Gold Member Badge


  • You're all caught up!

Internal Problems That Cause Acne

author image Jonathan Croswell
Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.
Internal Problems That Cause Acne
A woman is highly stressed out at work. Photo Credit: cyano66/iStock/Getty Images

Acne is a widespread problem among many people, particularly adolescents. A number of factors can contribute to acne development, and unfortunately for those with acne, none of these factors can be identified as the sole cause of acne in any given case. Because the exact causative factor is impossible to pinpoint, treatments must address the majority of acne-causing influences in order to maximize the possibility of clearing up your acne.

Video of the Day

Oil Production

Sebum oil is naturally produced by the skin and is used to help protect your skin and keep it healthy. However, the glands that produce sebum can also become overproductive and lead to oily skin. This can occur for many reasons, such as how your body responds to temperature, your stress levels and genetic factors that influence oil production. Sebum can also build up in your pores, sometimes causing partial or complete blockages in them. Whiteheads, blackheads and/or pustules can develop due to these blockages, and when this happens over a widespread area, you've got acne. You can do several things to curb the oil production and its presence on your skin, including washing your face twice daily and using benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid to break down the oils in your pores.


Bacteria can cause infections in your skin that can lead to, or exacerbate, acne on the skin. This bacteria typically resides of the surface of your skin, and it can be transmitted from other surfaces onto your skin. However, bacteria only poses an acne threat when it penetrates inside the skin. This is one reason popping your pimples is discouraged--it creates an open wound where bacteria can enter and cause problems for your skin. Bacteria can be combated by keeping your skin clean, washing daily and preventing open pimples or other broken skin.m


According to, stress can cause or worsen your acne condition. Stress can also cause an increase in sebum production, making it tougher to keep oils off your skin. By reducing your stress levels, you can relax the body and the processes that lead to acne.

Irritated Hair Follicles

When your body sheds its skin rapidly, it can irritate your hair follicles, particularly at the root anchored under the surface of your skin. This is a good place for acne to develop, since pores often accompany hair follicles and can be disrupted by this irritation. Dead skin cells can cause a plug around the hair follicle that becomes inflamed. The walls of the follicle then bulge, and a whitehead forms. This can lead to infection, and in a worst-case scenario may also cause a painful cyst to develop.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
Lose Weight. Feel Great! Change your life with MyPlate by LIVESTRONG.COM
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
  • Female
  • Male
ft. in.


Demand Media