Genetics factors play a significant role in acne formation, although we do not know which genes exactly are involved. It is likely that combination of genes from both parents are liable.
It is common to see that several members in the same family have acne. If one or both parents have severe acne, then the child is also at risk of developing severe acne.
Picking and Squeezing
It is common to see that acne sufferers pick at the acne lesions and squeeze out the retained sebaceous deposits. And it is a common mistaken impression that this will unblock the pore and speed up healing. In fact, the squeezing cause unnecessary damage to the skin, bacteria is introduced to the wound and causes inflammation. The result is often darker, deeper and more permanent scars.
Acne get worse when the person suffers from stress, worry, tension and anxiety. For example, it has been observed that during examination period, the acne condition get worse for student sufferers. This is likely cause by hormones and neuroactive substances produced during stress and significant impact on acne formation.
Some women complain of acne flares just before their menses. And these premenstrual flares affect up to 40% of women with acne. It is likely due to the hormone fluctuation over the menstrual cycle. The flares often resolve shortly after the menses end.
Creams and Medicaments
Certains creams and medicaments may make acne worse. Topical steroids which is often prescribed for treating eczema may have been triggered to outbreak of acne are they are used excessively and inappropriately. You can identify this type of acne by its look – multiple red, inflated monomorphic papules and pustules.
Some drugs aggravate or even cause acne. These include:
– corticosteroids which is taken orally or by injections
– lithium for treating manic depressive illness
– testosterone pills and injection which are used by professional athletes and body builders to increase muscle mass
– danazol which is given to women for endometriosis which is the growth of tissue from the uterus in parts of the body other than the uterus
For a small group of cosmetics users, they can develop cosmetic acne in the form of side effect. Cosmetic acne is usually present as small, raised whiteheads or small inflamed paules and pustules over the face the cosmetics are applied. Often, women with cosmetic acne are caught in a vicious cycle – the more acne outbreak they have, the more cosmetics up they use to cover it up which only leads to worsening of the condition.
Acne tend to get worse in hot humid climates and work environment eg steam rooms and kitchen. We do not know why heat and humidity have such an aggravating effect but we know that that the outer layer of skin swells tremendously under humid conditions. The pressure from the swing could block the opening of the pilo-sebaceous unit and cause acne to develop.
Jobs that involve with certain chemicals may worsen acne. These chemicals include:
– insoluble cutting oils that are use in engineering manufacturing industries
– crude petroleum in the oil refining industry
– Diesel oil that is used in motor mechanics
– halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons that are use in industries manufacturing conductors and insulators and
– insecticides, fungicides and herbicides