///What Really Causes Acne? 🙆🏿‍♂️ A Deeper Look at Internal Causes of Acne & How to Treat it

Acne Causes & Treatment Options. (Includes a Dangerous Medication Banned in the USA But Sold FREELY in Kenya) 😮

Acne, medically referred to as Acne Vulgaris, is a skin condition that affects over 60 million individuals in the United States.

At least 20% of people experience severe forms of acne and 85% of the population being affected by acne at some point in their lives.

In 🇰🇪 Kenya, these percentage numbers could be even higher. The exposure to environmental pollutants like vehicle fumes, plastics among other chemicals in Kenya could be the reason why acne is so common in Kenya.

Yes… I said Plastics & smoky lorries & Matatus… Stay tuned

💡 Tip: I sometimes put some scientific words here and there but I get it… Not all of us have medical knowledge. I will Keep It Stupid Simple (KISS). Look out for Highlighted boxed content, just like this one.

FACT: ACNE is one of the most common conditions that affect the human body. Even though acne is often associated with teenagers going through puberty, acne can still be a persistent problem in adulthood.

TIP: Teenage Acne, especially in boys, is caused by the onset of a male hormone called testosterone. Females too produce testosterone at lower levels. This is the biggest cause of acne (over 80%) in women. Keep reading … how to control acne and how to know if your acne are caused by hormones or not.

While acne develops on the face in 99% of individuals, as much as 60% of individuals also experience acne breakouts in other parts of their body.

Acne not only affects a person in a physical manner but can also have psychological effects. Can cause issues with self-esteem, social anxiety, and even depression.


🤔 Pro Tip: Have you ever noted most women (not all) with acne also have hair loss or hair thinning? If you had not noticed that, start looking around. I will tell you more tips as we continue…

Without Addressing Testosterone, Topical Creams Won’t Work.

Individuals affected by acne have several options they can opt for when they wish to undergo treatment. Unfortunately, rarely if ever will a doctor in Kenya ever tell you the cause or the rationale for the treatment options they chose… ANNOYING!!

The problem, however, is that some of these treatment options are extremely expensive, while others may not work at all and could possibly lead to side-effects like infertility.

Why Infertility? It is not uncommon for dermatologists to put acne sufferers on birth control pills (progesterone based). Or even worse, Accutane.

Accutane has been discontinued, and actually illegal to prescribe it in the United states.

It causes serious side effects – including miscarriage and birth defects!


Accutane Acne Discontinued

Just in case you doubt if Accutane is being used in Kenya despite serious side effects, see this review about a patient who was put on the lethal Accutane for acne.


Harmful Accutane Used in Kenya

Please do not ever take Accutane for acne if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. You have better choices. Stay with me, I Explain

USA Food & Drugs Administration (FDA) Warning Against Accutane

FDA Warning Against Accutane

A more appropriate approach to the treatment of acne would be to first understand why acne develops. Know what are the true causes of acne.

Once identified then to take an approach that targets acne from the inside out! Stop Acne in the tracts.

💡 TIP: Without addressing the internal causes, topical creams will only help for as long as you can afford them. Once stopped, acne will re-appear. So, how do you treat the root cause? That is coming up!

Different Types Of Acne

Firstly, we want to look at the different types of acne. Once we understand their differences, it would be easier to target them based on how deep they are.

Not all acne is the same, and each type may require a different treatment approach.

A report by Informed Health Online explains that there are three primary types of acne that people should be aware of. These include mild, moderate and severe acne. See more about acne classification.

Individuals with mild acne may experience whiteheads and blackheads, also known as comedones. Comedones are caused by skin pores that become clogged.

Types of Acne

Blackheads appear dark as they are open pores that have been clogged, while whiteheads cause a yellow or white head to appear at the tip of the spots.

When excessive amounts of oil are present in the skin, bacteria that causes acne may also multiply, leading to the development of inflammatory acne.

Ever seen acne with pus? Pus = Infection!

Moderate acne includes the development of papules and pustules (see the image above). These are inflamed acne pimples. Papules are small bumps on the skin. Pustules are bumps that are filled with yellowish pus.

Pus = bacterial infection

More severe forms of acne include a more significant number of pustules and papules.

Nodules may also form on the skin. Nodules tend to be more painful than other forms of acne, and often leads to scars being left behind after the acne spots have cleared up.

They form Acne Scars

Acne: What’re The Real Causes?

Understanding the true underlying causes of acne is an important step to the successful treatment of acne.

Even though acne affects the skin, it is vital to understand that the cause of acne starts inside of the body.

Let’s Talk More About Testosterone

A paper iii on the US National Library of Medicine explains that androgen is one particular hormone that seems to play the dominant role in the development of acne.

This hormone stimulates sebaceous glands, which is the glands that are usually clogged and leads to the development of acne spots.

Sebaceous Gland

The paper explains that the testosterone (androgen) hormone that has the most significant impact on acne is known as dihydrotestosterone, also known as DHT.

DHT  develops in the sebaceous glands. After development, the hormone binds to a receptor protein. The research explains that an increase in DHT levels is the cause of acne.

💡Note: We now know that acne, black spots, whiteheads, cysts & pastules, all are mostly caused by an increase of a testosterone hormone called DHT. The color & depth of a pimple is determined by the depth of infection, whether it is open or closed.

Androgens are not the only hormones that can affect the risk of developing acne in both teenagers and adults.

A study conducted by the Lady Hardinge Medical College in India found that several other hormones are elevated in the individuals who are more prone to acne breakouts.

The study took into account results reported by over 1000 different studies, and concluded that the following hormones seem to be more abundant in individuals who were at a higher risk of developing acne:

  1. Testosterone (all)
  2. Progesterone
  3. Glucocorticoids
  4. Insulin
  5. Insulin-like Growth Factors

Both male and female bodies do contain estrogen hormones, but the levels of estrogen in the female body are far much higher than in male bodies.

In a situation where the body has high, normal or low estrogen with little or no progesterone to balance estrogen effects, this condition is medically known as Estrogen Dominance.

Progesterone hormone balances Estrogen hormone and its effects. Imbalanced estrogen leads to overproduction of testosterone. This causes 80% of all acne! 

Clear Away Acne explains that several scientific research studies have found that women going through menstruation are exposed to a drop in estrogen levels, which causes androgens to bind to the receptors that are usually bound with estrogen.

If the above paragraph is difficult to understand, it is why most women get acne before menstrual periods 🙂

This, in turn, then causes the stimulation of the sebaceous glands to release of excess oil; thus leading to clogged pores and the development of acne breakouts.

Acne Natural Vs Pharmaceutical Treatment Options

There are a number of different options available in the treatment of acne. Different treatment options are available for different levels of acne, with stronger treatments being more appropriate for individuals suffering from severe acne.

See the chart above.

Besides the deadly pharmaceutical drugs earlier discussed, some dermatologists tend to put acne sufferers on birth control pills, for goodness sake! 🙁

You know why? 🤔

It is a quick fix that fixes the immediate problem for as long as you are on those damn birth control pills. Of course, they care less if you will ever have kids. All they care about is monthly orders for birth control pills. Say no, Thank you.

Ever wondered why🤔

Because during pregnancy 🤰, progesterone levels are really high. Birth control pills that control acne has high progesterone, tricking your body that you’re pregnant.

The face clears, as long as you can continue tricking your body that you are pregnant. If you ever want to get pregnant later in life, that is another story.

Now you know! 💃

See the tip above in red and remember that always, when you are dealing with acne.

Mayo Clinic explains that both topical and oral medications are needed to treat acne – True.

This may involve the application of an antibiotic cream, as well as retinoid-like or retinol cosmetics. There are also the Alpha Hydroxyls, which unclogs the clogged pores preventing oil build-up that leads to acne.

Examples of pharmaceutical creams include Dapsone, Dermovate, Hydrocortisol, and Betamethasone all steroids.

The problem with these topical solutions is the fact that they may lead to skin dryness, redness and damage to the adrenal gland with repeat use.

🙁 :-(This can lead to problems like diabetes and other conditions. 😮 😮

I highly recommend you read this scientific article about why you should not use topical steroids to treat acne. If you cannot read it all, scroll down the article and see some pictures of what could happen with steroid creams. Tap or click pictures to enlarge.

Oral medication usually includes antibiotics as the first option. Anti-androgen drugs may be prescribed to be taken concurrently.

Women also have the option to take combined contraceptives, primarily progesterone based ones to counter the effects of unbalanced estrogen, a condition we call Estrogen Dominance.

The Best Natural Treatment Options For Acne

The key is balancing estrogen naturally (lowers testosterone) and opening up the skin pores so the oil will drain out.

Natural options that have little or no side effects. These are options that instead of destroying your childbearing ability or tricking your body, they actually enhance pregnancy, lowers chances of other diseases like breast cancer and colon cancer.

By now, you already know that 80% of acne causes starts with hormones, produced by either testicles or ovaries in women. The main cause is testosterones.

Since an imbalance in hormone levels are known to have a significant impact on a person’s risk of developing acne, it is important to take supplements scientifically-proven to assist with restoring a better balance of hormones in a natural way.

We would like to point out the benefits offered by three supplements in the treatment of acne caused by an imbalance in hormonal levels.

Here, we will classify supplements into 2 categories. Core (primary) supplements and Secondary

Core Hormonal Acne Supplements:

1. DIM, a Derivative of Indole 3 Carbinol

DIM – Also known as Diindolylmethane or I3C, this substance is another beneficial natural ingredient that is often used to target acne breakouts.

DIM is known to assist with hormone balance, as well as to assist with restoring a healthy level of estrogen in the human body.

It is extremely beneficial for improving the skin, and can help to reduce sebum production; thus reducing the risk of clogged pores and the development of more acne breakouts.

2. Vitex, Popularly Known for Treating Infertility 

Vitex as also known as Agnus Castus or Chaste Tree Berry. It is a relatively common natural substance used to treat a variety of conditions caused by hormonal imbalances, including infertility.

Many women also utilize Vitex supplements to help restore a healthier balance of hormones in order to target acne breakouts caused by hormones.

A proprietary blend of both vitex and DIM is available, FYI 👍🏿

DIM Estrogen Hormonal balanceDIM-Vitex-Supplement-Facts

Secondary Hormonal Acne Supplements

1. Gamma Linolenic Acid Oils

GLA – GLA is also known as Gamma-Linolenic Acid and is a very specific kind of omega-6 fatty acid. GLA can be obtained through the use of

Evening primrose oil

Black Currant oil

Borage oil.

The greatest component of these natural and organic oils is their anti-inflammatory properties. They prevent flare-ups.

According to Nutrition Expressvii, GLA is converted into prostaglandins, a substance that is similar to a hormone. Prostaglandin has a vital role to play in all organs, including the skin.

It is recommended to take supplements that contain between 270mg and 540mg of GLA on a daily basis for best results.

4. Milk Thistle Extract


Acne affects the majority of the worldwide population and can be detrimental to a person’s physical appearance, causing them to withdraw from social activities, develop symptoms of depression, and experience a significant reduction in their self-esteem.

While many options are available for the treatment of acne, many of these options are ineffective, invasive or simply costs too much.

In this post, we discussed the underlying causes of acne, and how a more appropriate treatment plan should target the underlying causes that start within the body, as well as address the existing acne breakouts that may appear on the skin’s surface. Through such a multi-target approach, acne can be cured without having to undergo any harmful or expensive treatments, and several additional benefits may also be experienced in the body.

Now It’s Your Turn: Free Acne & Black Spots Giveaway

Every Saturday, we choose one of our readers to get a free consultation, treatment, and follow-up for 2 months. We decide the right candidate based on the comments and/or question below. The more detailed, the better it helps us help you and others. The higher the chances you will be selected.

We try to answer all questions as soon as possible.

  1. What questions do you have about acne, blackheads or whiteheads?

  2. What have you tried to treat acne? did it work or not?

  3. Leave any comments you may have about the article

Can’t wait to hear your comments and questions.

By |2019-04-09T13:12:10+00:00February 26th, 2018|Acne|32 Comments

About the Author:


  1. Mercy July 18, 2018 at 8:35 am

    I have recently developed very bad acne of my face,arms and back….i have tried everything possible,including going for facials,using some cosmetics,using recommended soaps,I have been trying to use make up to cover up,but it just gets worse,I have give up,most recently i even used Jik on my face as someone adviced….initially i had a very smooth and baby face i just don’t know what went wrong….please help me out.

    • Admin July 18, 2018 at 3:13 pm

      Hello Mercy,
      God bless you, please do not use Jik. Jik is Hydrochloric acid and it can cause acidic burns that would disfigure your face for life, worse than the acne itself.

      I will send you a personal email since some personal information shouldn’t be public. This response is public and everyone can read it.

      Very likely, the acne you described are hormonal than anything else but that need to be confirmed. Hormonal acne tends to prefer certain places like arms, chest, back and certain parts of the face.

      I have another article I did about the estrogen disruption and how the imbalance leads to so many other women health and beauty related issues. You can see https://westerncosmetics.com/estrogen-dominance-pcos and https://westerncosmetics.com/estrogen-hormone/

      Please don’t get tired of reading because an informed patient is an empowered client. I am sure right now you’d question a doctor who would prescribe Accutane for acne.

      The key would be to balance the hormones and two, start with salicylic or benzoyl peroxide was. Be patient because it takes time to treat acne that is that severe.

  2. Graceline September 10, 2018 at 11:12 am

    Hello…i used to have a smooth clear face but I developed a lot of painful acne on my face which don’t have pus. I have tried using products such as elyvate, clozole B, washing my face with water with salt, scrubbing it with sugar to no avail. I recently tried using betazone and they reduced but not much.i need your help kindly

    • Admin September 10, 2018 at 12:37 pm

      We can help Grace. Kindly contact us at 0724410910

  3. Lucy Atieno October 25, 2018 at 3:05 pm

    Hello… admin am lucy i devoloped acne on 2014 it was not severe as it is now..as i hav read in the comments above i went to a clinic in nairobi that i wont mention the name…i was given medication wrthout them asking about my health history you cant imagin how servere i suffered stomach pains just to realise the medication was not effective fpr persons with diabertic history.leave alone that my acne is getting too bad now i have tried betamethasone products but i only get brown on my face ..i have tried all sorts of soaps recommended but no effective results am right now using chandni products i dont know if it will help. Please admin find me a way out it is lowering my self esteem.

    • Admin October 25, 2018 at 4:30 pm

      I am sorry to hear what you have been going through. It must be painful. It is unfortunate that most of these clinics will not bother to gather more details about your personal and family medical history. It is the reason most people become dependent on pharmaceutical drugs that sometimes are not effective and may cause harm to your body. History is the key.

      Please refrain from self-medicating especially with the products you mentioned. It could be worse than what you have already gone through. Betamethasone is a steroid. If you are diabetic, this has the potential of making your diabetes worse and other complications.

      Contact us and let us find out more – how we can help you

  4. Grace December 5, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    Hi am Grace. I have battled with black heads for a long period now. Have tried facials, creams to no results
    Am now on oils but still experience breakouts. I long for a smooth face that I used to have. Please help.

    • GREGORY December 6, 2018 at 9:37 am

      Grace, please come see us. If you have been battling acne and blackheads, stop oils. Reach us at 0724410910

  5. Grace December 5, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    How can one get these DIM dietary supplements please.

    • GREGORY December 6, 2018 at 9:38 am

      Grace, we have it in stock. Please read DIM with Vitex reviews and reach us at 0724410910

    • Kem August 7, 2019 at 5:42 pm

      Hi my case is not different from the above cases fighting blackheads will contact you for further inquiries on how I can get the DIM delivered

      • Greg August 8, 2019 at 11:41 am

        Sure. Call us at 0724410910

  6. Angela January 9, 2019 at 7:24 am

    I feel like using the contraceptive option because I had fibroids earlier and my uterus was removed. So no risk of ever getting pregnant. Any advice on this?

    • GREGORY January 9, 2019 at 3:05 pm

      While miracles happen, you can only get pregnant if you have a uterus. If you have had a hysterectomy done, you have no reasons to worry about getting pregnant, thus pointless to use contraceptives. A lot of times, when hysterectomy is done, they also tie and culturize the fallopian tubes. I hope this helps

  7. Edna January 21, 2019 at 12:21 am

    Hello. This is very informative. I have really suffered from painful acne breakouts that usually have pus and leave dark spots and have disfigured my face. The problem started during my teenage and has persisted to my 40s. I have tried 1001 topical products both commercial and herbal, done facials, pills etc to no avail. It is mainly prevalent on the cheeks and chin area and at times neck, chest and forehead. I even forgot how it felt like to have a clear smooth skin but really envy those who have. Kindly advise and assist. Thanks

  8. Winnie January 30, 2019 at 8:41 am

    Hello,am Winnie… Have had pimples since 2011 which breaks out in my face some very painful others painless but hard when you touch,I have tried many products but all in vain,I need your products but they seem to be very expensive to afford how can you help me?

    • GREGORY January 30, 2019 at 4:15 pm

      Hello Winnie,
      Thank you for reaching out. We are here to assist where we can. Let me start off by saying, while it may seem expensive to treat acne, buying just a 800 shillings cream (which we have in store) will only take care of the problem only at the time when you are using it and then go back to where you started. It turns out to be a more expensive approach (majority take this approach and they fail)

      In our case, we try to determine the ROOT CAUSE of your acne and deal with the root cause, rather than covering up the symptoms. Acne is a symptom of something deeper in your body.

      Recurrent acne that keeps coming back regardless which face product you use simply means, the problem is still there. It is not solved. Until you solve the root cause of the problem, expect more and more acne.

      Come see us for a free consultation. We might be able to help you figure out why all those products you have been trying are not working.

  9. Melissa marie March 5, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    Thankyou so much fot the article, its very informative.
    Am Melissa and am glad i ended up in this article, am in my early 20s and since i turned 18years have never enjoyed a flawless skin from oily skin to breakouts to pigmentation.. I visited a dermatologist at KNH at 2017, and like you said they put you on family planning medication and other pills, at first it worked but after sometime the acne recurred. The whole process was expensive ( consultation and medication) and i lost hope of ever having a smooth silky black face.
    There is nothing i haven’t used from baking soda,lemon, benzyol peroxide, tumeric,potatoes,tomatoes, no day passes without trying a new product, currently i bought a soap and its not helping at all, before that i had bought an acne kit which almost turned me into a frog.
    I need help please, i want to feel beautiful when with friends.. The acne is making me look older than i am.
    I would really appreciate if i get picked too.

    • Greg March 6, 2019 at 12:10 am

      First of all, I am sorry to hear your story of struggles with acne.
      Most of acne, as you read is hormonal and that explains why you were put on birth control pills. There are women who have a mild hormonal imbalance and others have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) that causes more severe acne (Cystic type) see Acne types here.

      Please contact us 9-5pm (Monday – Friday) at 0724410910 so we can address your case privately. Some questions can only be addressed privately

    • Agnes April 4, 2019 at 6:51 am

      Hi my name is Agnes, I’ve been butling with acne breakouts for 7 years now, severe acne one to be presice, they get painful sometimes and it’s all over my face, sometimes I get huge painful black spots, sometimes I have painful white heads and I’ve tried all topical creams and Suppliments like collagen all categories of collagen, I’ve tried taking fish oil Suppliments and even vitamin c , folic and vitamin b but nothing has changed, I’ve used steron but nothing works, I gave birth and I am into femiplan the v shaped one on my hand(can’t remember it’s name)and I think it might have triggered the severe acne, kindly advice.

      • Greg April 9, 2019 at 12:19 am

        Kindly call us at 0724410910. We’ll look at the right options for you

  10. Brandy April 20, 2019 at 7:58 am

    Thanks for this article was great, I have a problem with acne now is 10 yrs, I tried everything but when I stop it comes again .i have large pores and my skin produces alot of oil, I try to minimise them using masks. Currently am using klenzit-c combined with oral antibiotics,but still I have acne and very oily face.. Please advice me on what to do.Thanks

    • Greg May 1, 2019 at 1:17 pm

      Kindly come see us or call 0724410910. Sounds like something we might be able to take a different approach successfully

  11. loyce April 23, 2019 at 8:03 am

    Hello. i have suffered from acne since i was in high school and now am mid 20s. i have spent money buying all sorts of creams that i thought would work. thats the likes of la roche, vichy, benzyl peroxide, neutrogena, acne care n even others that i dont remember names of yet none has worked. i have blackheads on the face only and nothing seems to be working for me. sometimes i get painful pimples that feel like bumps. i have visited chemists like goodlife and many more. kindly assist

    • Greg May 1, 2019 at 1:13 pm

      Sorry to hear your struggles with acne. Could you please call us at 0724410910. We can help

  12. Leah wamboi July 6, 2019 at 9:59 am

    Hi. Am Leah. I have been suffering with acne since I entered puberty and now am 25years. This has made me to feel like am not beautiful like other girls. Sometimes I cry and tell God if only he could perfom a miracle and all of a sudden my acne disappears. I have tried all sorts of medications including antibiotics but no changes could be seen. What makes me feel bad is when people ask me, “:what happened to your face?”. “Try this product Leah”. I mean everyone always has an opinion of what product is good. I feel bad when they bring a discussion about my face. I would say that acne on my face has contributed to my low self esteem and whenever I look in the mirror I think am ugly although God reminds us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.Thanks for giving me a chance to share this. I have always wanted to share this with someone who wouldn’t judge me.

    • Greg July 12, 2019 at 6:10 am

      Thank you for Sharing, Leah.
      Yes, God made you as a beautiful being in His own image. Let no one discourage you or make you feel worthless. If you can get some time, come see us at Westlands. We can help. 0724410910

  13. Mary July 9, 2019 at 6:28 am

    Hello,Thank you so much for your article. I have suffered from Acne since 2009. I have under gone so many treatments that some brought short term solutions while others never worked at all. I have also taken an array of the birth control medication of which they ended up interfering with my cycle. A doctor had told me of Accutine and he explained in details of its side effects. I put it into consideration and i decided i first have a child then i go back to do the Accutine treatment. Apparently when I was pregnant my face cleared completely and I was only dealing with clearing spots and the acne scars that was told will never go away. But 6 months after delivery and my Acne is back though not quite severe as before but it is disturbing still.I have also noticed that it is during my menses that I have more bigger and painful break outs. I would really appreciate if you can assist.

    • Greg July 12, 2019 at 6:02 am

      Sorry to hear all that you have been through, Mary
      Avoid Accutane, before or even after having babies. It sounds more like a hormonal acne type. Call us at 0724410910. I would recommend a low dose progesterone cream with DIM

  14. Nasimiyu July 20, 2019 at 12:15 am


    My son has severe acne, and I’ve been in touch with you.

    Would like to know more about Acnetame as used to balance hormones.

    • Greg July 21, 2019 at 6:46 am

      Acnetame is not for balancing hormones. It targets inflammation on the skin. Men do not need to target their testosterone as it is only a temporary thing that should disappear with age. Avoid steroids use for treating acne.

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