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Sunday, August 5, 2018

Why does skin break out? What causes breakout?

What causes breakout?

That is the $64,000 question! There are numerous things that cause breakouts and reasons why breakouts occur. The short list is: 
  • a genetic predisposition
  • allergies
  • diet
  • hormonal fluctuations (including puberty, a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle, pregnancy and breast feeding, menopause, hormone imbalances that can occur in either sex)
  • intolerances to either products or environment 
  • stress
  • sweating 

So, basically the answer is life in general!

What is causing your breakout? I am going to help you answer this question, and so together we can try to figure out what is causing your problem skin. You may not find out the answers immediately, but the following questions and their answers will at least begin to give you a better picture of the possible causes of your breakout. At my salon, by utilizing this list of questions when interviewing clients about their problem skin, we can begin to narrow down potential culprits and help find some answers that have proved helpful in determining what is causing breakout.

To start with, I always like to find out some background on your skin’s condition. In other words, how would you describe your problems? 
  • Are you plagued with only blackheads, or do you have whiteheads instead, or both? 
  • If you have whiteheads, is there any redness in the area, or are they simply bumps under skin that look white or yellowish? 
  • If there is redness, they are technically small pustules. The redness indicates infection, and that means there is bacterial contamination. A true whitehead is just sebum (oil) trapped beneath several layers of dead skin (albeit thin, see-through skin).
  • What about cysts? Do you experience small to large bumps under the skin that don’t form an obvious pus-filled head?
  • Are they just red and often painful bumps? 
And then there are the breakouts that are what most people mean when they say “breakout.”
  • These are pustules that are small, medium, or large bumps that are not only red but have a clear and defined puss-filled head as well.
Next, I would ask where is the breakout located? 
  • Is it always contained within a certain area, or does it migrate—changing places and not usually coming back in the same place all the time? 
  • If it is in one or two places always, is it on both sides of the face or usually only one side?
  • What about size? Is the breakout usually limited to small spots, or do they always appear as big places on your face?
If you continue to get breakout in the same place on your face, it may be due to contact with something. Telephones and cell phones, equipment like sports helmets or pads, even pillows you sleep on can cause a sort of contact breakout. If the places are symmetrical on both sides of your face, this is usually a sign of hormonal breakout.

My questioning the size of the breakout is really just to let me know how deep your blemishes are. Almost always, the bigger the spot, the deeper the infection. Or, if we are talking about blackheads, if they are large, this indicates the pores have been clogged for a long time. Large blackheads don’t generally form quickly. The same is true with whiteheads. They enlarge over time, so the bigger they are, the longer they have been forming.

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