Though the factors of acne are understood, it still isn’t fully known why some people are affected more than others. Although heredity plays a role, severe acne may be caused by a combination of risk factors creating a perfect storm of outbreak conditions.
Despite what is known about acne, many myths still persist about causes and treatments. When your child develops bad acne, enlist the help of Dr 2 Kids, Smita Tandon, M.D. for the most up-to-date information and access to every medical tool available for acne treatment.
Four primary factors combine to cause an acne outbreak:
Skin cells and sebum combine to make a sticky mixture that clogs hair follicles. These conditions form blackheads, when the mixture is exposed to air, or whiteheads, when it is not. Acne begins when bacteria start to reproduce in hair follicles below the skin’s surface.
This produces infection or inflammation, creating the characteristic red and raised appearance of acne pimples. Bad acne starts when new pimples form before previous pimples have fully healed.
When an acne infection goes deep into your skin, you may develop cystic acne, with pus-filled bumps that may be itchy or painful. When the cysts from this type of acne burst, the pus can spread the infection, creating a larger outbreak.
Acne outbreaks are often triggered by hormonal changes, particularly androgens, which are present in both girls and boys. Changes through adolescence typically create increased androgen production of which acne is sometimes a symptom. Some medications, including lithium, corticosteroids, or artificial hormones can also increase the chances of triggering acne outbreaks.
Stress won’t cause acne on its own, but it can aggravate the condition if your child already suffers from it. Since adolescence can be a mentally stressful time, bad acne may emerge when your teen struggles with emotionally difficult conditions.
Carbohydrate-rich diets may have a connection to acne in some people, though there isn’t yet conclusive medical evidence. Reducing foods like bagels, breads, chips, and other high-carb processed foods could help with the acne battle.
Acne doesn’t get worse because of dirty skin. In fact, overly aggressive scrubbing of the skin with strong soaps can be more of a problem than too little washing. Consumption of greasy food doesn’t translate into greasy skin, so though a preference for French fries might have other health impacts, it won’t aggravate an acne outbreak. Though chocolate is often rumored to contribute to acne, in fact it has little to no effect.
Bad acne, including cystic acne, can be treated with a combination of prescription medications and home care. Since every child with acne can have unique characteristics, consult with Dr 2 Kids, Smita Tandon, M.D. to gain valuable medical insight. You can contact her office by phone or online to schedule an appointment. Even bad acne can be controlled. Book your consultation now.