The Main Causes of Breakouts

Breakouts may not be that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things, but for some of us, they can ruin an otherwise good day. Breakouts seem to come from nowhere and typically pop up when you really want to look your best, like for a work presentation, date, or family gathering. They can also be quite painful and attempts to camouflage them only make them stand out even more — as if they’re carrying a neon sign saying, “Look at me!”, which only serves to increase the embarrassment.

A combination of treatments at our Rugby aesthetics clinic and positive lifestyle habits may help you see clearer skin.

What is a Breakout?

Breakouts most often appear where our skin has the most oil glands, which includes the face, chest, and even upper back and shoulders. During a breakout or an acne flare, the hair follicle fills with dead skin cells, sebum (oil), and sometimes bacteria, leading to swelling, redness, and inflammation. Eventually, the pores of the skin become clogged and become visible on the surface of the skin.

If only the pore is clogged and there’s no inflammation, with a white or yellowish zit, it is called a whitehead. If the pore is clogged and has a black plug, it’s a blackhead. The black colour comes from the bacteria and oil in the pore, which turns black when exposed to the air.

Pimples are different from whiteheads and blackheads, they are formed when a plugged hair follicle contains bacteria, which leads to inflammation and red pimples.

When skin cells, oil, and bacteria are trapped deep inside the pore, this can form painful cystic acne underneath the surface of the skin. It is a misconception that acne is caused by poor diet or hygiene. Hormonal factors, genetics and stress play more of a role in the development of acne, however certain food groups like dairy can aggravate spots.

Can Diet Affect Breakouts?

An unbalanced diet that is high in sugar can be responsible for breakouts, white grains including bread, dairy products and processed foods may play a role by prompting the release of insulin, growth factors, and hormones in the body that lead to breakouts.

Hormonal Breakouts

As every woman knows, the menstrual cycle is a huge trigger for breakouts and tends to impact skin the week before a period. A surge in progesterone during this time increases sebum production, causing spots.

Equally, women either beginning or coming off certain contraceptives are subject to hormone fluctuations which can cause dramatic changes to the skin.

Breakouts Caused By Stress

Have you ever been stressed and had a breakout, leading to more stress? High stress leads to the body producing more testosterone, which can increase the risk of blocked pores and acne. With our increasingly busy lives, the increase of breakouts can push us to our limits. 

Other Common Causes of Breakouts

It's true, sometimes you can clean your face too much! Excessive washing or the use of skincare which contains ingredients that may irritate your skin, could also lead to breakouts. Certain skincare products can clog your pores and hair follicles which lead to further breakouts.

Book a consultation with our skincare experts who can devise a system to gently and effectively cleanse your skin and prevent clogged pores and breakouts.