Posts for: January, 2015

By Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery, Ltd.
January 29, 2015
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Acne  

If you have acne, you've probably heard that you should stop eating chocolate, or that those potato chips you love are causing your breakouts. But the cause of acne is a bit more complicated than that. While it may be difficult to pinpoint exactly what triggers your particular acne flare-ups, there are common causes that you can explore with your dermatologist.


For starters, some people are just blessed with a family history of clear skin, while others are genetically predisposed to breakouts. You can't change your genes, but you can work with your doctor to minimize breakouts and relieve skin irritation. The hormones of puberty, pregnancy, and even menopause are also to blame. In this case sometimes medications such as contraceptives can help regulate hormone production and reduce the breakout cycle.


Everyone's skin, whether it has acne or not, sports a bacteria called p. acnes which, when interacting with sebum on the skin, can cause pimples. By limiting the production of sebum, you limit the chance p. acnes can grow on the skin thereby reducing acne. In this case, topical antibiotics and retinoids can help prescribed by a dermatologist.

Clogged Pores

The kind of sunscreen or makeup you use may also be causing your breakouts. Leaving makeup on the skin overnight can clog pores and certain beauty products can irritate your sensitive skin leading to inflammation. Cell phones and pillow cases also harbor dirt and bacteria that can cause breakouts. Be sure to regularly clean your makeup brushes, phone, and bedding, and also remove makeup before bed each evening.


In some cases, certain foods can cause breakouts when you have a sensitivity or allergy. These can sometimes be very subtle, so subtle that acne may be the only symptom. If you believe something in your diet may be causing breakouts, keep a food journal and take special notice of how your skin reacts 4-5 days after eating a particular food. Eliminating that food may stop or at least reduce the acne flare-ups.


Stress and a lack of sleep can irritate aggravate acne and make it harder for your skin to heal. Underlying health issues such as thyroid problems, metabolic issues, or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) may also be a cause.

There are a myriad of causes and factors in acne breakouts, sometimes even multiple causes at once. That's why it can be hard to identify the root cause of your skin irritation. But the doctors at Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery, Ltd. in Hinsdale can help you find out what's bothering your skin and develop a treatment plan to help you achieve the clear and radiant skin you've always wanted.