How Does Acne Happen?

Acne is a skin condition usually seen in teenagers and young adults that can cause different kinds of bumps and spots to form on the surface of the skin. They can come in different forms, including whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples. There are hundreds of potential reasons that acne can happen. Genetics, hormone imbalances, diet, and many other reasons can contribute to the start or spread of acne.

At The Chicago Cosmetic Institute, we do hundreds of surgical and non-surgical treatments for acne every year. We decided to put some preventative information about acne and its causes here on our blog to educate people in our area. We can help you once acne is long gone, but it would be nice not to ever have it in the first place, right? Continue reading…

Does Dirt Clog Pores and Cause Acne?

Acne is caused by clogged pores, right? Yes, acne is caused by clogged pores. So, getting dirt on the skin can clog pores and lead to acne, right? WRONG!! Acne is caused by oils and dead skin clogging the pores in the skin and leading to a backup. Dirt, however, is not linked to causing acne.

Something that is related to causing acne is over cleaning of the skin. Washing your face too often can remove the essential oils needed to keep skin healthy and can lead to breakouts when the skin’s oils are out of whack.

We are not saying that you shouldn’t wash your hands or face, we are just trying to make a point. Don’t rush into washing so often. Your skin generates its own oils as a way of keeping itself healthy and not drying out. Sweating and getting dirty is part of human life and the skin knows how to handle it!

Can What I Eat Make Me Break Out?

The foods that you eat can absolutely affect your Acne! Sticking to more natural food groups will promote good skin health and lower the chances of breaking out. Acne is caused when the oils in your skin clog your pores. Adolescents and teenagers generally have acne more than adults do because their skin produces more oil while they are going through puberty.

Food choices are a good way to reduce the severity of acne and can get rid of it completely in some cases. Here are some of the foods that you can avoid improving skin health and feel better too!

Foods That Cause Acne

Foods that cause acne fit into a few different categories. Here are some of the most prominent:

Dairy Products and Acne

There is no definitive link between dairy and acne, but there are many theories. Cow’s Milk and dairy products, in general, have been linked to making acne breakouts worse and more frequent. Dairy products can be loaded with hormones. Hormones, as we know, are meant to help baby animals, as well as humans, develop. Throughout puberty hormones cause the skin to become oily and can lead to clogged pores and acne.

A completely healthy diet can be had without consuming dairy products at all. If dairy could be causing a problem, there are ways to cut it out and replace the nutrients with other healthy organic foods. There’ve been cases of people saying that cutting out dairy cured them of acne completely.

  • Dairy products like milk, cheese, and butter can all make acne worse and lead to breakouts.
  • Vitamin D and Calcium found in dairy is good for bone health, so if you decide to cut back, just do so with care. Make sure you are replacing that nutrition with another source.

Fats and Acne

Fatty acids in food are linked to inflammation. When inflammation in your body builds up and becomes too much, it can show up on the skin as acne and other blemishes. There are a few ways to cut down on the intake of fats in the diet.

  • Cutting down on red meat can help reduce the amounts of fat in the diet dramatically.
  • When eating meats, try to buy beef and eggs from animals that are grass fed and free-roaming. These things usually are made apparent right on the packaging.

Sugar and Acne

Sugar comes in all different shapes and sizes. When dieting for Acne reduction, focusing on foods with a low glycemic index (GI) is important. This just basically means eating foods lower in sugar content. Foods with a low index will not increase blood sugar as much as sugary foods will.

  • Eating lots of vegetables will help lower sugar and prevent acne. Choose veggies of all different colors and sizes. Mixing it up with what you eat is preferred for a healthy nutritional balance.
  • Eating small frequent meals will help to steady out insulin and blood sugar levels. It’s commonly believed that this will also boost metabolism which can lead to healthy weight loss.

Gluten and Acne

Gluten is a protein found in wheat products that people with a condition called celiac disease need to avoid. Eating gluten for these people can cause damage to their intestines.

Gluten-free dieting has become popular in recent years and we are hearing about it more in the media every day. People who do not have celiac disease can still be somewhat sensitive to gluten and it could cause redness in the skin. If you think your skin may be affected by high quantities of gluten and wheat products in your diet, you can try to cut down on them. Just keep in mind a healthy balanced diet is always necessary. Talk with your dermatologist to see if cutting down on gluten could be a good thing for you.

Post Acne Skin and Scar Treatments

 Regardless of adhering to the plethora of preventative measures geared toward acne, it can still happen. Acne to some extent is genetic and the natural skin composition of some patients makes them more prone to it than others. Preventative measures are great and should be tried, but aren’t going to work for everyone.

The good news here is that there are many ways we can resurface the skin to lessen the effects and remove acne scarring completely over time. If acne scarring is hurting your self-esteem and causing you not to feel like yourself, there are many treatments we offer at the Chicago Cosmetic Institute to help. Many of them are non-invasive and require no down time at all.


As the name suggests, dermabrasion is a scar removal technique that uses the power of abrasion to the skin to reduce the depth of scarring from acne. A high-speed brush is used to resurface the skin. This treatment usually only requires one session but does require several days of healing afterward for the skin to return to its natural color and feeling.


Much like its more intensive counterpart, microdermabrasion will resurface the skin and reduce scarring. The difference is that with this method, a dermatologist or aesthetician will use a spray to remove surface skin. This is a gentler treatment and has little to no down time, but may take more than one treatment to see full results.

Chemical Peels

There are a few different kinds of chemical peels offered in Chicago by CCI. The chemical peel can reduce the appearance of shallow acne scars. The basic chemical peel is done by applying a chemical to the skin to remove its outer layer. Chemical peels can give skin a smoother, more even appearance. There can be some redness afterward for a few days.

Laser Skin Resurfacing

One of our specialties at Chicago Cosmetic Institute – laser skin resurfacing is another method to remove the outer layer of the skin. The laser can resurface the area around scarring or lighten the redness found around acne lesions. There are several different kinds of treatments available. You can click the link or get in touch to learn more!

Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers are facial injections used to fill out certain types of scars that acne leaves behind. This is best used for scars that have left a depressed look in the skin. Filler injections are popular as part of the Mommy Makeover package at CCI. This treatment has to be repeated every so often because the liquids used will absorb into the skin over time. There is no down time required with dermal fillers.

End Note

Thanks for taking the time to learn more about acne with us. There are a lot of different ways to prevent acne from happening and getting rid of the signs acne can leave behind afterward. Chicago cosmetic professionals are here daily to talk more about treatment options.

Not all cosmetic procedures are invasive. Some problems can be resolved with relatively simple and effective procedures.

For more information, you can always call or email us at The Chicago Cosmetic Institute.

Thanks for reading Institute Insights by CCI,

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