Acne – A Basic guide about its causes and management

Posted by

Acne is a localized skin inflammation as a result of over activity of the oil glands at the base of specialized hair follicles.

Commonly called pimples , zits ,bumps, oozies,etc .

Acne never happens overnight , it is a slow inflammatory process which gets aggravated by multiple factors .

For the benefit of my readers , I am listing the most common causes below ;

  • Poly-Cystic Ovarian Disease (PCOS) – the most common cause of acne in women seen by me in my clinical practice .It causes increased hairiness ,dandruff , hair loss, acne and sometimes menstrual irregularities and weight gain 
  • Hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism -causes acne if the levels are unstable frequently
  • Physiological(natural) causes -pregnancy ,puberty ,stress ,menopause ,heavy exercise etc
  • Food allergies –the commonest culprit has been found to be milk and eggs 
  • Nutritional deficiencies -deficiency of Vitamin D, Vitamin A,zinc ,selenium etc can exacerbate the inflammatory process and also increases clogging of pores .
  • Genetic tendency 
  • Seborrheic Dermatitis -a skin condition affecting the oil secreting glands ,causing dandruff and acne 
  • Medication -Common culprits are steroids,anti-depressants ,contraceptive pills and anti-epileptic drugs 
  • Comedogenic Make-up products (products that can block the pores )
Since everybody’s causes for recurring acne are different , the management would also differ from one person to another .Hence a detailed history taking by your doctor helps.

Self help tips for managing acne 

Diet -As mentioned by me above , certain foods could be aggravating (though chocolates and fried food are falsely implicated most of the times ),So avoiding milk and milk products for about a month to test whether a milk allergy could be the reason , would help in deciding whether you should continue taking milk or avoid it .Similarly it helps to reduce processed food like sugar and Maida(processed flour) from  your diet .

Image courtesy
  • Foods  that can help -oranges, Leafy greens,Yogurt ,Nuts ,oily fish,mushrooms ,whole grains and green tea have shown to have  a positive effect on reducing acne .
  • Vitamin Supplements – I would recommend this only under medical guidance 

CTM-Regular Cleansing and Exfoliation followed by Moisturization and Sunscreen usage helps in the long run by reducing the clogging of pores.I recommend using a face wash which is mild enough for everyday use and key ingredients to look out for would be Salicylic acid (Salix alba ),Tea tree oil, Neem,Glycolic acid etc.Gel based sunscreens are best ,look for non -comedogenic on the moisturiser and sunscreen.Once a week exfoliation can also help further in keeping the pores clean

Image –


  • Medical Help -Physiological  acne improve with time , Genetics cannot be changed but the other causes can be taken care by proper medical evaluation and treatment .So in case the acne is not responding to the above measures and recurring , or if you have associated medical conditions along with acne , it would be best to seek medical intervention .
  • Stress management-  Stress can be described as  perceived unfulfilled personal goals, feeling of inadequacy or personal conflicts and suppression of instincts.It is important to keep a positive spirit throughout .Meditation , Yoga and support groups are helpful .
To know more about acne and products that can be used for its management ,you can go through this link but again consult your doctor before starting something new if you suffer from Cystic(big bumpy) acne.

To conclude , Acne is a common skin condition affecting young adults from 11 to 40 years commonly .It can disfigure the face and self esteem both ,and cause a significant decrease in the quality of life of the sufferer   but proper management after identification of causative factors can help a lot in overcoming acne and improve the index of happiness.

This post has been submitted as part of the which aims to educate about skincare and acne .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: