceous cysts, and even sebaceous adenoma. But what causes the sebaceous glands to produce excess oil, clog our pores and prepare the terrain for a bout of acne?

the ultimate guide to acne causes and acne types

Excess Skin Oil, In Turn, Is Caused By Hormonal Imbalances

Acne that is caused by a hormonal shift, or imbalance, is called hormonal acne. If you’ve ever wondered why nearly all teenagers and adolescents come down with acne, now you know why. Young people go through massive physiological and hormonal changes when they hit puberty, and these processes sometimes affect the function of the sebaceous glands.

But it's not just teenagers who struggle with hormonal acne. Adults are increasingly experiencing acne inflammations too, and 99% of adult acne is technically hormonal as well.

One specific group of hormones is held as the direct causal factor for acne in adolescence. Going by the umbrella term of androgen hormones, this group comprises the well-known male development hormone testosterone, and another one, androstenedione, which is a steroid. However, don’t let the names fool you - androgens are produced in the ovaries of girls as well and play very similar roles. They develop secondary sexual characteristics and increase the body’s ability to build up the body after physical activities.

Basically, androgens speed up and intensify all the physiological, biological and developmental processes in the body during adolescence. This, of course, affects the sebaceous glands as well. They gorge up and, being spurred on by the boost from testosterone and androstenedione, begin pumping excess sebum (skin oil).

This, in turn, leads to the excess sebum mixing up with dead skin cells from the skin’s surface, which begins to prevent its movement. As the excess sebum begins exerting pressure on the pore’s walls and moves up to push out of the pore, it can come into contact with numerous microorganisms. And this is where things get complicated.

the ultimate guide to acne causes and acne types

Bacterial Infection Causes Acne Too

Most of the microorganisms found on the skin are fairly harmless and don’t react in any adverse way with our pores or sebum. But when it comes to acne, the otherwise harmless Propionibacterium acnes is a problematic one, because it feasts on the excess oil and begins reproducing.

As we mentioned above, this not just makes the pores even more clogged, and therefore swollen, but it also triggers the body’s immune response. This causes inflammation, since the Propionibacterium acnes possesses the uncanny ability to divert the body’s white cells to attack normal human cells.

Before long, the whitehead, or blackhead in question, becomes enlarged, painful, and reddish due to the inflammation. This is what transforms the closed comedone into proper acne, which initially takes the shape of a papule. From this point on, a dermatologist would likely diagnose you with Acne vulgaris.

Is Acne Genetically Caused?

This is a problematic question, but the biggest part of the problem is the phrasing of the question itself. Is acne directly caused by genetics? No. But can genetic factors increase the likelihood of you ending up with acne? Definitely yes. The answer is, therefore, a bit complex, and it can be boiled down to both yes, and no, depending on the vantage point when considering the problem.

Scientists still haven’t isolated the specific genes that cause acne, but it is also likely that such genes do not actually exist. Why? Because as we explained above, acne isn’t merely caused by a single cause, but a combination of factors. Genes can no more cause acne, than they can cause, say, a dislocated shoulder.

the ultimate guide to acne causes and acne types

Sure, you may have the genetic predisposition that makes your joints looser than usual, but in order for an injury to actually happen, there are a number of preconditions that will have to be met, and for the set of circumstances to be exactly right. Like for example, having loose joints (predisposition) plus getting drunk (precondition), plus standing near a tall staircase (circumstance) and, well… Tripping and falling down said staircase because you were totally hammered and you ended up with a dislocated shoulder. See, your genes didn’t cause that. Your poor handling of yourself and your predispositions did!

Exaggerated analogies aside, there is some indication that the genes that affect the functions of sebaceous glands can lead to the appearance of acne. These genes can indeed affect the function of your skin in such a way that can lead to acne, and these predispositions are genetically transferred. This is why children that come from families where the other members have acne tend to have acne too. If you are not sure of the particular cause of your acne inflammation, or if the other explanations don’t seem likely, ask around your family. Put on the detective hat for a bit and start interviewing your older relatives first. Did they have acne when they were young? Did anyone else in the family have a history with acne?

If acne seems to have been present in the lives of your ancestors, chances are the predisposition for getting acne is genetic. It needs repeating, however, that we are not talking about acne as such. What genes regulate is the function of the cells, and with that, the operation of the sebaceous glands and how they interact with physiological changes or changes in the environment.

So, while there is no acne gene, there are genes that affect the processes that lead to the appearance of acne. These include genetic mutations that affect your body’s production of sebum, how the sebaceous glands respond to hormonal changes, the propensity of your body to produce dead skin cells, and last but not least, how your immune response acts when faced with infection by Propionibacterium acnes. So, while acne isn’t directly genetically transmitted, as a genetic disease would be, it can still “run in the family” if your ancestors possess these genetic mutations that make it possible.

the ultimate guide to acne causes and acne types

Other Factors That Contribute To Acne

But while those are some of the crucial factors that play a direct role in the appearance of acne, there is a variety of other elements that can either promote or prevent it. Most of these are environmental, behavioral or dietary factors. However, they are responsible for exacerbating acne all too often, and may sometimes be the one key factor that pushed your skin over that acne edge. Let’s take a look at what these are.

Certain Prescribed Medications Can Promote Acne

While this doesn’t happen often, not everyone is the same, and everyone’s body reacts differently. This is why some people can have certain unforeseen reactions to prescribed medications such as testosterone, corticosteroids, and even lithium. These reactions can cause overproduction of sebum and the associated infections, which can cause full-blown acne inflammation. If you are experiencing an unexplained bout of acne inflammation, and are taking lithium, corticosteroids or testosterone, you should talk to your doctor and dermatologist immediately.

the ultimate guide to acne causes and acne types

Sugary Foods Can Make Acne Worse

It is now common knowledge that a diet rich in carbohydrates, such as breads, sugars, and sweets, can contribute to the appearance of acne. This is because the ingestion of processed sugars can mess up with the body’s regulation of sugar, making it overproduce insulin and cortisol. While seemingly not connected, the excess cortisol and insulin actually interfere with the normal regeneration cycle of the skin. This makes the rate of exfoliation go out of whack, making your skin cells regenerate faster, which in turn makes the sebaceous glands pump too much skin oil. And we know what happens after too much oil, yes? If you want to prevent acne, stick to a healthy diet, rich in fruits and vegetables. Consider adopting a dairy-free diet as well.

Too Much Coffee Can Exacerbate Acne

Coffee is literally everywhere now. In fact, I am having my morning coffee right now, and feeling super glad that my acne problems ended up with my adolescence. Because otherwise, I would’ve had the nagging feeling that I may be, in fact, making my acne worse. Why?

Well, in my in-depth article about whether coffee causes acne, I went to great lengths to list all the ways in which coffee can, indeed, make acne worse. Keyword: make worse. That’s right. Coffee, on its own, doesn’t cause acne. And when it comes to making acne worse, even pure coffee won’t do much in that regard. The problem with coffee in regards to its effect on our skin and acne is in all the additives we add to it. All the added milk, sugars, liquid chocolate, various sauces, and spices…

the ultimate guide to acne causes and acne types

Most of those are processed sugars. Coffee, on its own, won’t affect you much but drink several, large, sweet milky ones a day and yes - you might want to do something about that. It’s not just your acne that will get worse, your overall health and skin will suffer. As was mentioned above, ingesting too much processed sugars at a time can make your body’s sugar managing abilities out of whack. That, in turn, sets of a long (and fairly complex) chain reaction of metabolic processes in your body that eventually result with your skin pumping up too much skin oil.

So, everything in moderation, folks. Yes, even coffee. I know, I know...

Greasy Foods And Acne? It's Largely A Myth

So here’s the thing. We’ve all heard that persistent, but very wrong idea, that if you eat greasy foods you’re setting yourself up for an invasion of gross, greasy pimples. And it’s wrong.

But it somehow feels very right, yes? It’s somehow very intuitive. We all know that sticky, greasy, slightly itchy feeling when we bury our noses in a big fat greasy burger. And that feeling is strangely reminiscent of your face getting all oily and gross due to acne. It follows that you shouldn’t eat greasy, fatty foods if you don’t want to get acne. So it feels so intuitive and right, yes?

Well, there’s a catch. The problem is not eating the greasy foods itself. You can hold a diet that consists mostly of fats, and that will not - I repeat, will not - make you get acne, or become more prone to getting acne. Consuming the fats and oils in the food themselves isn’t the problem. So what is it then?

the ultimate guide to acne causes and acne types

It’s the way you eat. And the way you cook or prepare such foods.

Burying your nose in a bucket of greasy chicken nuggets gets you a greasy nose. Ditto with french fries, or some fatty chocolate or dessert. It’s not eating the food that somehow deranges your entire metabolism and sets it up to create acne. It’s the grease and oils that your face becomes exposed to if you don’t take care about how you eat the damn thing. Eating like a pig (no offense to the actual animals!) will increase your likelihood of ending up with acne.

Why? Because all that grease ends up all over your face, and if you don’t clean it soon and thoroughly, guess what? It ends up clogging your pores and hair follicles. Which, as we know too well by now, is the signal that all the acne is waiting in order to kick start its little acne revolt.

The same goes for preparing greasy foods. Cooks or professional chefs whose job is to hang over a frying pan of french fries, steaks, and bacon all day can be prone to acne if they don’t take good care of their faces. The common person, like you and me, will experience the same problem if we’re frying fish, meat, french fries, hell, even veggies. Because it’s the oil that we use during the cooking process that gets sprayed around and interspersed with the air. And our faces attract it like a magnet.

So, the bottom line is this: please enjoy all the greasy foods you want. Eating it won’t make you get acne, but eating it carelessly and preparing it without giving yourself a good wash afterwards will. Of course, you shouldn’t eat too many greasy foods for a different reason… But that’s a different reason for a different time.

Touching Your Face Can Exacerbate Acne

If there is a Bible somewhere dedicated on keeping your skin clean and healthy (we actually wrote one), it would have the Ten Commandments For Healthy Skin somewhere around its initial pages. And do you know what the first commandment for healthy skin would be? Here it is:

Stop touching your face.

the ultimate guide to acne causes and acne types

Yup, that’s it. Super simple, and yet hellishly difficult to adhere to. We touch our faces all the time for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes those reasons are inane and completely unnecessary, while other times, they’re pretty valid reasons. But I’m willing to bet that the vast amount of the reasons you and me have for touching our faces are pretty stupid. We do it mindlessly, thoughtlessly, it’s a habit.

You’re munching french fries and your fingers are all greasy with mayo and oil and stuff? Cool, why don’t you adjust your hair right now, or scratch that itch on your cheek, nose, or neck while you’re at it. There’s even a pimple you can pop with those hands you haven’t washed since this morning and you’re having dinner now.

See? It’s terrible. Unclean, greasy hands are one of the main promoters of acne. They go around the world, collecting dirt, bacteria, and grease, and then we let them walk all over our faces, leaving nasty footsteps. Of the very same dirt, bacteria, and grease!

Which our pores hate with a passion. Not only are your pores having to deal with their sebaceous glands pumping out oil and having a hard time dealing with all the dead skin cells. Now your pores are becoming clogged with extra dirt, extra oil, and extra bacteria you’ve brought from all over the world.

Makeup And Acne

Ah, another of those ubiquitous things. Everyone drinks coffee, everyone used makeup. You'd be proclaimed a weirdo if you don't. The black sheep. And yet, everyone secretly worries if makeup causes acne.

Okay, okay, I'm being intentionally hyperbolic, but you know there's truth in that. There's the norm and what's trendy, and there's а certain pressure to conform (and some social consequences when you refuse to). It's the same with these widely accepted social expectations. You have to drink coffee you have to put makeup on. What are you, some kind of freak?!

the ultimate guide to acne causes and acne types

And sometimes, there are very good reasons to be a “freak.” Sort of. Does makeup cause acne? As we have mentioned in numerous articles exploring the factors that cause acne, some problematic makeup ingredients are indeed one of the factors that can contribute to that. While it's a broad and complicated subject, heavily dependent on the actual substances used in makeup products, there are a couple of inferences that generally hold true.

First, and unlike the coffee, makeup can actually cause acne. Why? Because it is basically covering your skin with layers of fine dust and oil particles. Makeup products contain pigments, binders and so on, and while they're dermatologically tested for allergies… They can still clog up your pores. And we know that clogged pores are the birthplace of acne.

Two, makeup can also make your acne inflammation worse. The brushes can irritate your skin, spread harmful bacteria from one place to another, and in doing so spread the infection. It is not recommended to use makeup, or at least not lots of it if you're suffering from an intense acne case.

So, what is to be done?

Well, there are several things you can do to reduce the risks of makeup when it comes to acne.

First, pay attention to the quality of the foundation. The foundation is what is in close contact with your skin, and the one makeup element that can clog your pores (or not). Always choose a noncomedogenic, high-quality foundation.

Another important thing you can do to mitigate getting your pores clogged from using makeup is to always clean your face. If you needed to wear makeup for an event out in town, remove it as soon as you arrive back home. Always remove your makeup and wash your face before sleeping, and you've eliminated most risks of acne.

the ultimate guide to acne causes and acne types

Thirdly, you should pay attention to how hygienic your makeup brushes and makeup products are. The shelf life of most makeup products is long, but that only holds true if you store them properly. If you don't… You risk letting your makeup products turn into colorful petri dishes. And your makeup brushes into bacteria infested brooms. If you haven't stored a makeup product properly, you should get rid of it after six months or so.

You should also wash your makeup brushes regularly because they're a key factor in maintaining proper makeup hygiene. If you dab them over acne and dab them back in the makeup… Aaand you do this over a period of time, you'll only expose yourself to infections again.

So, to sum it up: remove makeup and wash your face regularly, ditch old makeup products, and keep your makeup brushes clean.

Stress Can Make Acne Worse

While stress, on its own, doesn’t cause acne, it can sure as hell contribute to its formation. When we experience stress, our bodies release hormones (such as cortisol and androgen) that make our sebaceous glands produce more oil. As we mentioned above, this is one of the factors that can lead to clogged pores, and further down the line, to full-blown acne.

But stress can make your acne worse, too. It doesn’t just promote the excretion of sebum, it also makes your body go into a more active mode, expanding your capillaries and enhancing your blood flow. This, in turn, translates to the appearance of redness on the skin. This is why people get rosy cheeks when they are undergoing some kind of stress. It can be either due to exercise, or just a state of heightened emotional tension.

the ultimate guide to acne causes and acne types

Exercise, meditation, getting enough sleep and eating well can all reduce the amount of stress you are experiencing. Creative activities and hobbies, like dancing, singing, painting, sculpting and the such can also have a beneficial, relaxing effect on mood and inner state. Additionally, the lack of stress will eventually balance your hormones too, and can even lead to the elimination of some cases of hormonal acne.

Poor Hygiene

This is kind of obvious, isn’t it? While scrubbing your face too much or making it too dry by using too much soap can actually cause acne or make it worse, we need to keep our skin clean. One rule of thumb is to wash your face two times a day - in the morning after waking up, and before going to sleep.

But there is something to be said about oily hair, greasy hairlines, and dirty hands. Keep your hair clean and tied in a bun - even the cleanest hair can still irritate your skin by constantly touching your face. Additionally, if you’re experiencing acne along your hairline, that should tell you something. The sweat, oil, and dirt from your hair slowly moves down your skin, where it meets the skin’s own oil. This combination of added dirt and oil makes for an increased likelihood for clogged pores, and with that, an increased likelihood of acne.

Finally, keep your hands clean, especially before touching your face. But an often neglected, yet significant factor in causing acne is the hygiene of your peripherals and devices. When was the last time you cleaned your phone? That’s right. You take it everywhere, put it places, touch it all the time and then hold it against your skin. Dirty phones are a very common contributor to acne inflammation.

The same goes for your computers, headphones, mice, gamepads… And probably most importantly, your pillows too. We spend a third of our lives sleeping, snoring away with our faces pressed against pillowcases. Make sure that your pillows are always clean, and your skin will thank you.

the ultimate guide to acne causes and acne types

Summing It Up

Well, we reach the end of our ultimate guide to acne causes and acne types! I hope it was fun, but also informative. We learned that acne forms due to the excess production of skin oil (sebum) in the pores, which then become clogged. This can then lead to the formation of whiteheads and blackheads, which, if inflamed, can transform into the four types of acne: papules acne, pustules, nodule acne, and the most severe form of acne, called cystic acne.

The chief causes of acne are hormones, bacterial infections, poor hygiene, and even genetics. Each of these contributes to, or exploits, the increased production of skin oil, which is the crucial factor in the formation of acne. There are, however, many other factors that can contribute to the clogging of pores and the inflammation of your skin. From stress to poor hygiene and bad food, to exposing yourself to grease, there is a lot you can avoid to steer clear from acne.  

This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances, and its goal is to offer a general view of the subject. In case you are suffering from a severe case of acne, you should consult with a dermatologist or a certified medical professional.

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