Acne is one of the most common skin conditions affecting people all over the world.

Acne is not a harmful condition, but it is an irritating problem affecting ones looks and sometimes even ones confidence.

How does acne occur?

Human skin has follicles or pores in them through which the hair comes out. The accumulation of sebum secreted by one’s own sebaceous glands, within the pores of the human skin can sometimes clog these pores.

When this accumulates, the dead skin cells also get stuck in it and results in a swelling, which takes the form of a pimple like a crest.

This accumulated material allows bacteria to grow and flourish leading to pus filled boils.  

Acne is most prevalent among adolescents due to rapid hormonal changes in the body, although many adults and pre-adolescents have also reported this problem.

Here are some common issues and lifestyle factors which make you prone to acne.
1. Hormonal Imbalance

This is probably the most common reason cited for acne as adolescents tend to be afflicted by this problem. In many cases, acne gradually goes away on its own after sometime, although in other cases it does stay.

In adults, especially women it has been noticed that certain hormonal changes in the body may act as acne triggers.

Some of the examples of hormonal imbalances are :
- Monthly cycles related triggers in adult and adolescent women.
- High testosterone levels in women.
- Excessive androgen in men and women.
- Hormonal problems due to polycystic ovary syndrome and others.
- Taking medicines or steroids that may cause hormonal changes.

2. External factors

Excessive use of cosmetic products e.g. make-up, can cause problems within the skin,block the pores and cause acne. This can cause acne even if you do not have sebum related problems.

Working in an oil splattered setting e.g. in the kitchen of a fast-food joint may also bring out the boils. Oil particles in the air can coat your skin and clog your pores.

3. Diet

Poor nutrition may make acne-prone teens even more susceptible to breakouts.

Research has proved that excessive oil consumption as well as having foods rich in fat can cause acne problems.

A diet high in refined sugar and starch may make an acne flare-up more likely.

Foods in this group include:

- Processed foods like chips, crackers, and cookies.

- Starches like white bread, pasta, and potatoes.

- Sugary drinks like soda.

These foods step up your blood sugar. Your body responds by secreting more insulin, which increases the production of skin oils and contributes to the clogging of follicles.

Moreover, if you consume iodine in large quantities or for a long time, it results in irritation of the skin pores giving rise to acne.

4. Certain medications and drugs

Consumption of specific over-the-counter medicines like the ones containing bromide and use of recreational drugs like marijuana and cocaine can lead to the occurrence of acne as side effects.

Corticosteroids, Lithium, Androgens are other drugs which can cause acne.

5. Genetics

Certain genetic factors may also be responsible for someone being more prone to acne than others.