There are easily eight causes for sudden acne breakouts. The severity of these sudden acne breakouts varies from one person to another and identifying what causes these sudden acne breakouts may take time and the help of your dermatologist.
To understand what causes sudden acne breakouts, we must first understand what causes our skin to suddenly produce excessive sebum which when mixed dead skin cells, clogs pores and give rise to sudden acne breakouts.
People who experience a tremendous change in hormones tend to experience sudden acne breakouts. This is especially true for teenagers and pregnant women. Androgens or sex hormones, play a critical role in acne on many levels.
Specific hormone levels increase in both boys and girls during puberty and cause production of sebum. Increased sebum production of sebum because of androgens acting at the sebaceous follicle is always a prerequisite for acne at all ages. Sudden acne breakouts occur when there is an increased production of androgens, or when there is an increased and inappropriate responsiveness of the pilosebaceous unit to a normal amount of circulating androgen.
The changing of hormone (estrogen and progesterone) levels in adolescent girls and adult women 2 to 7 days before the menstrual period starts can also cause a sudden acne flare.
2) Poor Skin Hygiene
Poor skin hygiene may be one of the causes of sudden acne breakouts. Proper skin hygiene is therefore very important in maintaining healthy skin. It not only controls acne by working from the outside to reduce the buildup of skin cells around the pores, it also helps to keep the skin healthy and looking its best even at deeper layers.
Try a gentle exfoliating cleanser at night to remove the dirt and makeup. In the morning, use a soap-free cleanser, followed by a sunscreen and your normal skin care routine.
Stress weakens the skin’s barrier and your immune system, reducing its ability to safeguard against irritants and bacteria. Besides undergoing treatment for acne, you should also make some lifestyle changes to reduce your stress. Take steps to ensure that you get a good night’s sleep every night.
Friction and irritation caused by leaning on or hard rubbing the skin when exercising may also cause sudden acne breakouts. Increased sweat combined with sticky surface skin cells may lead to a blockage of pores, or it may be the heat combined with friction that activates the P.acnes bacteria in some people.
Exercise, heat, and sweat may also lead to the increase of activity of the sebaceous glands. The sebum produced by the sebaceous glands feed the P.acnes bacteria which will in turn result in acne breakouts.
To prevent these acne breakouts, be sure to shower as soon as possible, and wear comfortable clothing made from natural fibers to minimize friction on the skin.
Pressure from bike helmets, backpacks, or tight collars may also irritate the skin. Make sure that the gear you use are not too tight.
5) Environmental irritants
Pollution and high humidity are likely to cause acne, or aggravate the condition. Pesticides used in the garden, or chemicals in cleaning agents found in the home may also trigger sudden acne breakouts. Try switching to organic pesticides and cleaning products in the home and garden to reduce the chemical overload.
6) Squeezing Or Picking At Blemishes
Tempting as it is, avoid picking or squeezing at the spots. This could aggravate your pimples and lead to a full blown breakout.
7) Pore-Blocking Skin Care Products
Irritants in your sunscreen or makeup may lead to a drastic reaction to the sunscreen, causing a rash or red bumps which do not improve with acne medications.
The best treatment is to choose a sunscreen which comes in a gel, which is less greasy and irritating to the skin. Buy and use only cosmetics and makeup which have been labelled “non-comedogenic” or “non-acnegenic”. Choose products which have ten or fewer ingredients.
There is a long list of medications that list acne breakouts as a possible side effect. The list includes classes of drugs including androgens, lithium, potassium iodide, some oral contraceptives, and other medications. If you are on any of such medication, discuss your concerns with your doctor, and consider alternative treatments if your acne becomes problematic.
To minimize the effects of the causes for sudden acne breakouts, be sure to drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated, get enough sleep and exercise.