Is Acne Genetic?
There are countless myths and old wives’ tales about acne, from its causes to its cures. The genetics of acne is one such popular discussion in the skincare world. There are two answers to this age-old question: no and yes.
Most research shows that there isn’t a specific acne gene one can inherit. However, acne is still strongly genetic. One study of twins with acne showed that genes explained around 80% of the difference in acne prevalence, while another study found that you have a four-times higher risk of getting acne if a first-degree relative has it.
How Acne Can Run in the Family
While there isn’t a gene mutation directly linked to acne, there is a tendency for acne to run in families, and specific genetic mutations may increase your risk of developing acne. Many factors can cause acne, from how your immune system responds to acne-related bacteria to hormones.
Some families may have a hereditary tendency to overproduce dead skin cells, which may lead to more clogged pores, which can cause acne. Or, a family line may have a genetic tendency to overproduce sebum, leading to oily skin that can trap bacteria in pores, resulting in more frequent breakouts. Additionally, as some types of breakouts are hormonal, you may be genetically predisposed to producing excess androgen.
Steps You Can Take to Prevent Acne
Even if acne is 80% related to genetic factors, there are ways to reduce the severity of breakouts.
- Use green tea. Green tea can reduce acne by over 50% and can cut sebum production by 70%. It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory and all natural. While drinking it is helpful, the best way is to apply it to your skin. Look for a face cream, lotion, or serum that contains green tea.
- Follow an anti-acne diet. What you eat can have a significant impact on your breakouts. Avoid junk food and milk, which has been linked to causing acne, and eat plenty of antioxidant-rich foods, including fish and flaxseed, as well as probiotics.
- Manage stress. While researchers still don’t know exactly how stress affects acne, many doctors agree that there is a correlation. Stress wreaks havoc on our health, so it makes sense that it can also cause us to breakout or worsen our acne. Whether you hit the gym or meditate, establish a consistent process for relaxing your mind when you feel anxious or stressed.
- Don’t go overboard with your skincare regimen. When our skin isn’t looking its best, we tend to pile on the products. However, the best skincare regimen is consistent and straightforward. Find a cleanser and moisturizer that works well for your skin and stick to it. Trying out new products all the time can irritate your skin. If you aren’t sure where to start, speak with a dermatologist who can recommend products designed for acne-prone skin.
- Visit a dermatologist. If your acne is severe and ongoing, a dermatologist can provide a prescription pill or topical ointment you can’t find over the counter. Persistent and stubborn acne sometimes needs a higher level of particular ingredients.
- Keep your hands off your face. One of the best things you can do for your acne is to leave it alone. When you touch your face or pick at a pimple, you can transfer bacteria and oils into your pores. If you pop a pimple, you may end up infecting it and it will take longer to heal.
- Look for “non-comedogenic” products. From sunscreen to makeup, make sure your face products are non-comedogenic. This label means the product is designed to keep pores clear of acne-causing bacteria by avoiding ingredients that can clog pores, such as cocoa butter and coconut oil.
Wondering if you may be genetically predisposed to acne? Try the Pathway SkinFit DNA test. By understanding your genetic predisposition to common skin conditions, you can make positive changes to eliminate, reduce, or delay symptoms for a personalized skin care plan.
Instead of experimenting with costly creams and treatments, your personalized genetic report can tell you exactly which nutrients and topicals are most beneficial for you. You’ll discover how to proactively address your skin health through lifestyle, care, and nutrition improvements and gain insight into which skin nutrients and topicals will aid your skin the most.