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What Causes Acne Vulgaris?

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Acne vulgaris is caused by four major factors: bacteria, increased oil or "sebum" production, growth of the sebaceous glands joined to the hair follicles, and the increase in hormones that occurs during puberty.

Acne starts off deep in your pores where the sebaceous glands are producing too much of an oil called sebum. The cells lining the hair follicles are also shedding off rapidly due to hormones released during adolescence.

The combination of more sebaceous oil, and the shedding hair follicle cells can create a plug that clogs the skin pores.

Once the skin pores are clogged, the bacteria multiplies, breaks the walls of the hair follicles and causes red painfully inflamed acne lesions (more commonly known as "pimples" or "zits").

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