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What causes acne vulgaris?

Acne is likely genetic and involves the interaction of between your skin and hormones. A surge in hormones causes increased production of sebum (oil), which clogs pores and causes acne (this, of course, is a gross simplification of a very complex process). Acne is not caused by food, dirt, or soda, etc.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Acne vulgaris is caused when sebum (the natural oil the body produces to moisturize and waterproof skin and hair) backs up in the hair follicle. The fats contained in the sebum attract bacteria, which break the fats into fatty acids, causing an inflammatory reaction that results in the lesions known as acne.

Patricia Farris, MD
Dermatology

Acne is an inflammatory condition of the skin. Male hormones or androgens stimulate sebaceous glands to produce an oily substance called sebum. Sebaceous glands pump sebum into hair follicles where it is carried to the surface of the skin. In acne, the opening of the hair follicle gets blocked by dead skin cells that form a sticky plug. The sebum builds up in the follicle causing blackheads and white heads called comedones. The bacteria proprionibacterium acne grows inside this sebum plug leading to inflammation and eventually rupture of the follicle. This results in inflammatory types of acne including papules, pustules and cysts.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.