Genetic Acne? The Ultimate Skin Guide to Understanding the Root Cause

One more pimple

Imagine you’re about to head out to meet with a few friends you haven’t seen in a while. As you start to get ready, you notice several bright red pimples on your face. You scrub your face and cover them with your best coverup, yet those red spots still grab your attention.

Even if you follow the best doctor-approved skincare regimen, there’s still a good chance a few pimples will pop up on your face or neck. Part of this could be due to genetic acne.

There are many wives’ tales and myths surrounding the causes of acne. Most of these include eating chocolate, a poor diet, and poor hygiene routines. But in most cases, there’s a link between your genes and acne.

Do you think your acne problems might come from your family? Here’s everything you need to know about genetic acne and how to prevent it.

What is Genetic Acne?

Have you ever had a trouble pimple or a major outbreak? Those tiny bumps, and sometimes large lesions, are acne. Besides your face, acne can affect your chest, back, neck, and upper arms.

A pimple starts when the skin’s oil glands produce a natural oil known as sebum. This oil helps keep your face hydrated and healthy but can pose a problem when your glands produce too much.

When too much sebum fills in the pores on your face, blackheads and pimples will start to form. Both blackheads and pimples can swell, become tender, and cause inflammation.

Most people start getting acne in their early teens when they reach puberty where it will last for about 5-10 years. Others will experience acne well into their 30s and even their 40s. For many, this is due to genetics.

Some experts will argue there isn’t a specific gene that causes acne but there is a correlation for acne to pass on from parent to child. Studies are finding that people with acne-prone parents are more likely to develop acne. Other researchers found that if your mother had acne, your chances of developing it are higher.

However, it’s not strictly the development of acne that passes from one person to the next. The genes that do pass include an overproduction of sebum and dead skin cells which clogs pores and causes pimples. Another includes how your immune system responds to the bacteria that causes acne.

Other Causes of Acne

The main causes of acne are still undergoing research. It’s difficult to find one main cause as acne affects different people in different ways. Your skin type, genetics, and lifestyle play a role in how you experience acne if you experience it at all.


When you reach puberty in your early teens, your body produces more hormones. The male hormone, known as testosterone, found in both boys and girls, in another acne-causing culprit. It cues the body to produce more sebum which can plug pores and cause outbreaks.


When a pore or hair follicle clogs with too much sebum, bacteria can start to grow. As the bacteria grows a whitehead or blackhead will form.

Sometimes the build-up of bacteria and sebum in a pore will break the walls of the break. Sebum will leak into the nearby tissues and causes a pustule or inflammatory acne to occur. These are usually larger and more tender than your typical whiteheads and blackheads.

Contraceptives & Steroids

Certain contraceptives, such as the pill or intrauterine birth control devices (IUDs), can cause women to develop more acne than usual.

Bodybuilders who take steroids, regardless of gender, may also experience frequent acne breakouts.

While there are many different causes of acne, there are steps you can take to reduce your breakouts. Here’s a closer look at how you can keep your acne under control.

Preventing Acne & Outbreaks

Just because you have a family history bursting with acne outbreaks doesn’t mean your genetic acne is out of your control. However, it may be tougher for you to control your outbreaks than it is for someone else. Here are a few great tips to reduce your acne and keep your skin healthy.

Your Hygiene Routine

Are you using the right face wash? If your face still feels too oily or too dry, you’ll need to find a better face wash that fits your needs. Using the wrong face wash can cause more damage than good.

Your best bet is to visit a dermatologist or skincare professional who can recommend the best face washes and cleaning techniques. This way you won’t damage your skin as you fight off acne breakouts.

Professional Skincare Products

Not all makeup and skincare products are equal. Many over-the-counter products consist of fillers and harsh ingredients that can clog your pores and inflame your skin.

Professional skincare lines use high-quality ingredients that don’t damage your skin. If you want beautiful healthy skin, then stick to professional products that physicians have tested and approved.

Manage Stress

Stress doesn’t directly cause acne but there is a correlation. Stress causes many different health problems which can lead to more frequent breakouts.

When you’re feeling stressed, try to find an activity that relaxes you. This includes reading, walking, going to the gym, or meditating.

Don’t Touch Your Face

When a bright plump pimple makes an appearance, it’s difficult to avoid touching or picking it. Our hands consist of different oils and bacteria we don’t want to transfer to our faces. Keeping your hands off your face will help reduce your acne.

See a Skincare Professional

The best option to keep your skin clean and healthy is to see a skincare professional. Only a doctor or skincare professional accurately diagnose what’s causing your acne.

From there they can offer effective treatments based on your skin type and the type of acne you’re experiencing. This way your skin will stay clear without any negative side-effects.

Get Healthy Skin Now

You may have little control over your genetic acne but you can still manage it. With the right skincare products and regimen, you can fight off breakouts and keep your skin looking it’s best.

Want to learn more? Plan a visit! We’ll help you get the clear healthy skin you deserve.