Things You Didn’t Know Caused Acne

The causes of acne can seem mysterious and elusive, but if you can pinpoint the culprits behind your breakouts, you can take steps toward prevention. Following are some unexpected causes of acne that are easily preventable.

Pillows & Bedding

Facial oils, skin cells, and hair products can accumulate on unwashed pillows. Combined with pressure on your sensitive skin, these can cause blockages and infections that lead to acne. Also, feathers are known allergens for some people. If you have recently switched to down or feather pillows, or even a down comforter, and have noticed an increased breakout, feathers just might be the culprit.

Too Frequent Washing

While it seems counter intuitive, washing your face too often even with mild soaps and cleansing products can strip your skin of too much protective sebum, prodding your body to produce even more. Overproduction of sebum can create a film over your whole face, clogging pores and trapping dirt and irritants which can lead to breakouts.


While vitamins on the whole are considered beneficial, some are found to actually cause acne even in people who haven’t previously suffered breakouts. The worst culprit appears to be the B-complex vitamins, which are found in most multi-vitamins as well as many foods including bananas, potatoes, eggs, and fish. Some energy drinks also contain B vitamins.


In a study published by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, those who had two or more servings of dairy per day where more likely to suffer from acne than those who didn’t. Worse yet, it only takes a single cup of milk to produce an outbreak in people who have this reaction to dairy. One of the causes of an dermatological response appears to be an increase in sebum production, which as we’ve already discussed can clog pores and lead to a corresponding increase in acne.

Your Phone

Just like your pillow, the pressure from your phone can easily be causing acne breakouts. Bacteria and oils gather on the surface of your device and are then transferred to your skin. In fact, anything that comes in contact with your skin for a length of time can cause acne, including chin straps and glasses.

Trust the Tucson dermatologists at Specialists in Dermatology for all of your cosmetic dermatology and general dermatology needs. Call them at (520) 382-3330 for an appointment today.