There’s not normally a single specific cause of acne, which means that decreasing acne symptoms and clearing the skin can take a considerable amount of time and concerted effort.
Without resolving underlying issues, acne can persist for years, and for many adults this skin condition is not simply a bad memory from their teenage years.
Typically, acne pathogenesis is a multifactorial process, involving increased systemic inflammation and altered immunity, creating an increased vulnerability to bacterial infection with Propionibacterium acnes, or problems of abnormal skin cell growth or melanin production and blocked pores. Acne can itself be a sentinel for systemic health issues, with a recent study finding that people with severe acne in their teens, or acne that persists into adulthood are at a higher risk of endometriosis.
Underlying issues that can contribute to acne include:
- Dysbiosis (where the bacterial balance of the bowel and body is disturbed)
- Hormonal imbalance (and increased sensitivity to androgens)
- Vitamin and mineral deficiency
- Blood sugar dysregulation
- Immune system dysfunction
- Food sensitivities
- Poor hygiene
- Skin irritation from cleansers and other products
- Environmental pollutants
- Stress and depression.
Due to the connections between acne and blood sugar regulation, hormone imbalance, stress, and systemic inflammation, this skin condition can be an early warning sign for metabolic syndrome. Although acne may be dismissed as inconsequential by some people (including physicians!), this skin can condition should prompt further assessment as curing acne may also help cut the risk of metabolic syndrome and associated cardiovascular disease.
Find out more about how a plant-based diet can help heal your skin by picking up a copy of Eat to Beat Acne today.