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Home > Illness & Symptoms > Skin > Acne > Cause for consumer description

Acne- Cause(s)

The skin has many pilosebaceous units (PSUs). In particular, there are a lot of PSUs on the face, neck, chest, shoulders, and back.
Each of these PSUs is made of: a sebaceous gland and a hair follicle. The sebaceous gland secretes sebum or oil through an opening called the pore to keep the surface of the skin moist. Acne occurs when the hair follicle gets clogged up with oil, dead skin cells and Propionibacterium acnes (a bacteria that normally lives in the skin). The body’s immune system responds to the trapped bacteria by releasing chemicals to result in an inflammatory response. Acne results from several factors: 

Androgen Hormones 
- During puberty, both boys and girls get an increase in androgens. These androgens cause the sebaceous glands to get larger and secrete more oil. 
Genetics 
- Acne can run in the family. Many teenagers who suffer from acne have a family history of acne. 
Medications 
- Acne is a common side effect of medications such as Androgens and Lithium. 
Cosmetics 
- Oil-based cosmetics can further clog up pores. 
There have been some common myths associated with acne: 
Eating chocolate and greasy foods can cause acne. 
- There has been no proven association that diet can contribute to acne. 
Dirty skin causes acne. 
-There has been no proven association that dirty skin can contribute to acne.
Stress causes acne. 
- Stress does not cause acne. However, stress may worsen acne. 

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