Factors that Trigger or Aggravate or Worsen Acne
Hormones: Androgens are hormones that increase in boys and girls during puberty and cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge and make more sebum. Hormonal changes related to pregnancy and the use of oral contraceptives also can affect sebum production. And low amounts of androgens circulate in the blood of women and can worsen acne.
Certain medications: Drugs containing corticosteroids, androgens or lithium can worsen acne.
Diet: Studies indicate that certain dietary factors, including dairy products and carbohydrate-rich foods — such as bread, bagels and chips — may trigger acne. Chocolate has long been suspected of making acne worse. A recent study of 14 men with acne showed that eating chocolate was related to an increase in acne. Further study is needed to examine why this happens or whether acne patients need to follow specific dietary restrictions.
Stress: Stress can make acne worse.
These factors have little effect on acne:
Greasy foods: Eating greasy food has little to no effect on acne. Though working in a greasy area, such as a kitchen with fry vats, does because the oil can stick to the skin and block the hair follicles. This further irritates the skin or promotes acne.
Dirty skin: Acne isn’t caused by dirt. In fact, scrubbing the skin too hard or cleansing with harsh soaps or chemicals irritates the skin and can make acne worse. Though it does help to gently remove oil, dead skin and other substances.
Cosmetics: Cosmetics don’t necessarily worsen acne, especially if you use oil-free makeup that doesn’t clog pores (non-comedogenics) and remove makeup regularly. Non-oily cosmetics don’t interfere with the effectiveness of acne drugs.
Risk Factors for Acne Vulgaris / Pimples
Risk factors for acne include:
Hormonal changes: Such changes are common in teenagers, women and girls, and people using certain medications, including those containing corticosteroids, androgens or lithium.
Family history: Genetics plays a role in acne. If both parents had acne, you’re likely to develop it, too.
Greasy or oily substances: You may develop acne where your skin comes into contact with oily lotions and creams or with grease in a work area, such as a kitchen with fry vats.
Friction or pressure on your skin: This can be caused by items such as telephones, cellphones, helmets, tight collars and backpacks.
Stress: This doesn’t cause acne, but if you have acne already, stress may make it worse.