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3 Medical Conditions That Cause Acne

by Yolando B. Adams

Your largest organ is your skin — it covers your entire body after all. Taking care of it is important, especially since it impacts such a large area. This could involve moisturizing or seeking treatment for resolving rashes or acne. When it comes to overall health, sometimes your first warning sign that something is wrong shows up on the surface.

When you think of acne, you might picture your teenage self going through puberty. The truth is, acne can happen at any stage of life, and it isn’t always puberty-related. It’s not all about clogged pores and oily skin either. There are actually some medical conditions that can cause acne. Poor gut health, pregnancy, or high cholesterol are just a few causes.

If you have an unexplained breakout that just won’t go away, don’t ignore it. There’s likely a treatment available, and there might be something else wrong. Keep reading to learn about some medical conditions that can cause acne.

3 Medical Conditions That Cause Acne 2

1. Unhealthy Gut Syndrome

While this is a relatively new term, you’ve likely heard about the importance of a healthy gut. Did you know there are good and bad types of bacteria? Fostering a healthy gut microbiome is important to ensuring you have good bacteria working for you. Your skin can be an outward reflection of what is happening inside. What’s happening in your gastrointestinal system might show up as blemishes to alert you something is off.

When your GI system is off-kilter it can lead to several acne triggers. When the bad bacteria overtakes the good, your immune system becomes inflamed. Acne is an inflammatory response already, so added swelling makes the condition worse. Higher levels of insulin from the foods you eat can also lead to blemishes. A stressed stomach adds to the overall stress your body feels, which can lead to breakouts.

If you keep dealing with acne, take a look at what you’re eating. You might need to adjust your diet to get your gut microbiome in check. Once you’ve squared that away, if you still are breaking out, seek a prescription acne treatment. It’s simpler than you might think. You can even do an online consultation and get your prescription sent right to your door.

2. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

It’s no secret that hormonal shifts can wreak havoc on a clear complexion. For women, this can occur throughout life. You might experience breakouts with each monthly cycle as your hormones shift. Breakouts could be a sign of issues within your reproductive system though. For instance, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one medical condition that can increase breakouts.

Some symptoms include irregular periods, weight gain, acne, and facial hair. In addition to acne, the increased facial hair that often accompanies PCOS can create ingrown hairs. You must first work on treating PCOS before your acne can be treated. Ovarian cysts and the fluctuations that come with them can also tarnish your clear skin.

On both ends of the reproductive cycle, pregnancy and menopause can create an increase in blemishes. These changes impact many of your systems in huge ways. Starting or changing birth controls can help with acne, as it can help balance hormones. Speak with a medical provider to find the best option for you.

3. Hypercholesterolemia (High Cholesterol)

Your acne could be something more than a whitehead. If you’re experiencing pimple-like lesions around your knees, buttocks, elbows, and hands, it might actually be xanthomas. These are effectively cholesterol deposits that break out on your body. They can resolve themselves, but they’re worth keeping an eye on.

They can be a sign of high lipids and high cholesterol, which increase chances of heart attack and stroke. These could also be a sign of diabetes. This skin affliction could be a sign of an issue with the liver or certain types of cancer too. You should bring this to the attention of your primary physician. Getting a checkup to test if you have high cholesterol or diabetes is a necessary first step.

Blood work and tests will likely be in order. If you are diabetic or have high cholesterol, your doctor will recommend treatment or lifestyle changes. You may be able to improve your health through diet and exercise. Some medications may also be able to improve symptoms of your condition.

Pay Attention to Your Skin

Your skin is the largest organ of your body. It grows, stretches, wrinkles, and sweats. It also protects your more vulnerable organs from the outside world. If you pay attention to the health of your skin, it can tell you vital information about what’s going on within your body. As you notice changes, take heart. Treat acne as it pops up. If it doesn’t go away, note how long it has persisted and if there have been any changes.

If it persists, talk to your healthcare provider. Your acne could be caused by an underlying issue. Precaution and preventive action can be a literal life-saver. You might find out you have just plain old acne, but it’s better to learn that than ignoring something more serious. The sooner you take care of what’s going on inside, the sooner you can present a clear complexion outside. A healthy you is often more happy too.

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