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Acne: 5 Possible Causes

Acne: 5 Possible Causes

Society often sees acne as a frivolous health concern, I believe the opposite.  I am a strong believer of life being all about balance and most health conditions stem from internal imbalances.   Skin is the largest organ in the body and acne is the body’s way of showing you that you are not in equilibrium. To get to the root cause of acne you won’t find the answer with typical topical treatments or quick fixes with oral medication. 

So, what can be causing your acne? 


1. Food Sensitivities or Acne Aggravating foods 

Acne can simply be caused by foods that just don’t agree with you.  Or it can be caused by foods that are known to feed acne. Highly processed foods can spike blood sugar levels, causing insulin spikes. High insulin levels stimulate oil glands and put your body into an inflammatory state. 

2. Poor Digestion and Poor Detoxification

If our gut is in an inflammatory state it won’t be able to process foods you eat or detoxify your body.  Think of your liver as the filter that catches the harmful chemicals and toxins found in the foods we eat.  Then, it is removed through the colon. If we don’t support the detoxification process through the liver and colon, we often see the detoxification happening in our skin. 

3. Hormonal Imbalance 

Hormone fluctuations can wreak havoc on our skin.  I have seen countless young girls with acne issues that coincide with irregular periods and are put on oral contraceptives that work wonders for their skin.  But once they decide to stop “the pill” – acne comes back, simply because the underlying hormonal imbalance was never addressed.   

4. Stress

As with most health issues, stress is a big factor with skin. Ever notice  yourself getting a huge zit the day before an important presentation? Learning to cope with stress can lead to healthier skin. 

5. Skincare Routines

Popular topical acne treatments often involve formulations which disrupt the normal skin barrier and function.  Whether it be a topical prescription antibiotic or over-the-counter acne cleansers, most formulation can cause excess stripping of normal oils.  Some products can even cause more physical damage to the skin which disrupt the normal moisture barrier.  If the skin barrier is physically damaged it is much easier for acne to develop and harder for it to heal, perpetuating a cycle of acne and more severe scarring. 

Where to start?

Once we figure out the reason for your acne we can work together to help you get rid of it for good.  More importantly, you will walk away with tools to empower you to lead a healthy and  balanced life from the inside out. 


Dr. Janna Fung, Naturopath Oakville