Health Check: why do I still get zits

Acne, a common skin condition affecting millions worldwide, continues to perplex individuals who experience its persistent presence. Despite diligent skincare routines and various treatment options, many individuals find themselves battling stubborn breakouts. In this exploration, we delve into the multifaceted nature of acne, considering factors ranging from genetics to lifestyle choices, to understand why some individuals continue to experience zits despite their efforts.

Genetic Predisposition:

One significant factor contributing to ongoing acne breakouts is genetic predisposition. Research suggests that genetics play a crucial role in determining an individual’s susceptibility to acne. Certain genetic variations can influence factors such as sebum production, inflammation response, and the shedding of skin cells, all of which contribute to the development of acne lesions. Therefore, even with meticulous skincare habits, individuals with a genetic predisposition may still experience persistent breakouts.

Hormonal Fluctuations:

Hormonal fluctuations represent another key player in the acne saga. During adolescence, hormonal changes trigger an increase in sebum production, leading to the development of acne. However, hormonal imbalances can persist beyond the teenage years, particularly in women experiencing menstrual cycles, pregnancy, or menopause. Fluctuating hormone levels can disrupt the delicate balance of oil production and skin cell turnover, creating an environment conducive to acne formation.

Environmental Factors:

The environment in which individuals live can also impact the prevalence of acne. Factors such as pollution, humidity, and exposure to certain chemicals or irritants can exacerbate existing acne or trigger new breakouts. Additionally, lifestyle choices such as diet, stress levels, and skincare habits can influence skin health and contribute to acne development. For instance, consuming a diet high in refined sugars and processed foods may increase inflammation in the body, exacerbating acne symptoms.

Skincare Practices:

While skincare routines are essential for maintaining healthy skin, certain practices may inadvertently contribute to ongoing breakouts. Using harsh or comedogenic (pore-clogging) products can irritate the skin and exacerbate acne. Similarly, overwashing or scrubbing the skin vigorously can strip away natural oils and disrupt the skin’s barrier function, leading to increased sebum production and acne formation. Therefore, it’s crucial to adopt a gentle skincare routine tailored to individual skin types and concerns.

Psychological Factors:

The relationship between acne and psychological well-being should not be overlooked. Acne can have a significant impact on self-esteem and mental health, leading to feelings of embarrassment, anxiety, and depression. Stress, in particular, has been linked to acne flare-ups through the release of cortisol, a hormone that can increase sebum production and inflammation in the skin. Thus, the psychological burden of acne may perpetuate a cycle of stress-induced breakouts, further complicating efforts to manage the condition.

Treatment Challenges:

Despite advances in acne treatment, finding an effective solution can be challenging, especially for individuals with severe or treatment-resistant acne. Over-the-counter products containing ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or retinoids can help alleviate mild to moderate acne symptoms. However, more severe cases may require prescription medications such as oral antibiotics, hormonal therapies, or isotretinoin (Accutane). Even with these interventions, some individuals may still experience persistent breakouts due to factors such as medication side effects, bacterial resistance, or underlying hormonal imbalances.


Acne is a complex and multifactorial condition influenced by genetics, hormones, environment, skincare practices, and psychological factors. Despite efforts to manage the condition through various treatment modalities, some individuals may continue to experience zits due to a combination of these factors. Therefore, addressing acne requires a comprehensive approach that considers individual differences and underlying causes. By understanding the complexities behind continued breakouts, individuals can make informed decisions about their skincare routine and seek appropriate medical intervention when necessary. Ultimately, while acne may persist, it does not define one’s worth or beauty, and with patience and perseverance, effective management strategies can be found.

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