ABCs of Skin Care ~ A is for Acne (the 4 causes of acne)

Truth Bomb: getting your skin clear and acne free will take more than just changing your diet. Addressing all 4 causes of acne is key.

4 main causes of acne
whats stopping you from getting clear skin

Acne….dun dun dunnnnn (cue the scary music)… No one wants to wake up with a giant honking red ZIT on the end of their nose, but some of us are just blessed that way amiright?.

Oxford defines acne as
“the occurrence of inflamed or infected sebaceous glands in the skin; in particular, a condition characterized by red pimples on the face, prevalent chiefly among teenagers” eUnfortunately, acne can occur at any time of life. In fact, a large number of clients we see for acne are menopausal women, and men in their 30s. They are

Acne is technically an inflammatory skin disease, and can be painful, itchy, swollen, and maddeningly difficult to heal.

Acne also tends to reoccur with some regularity, like an unwelcome house guest.

True acne will have comedones AKA blackheads, which may or not be visible. The classic pimple may be tiny or large and cystic. They may have a pustule or they may simply be a painful nodule.

Lets be clear though, just because you have a “pimple” doesn’t mean you have acne. There are several acne imposters, or look alike conditions including:


Folliculitis or Pseudofolliculitis

Staphylococcus infection / Boils

Keratosis Pilaris

Its important to rule out other conditions, so that your treatment protocols are the most effective.

Acne is caused by four main imbalances:

1) Inflammation – triggered by stress, diet, lifestyle, environmental aggressors and even some skin care treatments.

2) Retention Hyperkeratosis– AKA “sticky skin”, a condition where the skin cells don’t shed properly: they shed too fast, in large sheets. Mostly genetic, but its aggravated by diet, especially sugar and inflammatory seed oil.

3) Excess Oil – both the quantity and consistency of natural sebum will affect this, in addition to comedogenic ingredients found in skin care, hair care, makeup and other personal care products. Many comedogenic ingredients also contribute to Retention Kyperkeratosis and are a cause of blackheads.

4) Bacteria– the C. acnes bacterium actually contributes to the oil production and the inflammation. This is the main cause of the big painful pustules you get with acne.

Each one of these causes is related and overlaps with the other, making for a very challenging puzzle to figure out on your own.

Acne CAN be controlled, but it takes a commitment to yourself.

Our skin is a reflection of our bodies health, and our health starts with our gut.

The connection between acne, skin and the gut is becoming clearer every day. So much new research is being conducted on the gut skin axis.

After all, our skin and our gut really are the same surface; one is outside one is inside.

road to healthy skin is paved with good intestines quote- Laurie Neronha
digestion as a cause of acne

Pay attention to the food you eat, when, where and how you eat. Check out our post on digestion here for more on this BIG cause of acne.

If you have been struggling to get clear skin, there is hope! One of our Certified Acne Specialists can help you determine a home care routine to address your specific challenges and target the causes of your acne.

If you are in Rhode Island, give us a call at 401-632-4444 or connect with our Virtual Consultations.

Here’s a quick tip to get you started: Ice your skin. See below…

Here’s a cute cat picture too. Just because 🙂

Photo by Zakaria Zayane on Unsplash


  1. […] coconut oil “cleared” their acne, its possible that they didn’t actually have ACNE, they may have had a look alike such as rosacea or folliculitis. The lauric acid in coconut oil may […]

Leave a Comment