How To Treat Acne By Tackling Its 4 Main Causes

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Anyone who has struggled with acne knows how difficult it can be to treat. When product after product fails, it’s easy to get discouraged. To up your chances of success, Elizabeth Kream, MD, says to make sure you’re covering all four of acne’s main causes.

“The big thing about acne that’s important to appreciate is that there’s a ton of different arms that cause it,” says Dr. Kream. “If you can come at it with the idea that there are four major causes, you can use a combination of alternative treatments and traditional treatments, as well as over-the-counter and prescription treatments to tackle it. I’m all for combining things.”

Dr. Kream explains that the four main causes of acne are abnormal keratinization, bacteria, increased inflammation, and hormones and oil (more on that below). “If you can think about it that way, and try to incorporate a few things that are going to satisfy or help all those things, you’ll have a really nice regimen,” she says. It’s important to cover all your bases because each pimple is different.

“Each follicle on our body is placed on us individually and differently,” Purvisha Patel, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Visha Skincare, previously told Well+Good. “Acne is a micro infection of the follicles or pores—so then each pimple may be different in its own way than its neighbor and on your neighbor.” Learn how to treat acne below.

Learn how to treat acne by addressing these 4 main causes

1. Abnormal keratinization

Dr. Kream says one of the main causes behind acne is abnormal keratinization, which is what happens when skin cells get sticky and…

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