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The Evolutionary Biology Behind Acne

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Does anyone have any theories? we all know acne has a strong genetic component but the question is why would it be selected. I've heard the theory that acne is meant to keep the opposite sex away through youth in order to prevent pregnancy until the person is an adult but I've always found that ridiculous as many, many people carry acne into adulthood and beyond so the theory doesn't add up. Why do you think this trait exists?

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I'm not sure is there even is a purpose for acne. If it serves any purpose I think it would be to indicate that something is not right internally. I tend to think that our skin is supposed to be more like the primitive people still around who do not get acne.

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I think acne is a particularly interesting malady because it occurs mainly during adolescence, which is probably the most crucial time of one's life (if we're thinking about a paleolithic group of humans). As a young adolescent, your mother is no longer directly caring for you, and you don't have the strength or knowledge that you need to hunt or gather for yourself, so you need to make social alliances. Acne makes this much harder - in a paleolithic group, perhaps even close to impossible. I could even see it being so devastating to one's overall fitness (survival and reproduction) that it would be heavily selected against and disappear within a couple generations. But this is not the case; acne is still very much a part of many people's lives, so it must have had a gigantic benefit, one that would overcome the devastating shortage of social relationships at such a crucial stage of development.

There are two possible options that would make acne - and thus a lack of social relationships - a benefit. The first is that the lack of social relationships increases survival of kin by 'warning them away'. That is, by displaying spots, your body is telling others to stay away, or something bad might happen to them - they might pick up a disease, for example. The second option is that acne was a fleeting thing; it might happen here and there as a reaction to certain bad things, again a warning to others, but not a warning to 'stay away' - more a warning to not eat what you ate, or do the behavior that you did.

In neither case does acne occur chronically in a healthy individual. It simply wouldn't make sense if it did, and indeed we see in tribes all over the world that stick with traditional lifestyles a peculiar lack of acne, even during adolescence.

There's a possibility that modern circumstances are changing the conditions under which acne occurs; as in, we might not be sick, but because we're being exposed to a combination of chemicals or proteins in a particular way, our bodies think we are sick. There are a lot of novel chemicals and proteins (looking at you, GM foods) that could interact with our immensely complex immune systems in any number of ways. 90% of us have detectable levels of BPA in our blood, for example. Just think, for a moment, what other chemicals our bodies could hold, and how those chemicals are interacting, and then interacting again with our own enzymes. We don't have computers powerful enough to model the possible interactions, even if we had an algorithm. This is what's truly frightening.

Anyways, the theory that acne is meant to keep the opposite sex away (as if that's a good thing?) is trash, if humans weren't meant to have sex at puberty we wouldn't be fertile at puberty. Failure to deliver children safely is largely an outcome of terrible diets, epigenetics, and lack of selection that we've had for the last 12,000 years. (On a side note, apparently there was a study done in some hunter-gatherer tribe wherein they found that the females had a hormonal spike that prevented them from getting pregnant until 15 even if they had sex (and they did have sex). This is absent in industrialized nations, of course, maybe due to an interesting interplay between diet and xenoestrogens (such as BPA)?)

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Does anyone have any theories? we all know acne has a strong genetic component but the question is why would it be selected. I've heard the theory that acne is meant to keep the opposite sex away through youth in order to prevent pregnancy until the person is an adult but I've always found that ridiculous as many, many people carry acne into adulthood and beyond so the theory doesn't add up. Why do you think this trait exists?


Status: Clear after 30 years. Wow, I guess it's been 6 years, now.

[ Story: Severe Acne since I was 10. 10+ years of Dermatologists, Antibiotics, topicals and ACCUTANE did nothing. Discovered oranges triggered the worst of my cystic acne = about 70% improvement. Tried some nutrient supplements like B-complex with zinc and C, saw palmetto and a BHA like the aspirin mask = more improvement, a lot less oily. Then, Diet changes = Clear.

Regimen: Anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense, blood sugar stabilizing diet and supplements (for hormones, inflammation, aging, health). No soap or other cleanser except for hand washing! Water only or Oil cleanse. Aloe Vera mixed with niacinimide and a high linoleic acid oil for moisturizer and reduce pigmentation.

Diet effects acne in so many ways: hormone balance, inflammation, Insulin levels, digestion, allergies and intolerances, liver function, adrenal function, SHBG levels, sebum quality, cell function and turnover, nutrient deficiencies, body fat, etc. Basic advice: Eat, sleep, supplement and exercise like you are a diabetic. And eat real food!

For more information, see my Good Things for Acne thread *Moderator edit - Please refer to the board rules (see “Advertising/soliciting”, “Linking” and “Signatures”)*

When you eat stuff, Stuff Happens!


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I am one that is totally convinced that acne is a Autoimmune Disease and that would suggest that a single Gene is responsible. There are new blood tests on the way that will connect a Gene to a Disease to a Environmental Trigger. The DNA testing done by 23andMe can tell what allergic reaction you will have to a specific medication. All this info is in our DNA, they just have to let the people know.


"Genetics load the gun, environment pulls the trigger"


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imo acne has nothing to do with evolution, it's just a hormonal imbalance. could be triggered by many factors (including psychological devepment) as alambicated the ways of hormones are.

just 2 quick notes:

1. nobody in my family, brother/parents/grandparents ever had acne

2. statements like "the tribe people", "ancient", "isolated", "uncivilised" don't have acne make me want to have "acme". you just can't know if they have/had acne or not.

although, there are ancient writings about acne, so they had acne..


today Putin is trying to steal our land! and no, i'm not referring to Crimea, but to a part of Moldova!


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imo acne has nothing to do with evolution, it's just a hormonal imbalance. could be triggered by many factors (including psychological devepment) as alambicated the ways of hormones are.

just 2 quick notes:

1. nobody in my family, brother/parents/grandparents ever had acne

2. statements like "the tribe people", "ancient", "isolated", "uncivilised" don't have acne make me want to have "acme". you just can't know if they have/had acne or not.

although, there are ancient writings about acne, so they had acne..


today Putin is trying to steal our land! and no, i'm not referring to Crimea, but to a part of Moldova!


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imo acne has nothing to do with evolution, it's just a hormonal imbalance. could be triggered by many factors (including psychological devepment) as alambicated the ways of hormones are.

just 2 quick notes:

1. nobody in my family, brother/parents/grandparents ever had acne

2. statements like "the tribe people", "ancient", "isolated", "uncivilised" don't have acne make me want to have "acme". you just can't know if they have/had acne or not.

although, there are ancient writings about acne, so they had acne..

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imo acne has nothing to do with evolution, it's just a hormonal imbalance. could be triggered by many factors (including psychological devepment) as alambicated the ways of hormones are.

just 2 quick notes:

1. nobody in my family, brother/parents/grandparents ever had acne

2. statements like "the tribe people", "ancient", "isolated", "uncivilised" don't have acne make me want to have "acme". you just can't know if they have/had acne or not.

although, there are ancient writings about acne, so they had acne..

Acne is not a hormonal imbalance, most acne patients have hormones in the normal range.


today Putin is trying to steal our land! and no, i'm not referring to Crimea, but to a part of Moldova!


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don't you also think food is different today, than what our grandparents ate? some of us are prone to acne of course, but GMO and chemically processed foods don't help

allergies are on the rise too...food is very different today, and not a good different....

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don't you also think food is different today, than what our grandparents ate? some of us are prone to acne of course, but GMO and chemically processed foods don't help

allergies are on the rise too...food is very different today, and not a good different....


today Putin is trying to steal our land! and no, i'm not referring to Crimea, but to a part of Moldova!


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imo acne has nothing to do with evolution, it's just a hormonal imbalance. could be triggered by many factors (including psychological devepment) as alambicated the ways of hormones are.

just 2 quick notes:

1. nobody in my family, brother/parents/grandparents ever had acne

2. statements like "the tribe people", "ancient", "isolated", "uncivilised" don't have acne make me want to have "acme". you just can't know if they have/had acne or not.

although, there are ancient writings about acne, so they had acne..

Acne is not a hormonal imbalance, most acne patients have hormones in the normal range.

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imo acne has nothing to do with evolution, it's just a hormonal imbalance. could be triggered by many factors (including psychological devepment) as alambicated the ways of hormones are.

just 2 quick notes:

1. nobody in my family, brother/parents/grandparents ever had acne

2. statements like "the tribe people", "ancient", "isolated", "uncivilised" don't have acne make me want to have "acme". you just can't know if they have/had acne or not.

although, there are ancient writings about acne, so they had acne..

Acne is not a hormonal imbalance, most acne patients have hormones in the normal range.

"Can I get a test that will tell me if DHT is causing my acne?

No. Medical testing for a sensitivity to DHT does not exist. You can get a test on your testosterone levels. Some people with acne actually have higher levels of androgens. But some have "normal" levels of androgens, yet still manifest symptoms."

i'm quoting green gabbles lol.

the last derm that i saw on tv talking about acne said acne is a homonal imbalance.

she also said for women giving birth may create acne or eliminate it, but i'm repeating myself too often with this


today Putin is trying to steal our land! and no, i'm not referring to Crimea, but to a part of Moldova!


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I am one that is totally convinced that acne is a Autoimmune Disease and that would suggest that a single Gene is responsible. There are new blood tests on the way that will connect a Gene to a Disease to a Environmental Trigger. The DNA testing done by 23andMe can tell what allergic reaction you will have to a specific medication. All this info is in our DNA, they just have to let the people know.


Status: Clear after 30 years. Wow, I guess it's been 6 years, now.

[ Story: Severe Acne since I was 10. 10+ years of Dermatologists, Antibiotics, topicals and ACCUTANE did nothing. Discovered oranges triggered the worst of my cystic acne = about 70% improvement. Tried some nutrient supplements like B-complex with zinc and C, saw palmetto and a BHA like the aspirin mask = more improvement, a lot less oily. Then, Diet changes = Clear.

Regimen: Anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense, blood sugar stabilizing diet and supplements (for hormones, inflammation, aging, health). No soap or other cleanser except for hand washing! Water only or Oil cleanse. Aloe Vera mixed with niacinimide and a high linoleic acid oil for moisturizer and reduce pigmentation.

Diet effects acne in so many ways: hormone balance, inflammation, Insulin levels, digestion, allergies and intolerances, liver function, adrenal function, SHBG levels, sebum quality, cell function and turnover, nutrient deficiencies, body fat, etc. Basic advice: Eat, sleep, supplement and exercise like you are a diabetic. And eat real food!

For more information, see my Good Things for Acne thread *Moderator edit - Please refer to the board rules (see “Advertising/soliciting”, “Linking” and “Signatures”)*

When you eat stuff, Stuff Happens!


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imo acne has nothing to do with evolution, it's just a hormonal imbalance. could be triggered by many factors (including psychological devepment) as alambicated the ways of hormones are.

just 2 quick notes:

1. nobody in my family, brother/parents/grandparents ever had acne

2. statements like "the tribe people", "ancient", "isolated", "uncivilised" don't have acne make me want to have "acme". you just can't know if they have/had acne or not.

although, there are ancient writings about acne, so they had acne..

Acne is not a hormonal imbalance, most acne patients have hormones in the normal range.


Status: Clear after 30 years. Wow, I guess it's been 6 years, now.

[ Story: Severe Acne since I was 10. 10+ years of Dermatologists, Antibiotics, topicals and ACCUTANE did nothing. Discovered oranges triggered the worst of my cystic acne = about 70% improvement. Tried some nutrient supplements like B-complex with zinc and C, saw palmetto and a BHA like the aspirin mask = more improvement, a lot less oily. Then, Diet changes = Clear.

Regimen: Anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense, blood sugar stabilizing diet and supplements (for hormones, inflammation, aging, health). No soap or other cleanser except for hand washing! Water only or Oil cleanse. Aloe Vera mixed with niacinimide and a high linoleic acid oil for moisturizer and reduce pigmentation.

Diet effects acne in so many ways: hormone balance, inflammation, Insulin levels, digestion, allergies and intolerances, liver function, adrenal function, SHBG levels, sebum quality, cell function and turnover, nutrient deficiencies, body fat, etc. Basic advice: Eat, sleep, supplement and exercise like you are a diabetic. And eat real food!

For more information, see my Good Things for Acne thread *Moderator edit - Please refer to the board rules (see “Advertising/soliciting”, “Linking” and “Signatures”)*

When you eat stuff, Stuff Happens!


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I am one that is totally convinced that acne is a Autoimmune Disease and that would suggest that a single Gene is responsible. There are new blood tests on the way that will connect a Gene to a Disease to a Environmental Trigger. The DNA testing done by 23andMe can tell what allergic reaction you will have to a specific medication. All this info is in our DNA, they just have to let the people know.

In my research I've encountered numerous gene/enzyme mutations that affect various factors involved in how skin cells proliferate & exfoliate that have been found to be different in problem prone skin. Also, they've discovered that we tend to have a different, less beneficial species of P. acnes bacteria. I have a thread listing the various differences between 'us' and 'them' that I've found.

imo acne has nothing to do with evolution, it's just a hormonal imbalance. could be triggered by many factors (including psychological devepment) as alambicated the ways of hormones are.

just 2 quick notes:

1. nobody in my family, brother/parents/grandparents ever had acne

2. statements like "the tribe people", "ancient", "isolated", "uncivilised" don't have acne make me want to have "acme". you just can't know if they have/had acne or not.

although, there are ancient writings about acne, so they had acne..


"Genetics load the gun, environment pulls the trigger"


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Everyone carries the "acne gene" , most people, however, do not encounter their trigger.


Status: Clear after 30 years. Wow, I guess it's been 6 years, now.

[ Story: Severe Acne since I was 10. 10+ years of Dermatologists, Antibiotics, topicals and ACCUTANE did nothing. Discovered oranges triggered the worst of my cystic acne = about 70% improvement. Tried some nutrient supplements like B-complex with zinc and C, saw palmetto and a BHA like the aspirin mask = more improvement, a lot less oily. Then, Diet changes = Clear.

Regimen: Anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense, blood sugar stabilizing diet and supplements (for hormones, inflammation, aging, health). No soap or other cleanser except for hand washing! Water only or Oil cleanse. Aloe Vera mixed with niacinimide and a high linoleic acid oil for moisturizer and reduce pigmentation.

Diet effects acne in so many ways: hormone balance, inflammation, Insulin levels, digestion, allergies and intolerances, liver function, adrenal function, SHBG levels, sebum quality, cell function and turnover, nutrient deficiencies, body fat, etc. Basic advice: Eat, sleep, supplement and exercise like you are a diabetic. And eat real food!

For more information, see my Good Things for Acne thread *Moderator edit - Please refer to the board rules (see “Advertising/soliciting”, “Linking” and “Signatures”)*

When you eat stuff, Stuff Happens!


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Everyone carries the "acne gene" , most people, however, do not encounter their trigger.

Maybe. Because the issue isn't necessarily the genes. Turns out after all the mapping was done, we don't have that many genes. It's the enzymes. And they are switched on and off by what you do to yourself or by what your parents did and then are passed down to you. In the study involving epigenetics & diabetes prone people, they found it took a few generations for the switch back to 'normal.'

Here's the thread:


"Genetics load the gun, environment pulls the trigger"


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Everyone carries the "acne gene" , most people, however, do not encounter their trigger.

Maybe. Because the issue isn't necessarily the genes. Turns out after all the mapping was done, we don't have that many genes. It's the enzymes. And they are switched on and off by what you do to yourself or by what your parents did and then are passed down to you. In the study involving epigenetics & diabetes prone people, they found it took a few generations for the switch back to 'normal.'

Here's the thread:


Status: Clear after 30 years. Wow, I guess it's been 6 years, now.

[ Story: Severe Acne since I was 10. 10+ years of Dermatologists, Antibiotics, topicals and ACCUTANE did nothing. Discovered oranges triggered the worst of my cystic acne = about 70% improvement. Tried some nutrient supplements like B-complex with zinc and C, saw palmetto and a BHA like the aspirin mask = more improvement, a lot less oily. Then, Diet changes = Clear.

Regimen: Anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense, blood sugar stabilizing diet and supplements (for hormones, inflammation, aging, health). No soap or other cleanser except for hand washing! Water only or Oil cleanse. Aloe Vera mixed with niacinimide and a high linoleic acid oil for moisturizer and reduce pigmentation.

Diet effects acne in so many ways: hormone balance, inflammation, Insulin levels, digestion, allergies and intolerances, liver function, adrenal function, SHBG levels, sebum quality, cell function and turnover, nutrient deficiencies, body fat, etc. Basic advice: Eat, sleep, supplement and exercise like you are a diabetic. And eat real food!

For more information, see my Good Things for Acne thread *Moderator edit - Please refer to the board rules (see “Advertising/soliciting”, “Linking” and “Signatures”)*

When you eat stuff, Stuff Happens!


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Everyone carries the "acne gene" , most people, however, do not encounter their trigger.

Maybe. Because the issue isn't necessarily the genes. Turns out after all the mapping was done, we don't have that many genes. It's the enzymes. And they are switched on and off by what you do to yourself or by what your parents did and then are passed down to you. In the study involving epigenetics & diabetes prone people, they found it took a few generations for the switch back to 'normal.'

Here's the thread:

Again, you are probably right. Our tendencies are a unknown.

In a article in Diabetes Forecast, researchers announced that they "turned off" the Diabetes Gene in mice which ended their Diabetes. In another article, they tested 2000 babies in which both parents where Diabetic and found not only do the babies carry the Autoimmune ab's in Diabetes, their trigger is Gluten (wheat). Lots of research is pointing not only to Genes but our DNA as the determining factor for what Genes are "turned on" . Also, our DNA is determining our Food Allergies (sensitivities) . I'm also finding this in what I do.


"Genetics load the gun, environment pulls the trigger"


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Everyone carries the "acne gene" , most people, however, do not encounter their trigger.

Maybe. Because the issue isn't necessarily the genes. Turns out after all the mapping was done, we don't have that many genes. It's the enzymes. And they are switched on and off by what you do to yourself or by what your parents did and then are passed down to you. In the study involving epigenetics & diabetes prone people, they found it took a few generations for the switch back to 'normal.'

Here's the thread:

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Everyone carries the "acne gene" , most people, however, do not encounter their trigger.

Maybe. Because the issue isn't necessarily the genes. Turns out after all the mapping was done, we don't have that many genes. It's the enzymes. And they are switched on and off by what you do to yourself or by what your parents did and then are passed down to you. In the study involving epigenetics & diabetes prone people, they found it took a few generations for the switch back to 'normal.'

Here's the thread:


"Genetics load the gun, environment pulls the trigger"


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Everyone carries the "acne gene" , most people, however, do not encounter their trigger.

Maybe. Because the issue isn't necessarily the genes. Turns out after all the mapping was done, we don't have that many genes. It's the enzymes. And they are switched on and off by what you do to yourself or by what your parents did and then are passed down to you. In the study involving epigenetics & diabetes prone people, they found it took a few generations for the switch back to 'normal.'

Here's the thread:

What about those with the Huntington's gene or other dreaded genetic disorders? That can't really be switched off or can it? I'm curious.

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Everyone carries the "acne gene" , most people, however, do not encounter their trigger.

Maybe. Because the issue isn't necessarily the genes. Turns out after all the mapping was done, we don't have that many genes. It's the enzymes. And they are switched on and off by what you do to yourself or by what your parents did and then are passed down to you. In the study involving epigenetics & diabetes prone people, they found it took a few generations for the switch back to 'normal.'

Here's the thread:

What about those with the Huntington's gene or other dreaded genetic disorders? That can't really be switched off or can it? I'm curious.


Status: Clear after 30 years. Wow, I guess it's been 6 years, now.

[ Story: Severe Acne since I was 10. 10+ years of Dermatologists, Antibiotics, topicals and ACCUTANE did nothing. Discovered oranges triggered the worst of my cystic acne = about 70% improvement. Tried some nutrient supplements like B-complex with zinc and C, saw palmetto and a BHA like the aspirin mask = more improvement, a lot less oily. Then, Diet changes = Clear.

Regimen: Anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense, blood sugar stabilizing diet and supplements (for hormones, inflammation, aging, health). No soap or other cleanser except for hand washing! Water only or Oil cleanse. Aloe Vera mixed with niacinimide and a high linoleic acid oil for moisturizer and reduce pigmentation.

Diet effects acne in so many ways: hormone balance, inflammation, Insulin levels, digestion, allergies and intolerances, liver function, adrenal function, SHBG levels, sebum quality, cell function and turnover, nutrient deficiencies, body fat, etc. Basic advice: Eat, sleep, supplement and exercise like you are a diabetic. And eat real food!

For more information, see my Good Things for Acne thread *Moderator edit - Please refer to the board rules (see “Advertising/soliciting”, “Linking” and “Signatures”)*

When you eat stuff, Stuff Happens!


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Everyone carries the "acne gene" , most people, however, do not encounter their trigger.

Maybe. Because the issue isn't necessarily the genes. Turns out after all the mapping was done, we don't have that many genes. It's the enzymes. And they are switched on and off by what you do to yourself or by what your parents did and then are passed down to you. In the study involving epigenetics & diabetes prone people, they found it took a few generations for the switch back to 'normal.'

Here's the thread:

What about those with the Huntington's gene or other dreaded genetic disorders? That can't really be switched off or can it? I'm curious.


"Genetics load the gun, environment pulls the trigger"


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