Jump to content
Acne.org
Search In
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
jedisimon5

Acne Scars And Genetic Predisposition?

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone! For what I've read, the causes of acne are closely tied to genetic predisposition. I was wondering if facial scarring from acne, namely atrophic scarring is also a kind of genetic trait.

Focusing on my case, I can say that various elements of my family suffered from mild-to-moderate acne during their teen years. I did as well. But, oddly enough, I'm the only member of my family with facial atrophic scars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi. I'm happy to tell you that you have been misinformed. Acne is definitely not a genetic issue. My parents, grandparents, uncle, aunts, nieces, cousins -- they never had acne. But, I was the black sheep who was cursed with this phenomenon. It all starts with environment. In our generation, food additives, colorings, preservatives, GMO, antibiotics, ETC in our food is the main root cause. You are what you eat. If you eat crap, you'll look like crap. Your body pushes the CRAP OUT through our skin. Ever since I stoppped eating at places like Mcdonalds I noticed a HUGE DROP in acne...and when I started using natural remedies instead of shit like clearasil and proactiv, and replaced those with remedies known to work for thousands of years by our ancestors who suffered acne, I'm completely clear. I never thought it was possible. You'd look at me now and think I never had acne. Back then, I thought I'd never get rid of it. It all started when I bought this product about 7 years ago which showed me the light. It guided me exactly how to clear my face...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think people missunderstand genetic pre disposition.

No where in our genetics does it say ' this person should deveop acne' or 'this person should scar from acne', atrophic or hypertrophic or otherwise. I agree with the post above that environemental and dietary/lifestyle factors are responsable. HOWEVER as everyone is slightly different genetically, some people will be more effected by a certain stimulus than the next person.

Soooo.... on balance, looking for the genetic predisposition (which you cant change anyway) is likely to be a frustrating exercise, while treating the environemtnal, dietary and lifestyle factors is likely to bear fruit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cystic acne is absolutely genetic. Studies have consistently shown it runs in families, and pitted acne scars themselves are primarily caused by prolonged inflammation to the skin which results in loss of collagen and/or misaligned collagen. So, yes, since pitted acne scarring is caused by cystic acne it is technically genetic. Although there are also other factors. Don't listen to the pseudoscience some people spew on here about your body "pushing out toxins" through your skin. If your kidneys are functioning I can assure you there are no "toxins" polluting your skin. Just more nonsense to stigmatize a disease.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I understand correctly the previous post, the suggestion is that Cystic Acne itself is coded genetically. The human genome does not code disease. There is no section of the human genome which says - produce cystic acne -. That certain people have certain predisposition to excessive inflamation in certain circumstances, or less resistance to certain bacteria (for example) is another question. The strongest argument against genetics causing acne is that our ancestors did not have acne and we do. Our genes have not changed (genes take 100s of generations, thats 10s of thousands of years, to change), but our diet and lifestyle and environment have. The cause of acne, just like the cause of almost all chronic disease, is almost entirely diet, lifestyle and environmental.

I would also like to gently point out that Kidneys are a major remover of 'toxins' from the body. Those toxins can be the byproduct of our own metabolism or foreign substances that we could not process at all. The kidneys, however, eliminate 'water soluble' substances. Many toxins, particularly any of the petrochemical toxins like pesticides etc, are not soluble in water, they are instead 'lyposoluble - soluble in lipids (fat)' and are not at all eliminated by the kidneys. They are processed predominantly by the liver.

It is true that sweat glands are similar to kidney nephrons (that is the name for the microscopic functional units of the kidney) but sweat glands have nothing to do with acne. Acne is related to sebum glands which, like the liver, focus on fatty 'fat soluble' substances.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you think acne is not genetic you are KIDDING yourself!!! I ate very healthy my whole life, i.e. whole foods, vegetables, fruits. I always avoided fast food as much as I could and almost never drank crap like soda. Then at age 19, bam I got acne! Just like my dad and a lot of my other relatives did.

If you think it is caused strictly by diet and environment, then how do you explain the millions of people who eat like crap and do tons of drugs and still have flawless skin? Yes, I agree that they are not helping their skin by eating like crap, but they were not predisposed genetically to have inflamed skin caused by the sebaceous glands underneath.

To "PimplesarefromHell" you are really kidding yourself. So you stopped eating at McDonalds and your skin there ya go! No More Acne!! Hmmm if that was even remotely true then we'd have no more need for dermatologists right? Just stop going to McDonalds and your acne will go away! You've got to be freakin kidding me with that nonsense. Save those fairy tales for someone ignorant enough to believe that, not for real acne sufferers on here.

And to "Longtermsuffer10" when you say "The strongest argument against genetics causing acne is that our ancestors did not have acne and we do

." you are false as well. Our ancestors absolutely had acne. Just take a look at this article where it clearly states that the ancient Greeks mentioned acne in their writings. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2081863/pdf/procrsmed00581-0015.pdf

You people who think you can change your acne by changing your diet or environment need to wake up and smell the coffee. Our lives are controlled way more by genetics than anyone would ever want to think or believe. It's sad, but its true.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Obviously acne can be genetic for sure but its not always that way. Nobody in my entire family has ever had acne. I'm the only one out of all of us and I am from a huge family. One thing I realized though was that I was one of the very few out of all my relatives that was ever on the pill for an extended period of time. I never had acne until I started it and never thought much about it until I was forced to stop taking it 6 years ago. I think it just really screwed up my hormones permanently. I've been on spiro since December of 2012 and it works wonders I just wish i would have done things differently. Its tough though back in the mid 90's the copper IUD wasnt really a big thing like it is now. Too bad though!

Edited by tracy521

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Longtermsufferer, genetics are EXTREMELY complex and you're right that there is no single gene that directly causes cystic acne, but that's not to say there isn't a strong genetic component/predisposition to overproduction of oil, inflammation, bacteria etc - which are factors of cystic acne. I could go on about this all day but I've had this conversation so many times on here. Personally, I've never been one to eat a lot of junk food, and I have morbidly obese friends/family who dont exactly have a healthy diet and yet have flawless skin. In fact, I can't recall ever meeting an obese person with cystic acne, or at least not often enough for it to stick in my memory. If cystic acne was truly just diet and environment, we'd have the entire American population walking around with bad acne and that's not the case.

Edited by missamua

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is absolutely a genetic element to cystic acne, and by extension acne scarring. Of course, like all genetic predispositions, it can certainly be exacerbated by certain triggers, which for some may be certain foods and lifestyle choices. It's like having a propensity towards obesity, meaning that 2 different people can lead the same lifestyle and yet have very different outcomes. That said, I think in the case of severe cystic acne, there's no doubt in my mind that it is LARGELY genetic. My brother and sister both have flawless skin, and yet I inherited a disposition towards severe cystic acne while they never had any acne at all. Their skin is gorgeous and practically flawless. I, on the other hand, had to contend with severe cystic acne and what I'd consider pretty serious scarring. Everyone on my mother's side of the family had severe acne and varying levels of scarring.

I take issue with the notion that our genes do not code disease. Ask any woman who has the BRCA1 gene for breast cancer if they believe genetics play a large role in developing cancer. Ask a hemophiliac if their condition is caused by lifestyle. Ask anyone with Type 1 Diabetes, Tay Sachs, or any other inherited disease. Every one has heard how Angelina Jolie decided to have a double masectomy because she carries the gene and an 80% chance of dying from breast cancer if she did not take such drastic measures.

Further, people who develop acne scars, especially the severe kind, have been long suspected by doctors of having a defect in how their skin heals after acne inflammation. There are some people who get severe acne, and yet have hardly any scarring. With all this said, I certainly think I didn't do myself any favors by picking at my acne. I most likely would have scarred anyway, but it could have been less severe.

Edited by blahblah82

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You guys make some good points.... in my original post I stated that people confuse 'genetic cause' with 'genetic predisposition'.

I still think it's important to point out some common missconceptions, which I will do below, but with the goal of being helpful not making people angry.



If you think acne is not genetic you are KIDDING yourself!!! I ate very healthy my whole life, i.e. whole foods, vegetables, fruits. I always avoided fast food as much as I could and almost never drank crap like soda. Then at age 19, bam I got acne! Just like my dad and a lot of my other relatives did.

If you think it is caused strictly by diet and environment, then how do you explain the millions of people who eat like crap and do tons of drugs and still have flawless skin? Yes, I agree that they are not helping their skin by eating like crap, but they were not predisposed genetically to have inflamed skin caused by the sebaceous glands underneath.

To "PimplesarefromHell" you are really kidding yourself. So you stopped eating at McDonalds and your skin there ya go! No More Acne!! Hmmm if that was even remotely true then we'd have no more need for dermatologists right? Just stop going to McDonalds and your acne will go away! You've got to be freakin kidding me with that nonsense. Save those fairy tales for someone ignorant enough to believe that, not for real acne sufferers on here.

And to "Longtermsuffer10" when you say "The strongest argument against genetics causing acne is that our ancestors did not have acne and we do

." you are false as well. Our ancestors absolutely had acne. Just take a look at this article where it clearly states that the ancient Greeks mentioned acne in their writings. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2081863/pdf/procrsmed00581-0015.pdf

You people who think you can change your acne by changing your diet or environment need to wake up and smell the coffee. Our lives are controlled way more by genetics than anyone would ever want to think or believe. It's sad, but its true.

1) By 'our ancestors did not get acne' I am referring, of course, to hunter gather ancestors, not people in early parts of our civilisation. All 'civilised' peoples get acne... because the 'civilised' diet is not a hunter gather diet. A good example in modern history is the Australian Aborigines who had flawless skin until their hunter gatherer way of life was wiped out! Upon eating farmed and processed food they now have all the chronic disease of modernity.

2) I am really happy that you ate 'healthy' all your life... but you were not eating a 'hunter gatherer diet' - meaning that you were eating a modern diet or farmed and processed foods. Humans, in one form or another, have been around for something like 500,000 years... it is only the last 10,000 or so that we eat this way... and particularly in the last 50 years diets have changed to become almost unrecognizable from our early hunter gatherer ancestors. Our genetics are thoroughly adapted to the way we ate and lived for the great majority of our existence - the first 490,000 or so years.

3) Remember, I am not saying there is no genetic predisposition, but rather that the disease is not written into your code.



There is absolutely a genetic element to cystic acne, and by extension acne scarring. Of course, like all genetic predispositions, it can certainly be exacerbated by certain triggers, which for some may be certain foods and lifestyle choices. It's like having a propensity towards obesity, meaning that 2 different people can lead the same lifestyle and yet have very different outcomes. That said, I think in the case of severe cystic acne, there's no doubt in my mind that it is LARGELY genetic. My brother and sister both have flawless skin, and yet I inherited a disposition towards severe cystic acne while they never had any acne at all. Their skin is gorgeous and practically flawless. I, on the other hand, had to contend with severe cystic acne and what I'd consider pretty serious scarring. Everyone on my mother's side of the family had severe acne and varying levels of scarring.

I take issue with the notion that our genes do not code disease. Ask any woman who has the BRCA1 gene for breast cancer if they believe genetics play a large role in developing cancer. Ask a hemophiliac if their condition is caused by lifestyle. Ask anyone with Type 1 Diabetes, Tay Sachs, or any other inherited disease. Every one has heard how Angelina Jolie decided to have a double masectomy because she carries the gene and an 80% chance of dying from breast cancer if she did not take such drastic measures.

Further, people who develop acne scars, especially the severe kind, have been long suspected by doctors of having a defect in how their skin heals after acne inflammation. There are some people who get severe acne, and yet have hardly any scarring. With all this said, I certainly think I didn't do myself any favors by picking at my acne. I most likely would have scarred anyway, but it could have been less severe.

The great majority of Chronic disease are, indeed, almost purely diet, lifestyle and environement. However, there is a small percentage, something like 2-3 %, which are infact genetic erros... like hemophilia that you mention, or cystic fibrosis. I am glad you brought this up because THESE ARE INDEED GENETIC DISEASES! To illustrate these as genetic it is important to realize that ALL GENETIC DISEASE RESULT FROM THE MALFUNCTIONING OF A GENE WHICH NORMALLY CODES FOR HEALTH - these are normally spontaneous or inherited mutations. Predisposition means you have A FUNCTIONING GENE WHICH CODES FOR HEALTH but that is overwhelmed by the current circumstances... meaning diet, lifestyle and environment.

Anyway.. .complex as all this is,... I am not sure it is helping the guy who posted the original question....????

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So Longtermsufferer10, is it fair to say that if I had eaten the perfect "hunter gatherer" diet my whole life, I probably would not have developed acne despite genetics? I don't believe that would be the case, after all the years of my ancestors eating processed food was engraved into my genes. I don't think there's anyone out there today eating a totally "hunter gatherer" diet but it would be interesting to observe. It's just frustrating to see people who eat particularly crappy (soda everyday, drugs, candy, ice cream) and they never had to worry about acne.

With all this awareness about breast cancer, diabetes, ALS, does anyone ever think what it would be like if they had acne awareness day? lol I think this actually would be more embarrassing than helpful...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's 100% genetic in that you are genetically predisposed to getting acne because of skin inflammation etc. I think acne is poorly understood even by the medical community. I believe that acne isn't just one condition. There are many types of skin inflammation and triggers that cause your skin to develop nodules/cysts as an immune response.


A further complication comes from relativity. I've seen people who say they are breaking out bad and it's NOTHING compared to an actual bad breakout. So when they say they changed their lifestyle to fix the "bad breakout" they are misleading those of us who get the real deal.


Ultimately, you can pamper yourself and your skin in order to reduce the chances of getting acne, but that isn't a cure because it's not targeting the source; your genes. If you can simply change your diet and lifestyle and "cure" your acne without things like accutane or doxycycline, then I seriously doubt you actually have bad skin. If you did you'd have to admit there's something going on inside your body that is not right and causing these horrible red bumps.

Edited by cycloverid

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I honestly believe it's both. The best argument would be made by comparing skin toxicity, disease etc - from derived dietary pattrrns from populations around the world to ours. Go to Japan or Eastern Europe for example, acne is basically nonexistent.

Edited by Robertitoo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me it's 100% genetics. I've tried everything: diet, lifestyle, dermatologists.

I have friends that drink, smoke, eat unhealthy foods, live in dirtier environments than me and have near perfect skin in their 30s.

Basically what I'm telling you is that for those with bad acne it's best to just accept it. The amount of money and effort I'd have to invest for a tiny improvement is ridiculous. And drastically changing my diet and altering my lifestyle would lower my quality of life, as it did in the past when I tried it.

I could tell that I was a very weak child when I was growing up. I was doomed from the start. I have lived such an underprivileged life...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I honestly believe it's both. The best argument would be made by comparing skin toxicity, disease etc - from derived dietary pattrrns from populations around the world to ours. Go to Japan or Eastern Europe for example, acne is basically nonexistent.

Actually, since the adoption of a more western diet, acne is now very common in Japan and Asia. In just 50 years this has been a substantial change from virtuall yno acne to acne being very frequency. It is not that the DNA 'recipe' for making a Japanese has changed. It is that the ingredients being used in the recipe have changed. THe Recipe is fine.. ..just no designed for these inputs.

Edited by longtermsufferer10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's 100% genetic in that you are genetically predisposed to getting acne because of skin inflammation etc. I think acne is poorly understood even by the medical community. I believe that acne isn't just one condition. There are many types of skin inflammation and triggers that cause your skin to develop nodules/cysts as an immune response.

A further complication comes from relativity. I've seen people who say they are breaking out bad and it's NOTHING compared to an actual bad breakout. So when they say they changed their lifestyle to fix the "bad breakout" they are misleading those of us who get the real deal.

Ultimately, you can pamper yourself and your skin in order to reduce the chances of getting acne, but that isn't a cure because it's not targeting the source; your genes. If you can simply change your diet and lifestyle and "cure" your acne without things like accutane or doxycycline, then I seriously doubt you actually have bad skin. If you did you'd have to admit there's something going on inside your body that is not right and causing these horrible red bumps.

You brought up a very good point, many people over exaggerate how bad their acne is. I've noticed this a lot with people who have claimed vegan, organic, gluten free etc cured their acne (I've heard just about every fad diet can cure acne at this point). I remember months back someone posting a link to a vegan blogger who claimed her "severe cystic acne and scars" vanished after dieting. Then you see her pictures, both before and after, and she never had noticeable acne to begin with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm using Accutane right now, on my 3rd month, and haven't got any pimples in over a month now. That's the first time I could say that in the last three years. My question is why more people don't use Accutane? Yes, I know the potential side effects, but after doing research, there's no substantial proof that any of these long term side effects were a direct result of using Accutane, and that they wouldn't have just happened anyway. My only regret now is not getting on Accutane sooner. After about a year of trying creams and antibiotics with no improvement I think it's pretty clear that nothing else will work but Accutane.

I just feel like most people don't do enough research on things, and when they hear one horror story, they immediately eliminate a it as an option. That's just being ignorant. People complain that there is no cure for acne. Well Accutane seems to be the closest thing to it.. Some people complain that their acne returns about 10 years later. Well aren't you happy it bought you all the time of freedom? And most likely if it does return it won't be as bad because you'll be older and you're hormones and whatnot are more under control. I'm only 3 months into Accutane, still not perfect, but at least I'm not embarrassed to go out in public anymore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm using Accutane right now, on my 3rd month, and haven't got any pimples in over a month now. That's the first time I could say that in the last three years. My question is why more people don't use Accutane? Yes, I know the potential side effects, but after doing research, there's no substantial proof that any of these long term side effects were a direct result of using Accutane, and that they wouldn't have just happened anyway. My only regret now is not getting on Accutane sooner. After about a year of trying creams and antibiotics with no improvement I think it's pretty clear that nothing else will work but Accutane.

I just feel like most people don't do enough research on things, and when they hear one horror story, they immediately eliminate a it as an option. That's just being ignorant. People complain that there is no cure for acne. Well Accutane seems to be the closest thing to it.. Some people complain that their acne returns about 10 years later. Well aren't you happy it bought you all the time of freedom? And most likely if it does return it won't be as bad because you'll be older and you're hormones and whatnot are more under control. I'm only 3 months into Accutane, still not perfect, but at least I'm not embarrassed to go out in public anymore.

I was one of the unlucky ones it didn't work for. I went on two courses of 60-80 mg (I only weighed 115lbs when I took it) and it worked only while on it. Three months after both times my acne came back just as bad. Now I use the regimen to keep my acne under control. Although it isnt perfect, it's the second best thing I've tried in my 8 years of cysts.

It worked for several family members and two of my friends, though. Just my luck.

Edited by missamua

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Missamua, you are speaking the TRUTH. I'm all for natural living, but I have noticed the exact same thing with these health / holistic super militant, vegan types who ALWAYS exaggerate their supposed health issues.

What I think is happening is that

1) these people want to push an agenda and exaggerate to build a more convincing case for their world view

2) They attract a particular kind of person that is distrustful of the medical community at large

Theses are the same kinds of people who refuse to have their children be vaccinated because of unproven fears of health problems like Autism. They are super militant and just attack anyone that asks them to back up their claims with cold, hard empirical evidence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Missamua, you are speaking the TRUTH. I'm all for natural living, but I have noticed the exact same thing with these health / holistic super militant, vegan types who ALWAYS exaggerate their supposed health issues.

What I think is happening is that

1) these people want to push an agenda and exaggerate to build a more convincing case for their world view

2) They attract a particular kind of person that is distrustful of the medical community at large

Theses are the same kinds of people who refuse to have their children be vaccinated because of unproven fears of health problems like Autism. They are super militant and just attack anyone that asks them to back up their claims with cold, hard empirical evidence.

Yes.... those militant Vegans.... very dangerous for the world!!

(sarcasm)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Missamua, you are speaking the TRUTH. I'm all for natural living, but I have noticed the exact same thing with these health / holistic super militant, vegan types who ALWAYS exaggerate their supposed health issues.

What I think is happening is that

1) these people want to push an agenda and exaggerate to build a more convincing case for their world view

2) They attract a particular kind of person that is distrustful of the medical community at large

Theses are the same kinds of people who refuse to have their children be vaccinated because of unproven fears of health problems like Autism. They are super militant and just attack anyone that asks them to back up their claims with cold, hard empirical evidence.

Yes.... those militant Vegans.... very dangerous for the world!!

(sarcasm)

Misinformation can be dangerous and really shouldn't be taken lightly. Look at the anti-vaccer movement, global warming denouncers or any religious movement, etc, etc, etc. We should always strive to apply science to everything we do and eliminate ignorance and misinformation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Missamua, you are speaking the TRUTH. I'm all for natural living, but I have noticed the exact same thing with these health / holistic super militant, vegan types who ALWAYS exaggerate their supposed health issues.

What I think is happening is that

1) these people want to push an agenda and exaggerate to build a more convincing case for their world view

2) They attract a particular kind of person that is distrustful of the medical community at large

Theses are the same kinds of people who refuse to have their children be vaccinated because of unproven fears of health problems like Autism. They are super militant and just attack anyone that asks them to back up their claims with cold, hard empirical evidence.

Yes.... those militant Vegans.... very dangerous for the world!!

(sarcasm)

Misinformation can be dangerous and really shouldn't be taken lightly. Look at the anti-vaccer movement, global warming denouncers or any religious movement, etc, etc, etc. We should always strive to apply science to everything we do and eliminate ignorance and misinformation.

Let's just agree people can have different life experiences and opinions and still be valid and useful in the greater scheme of things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Missamua, you are speaking the TRUTH. I'm all for natural living, but I have noticed the exact same thing with these health / holistic super militant, vegan types who ALWAYS exaggerate their supposed health issues.

What I think is happening is that

1) these people want to push an agenda and exaggerate to build a more convincing case for their world view

2) They attract a particular kind of person that is distrustful of the medical community at large

Theses are the same kinds of people who refuse to have their children be vaccinated because of unproven fears of health problems like Autism. They are super militant and just attack anyone that asks them to back up their claims with cold, hard empirical evidence.

Exactly. I see these people on my Facebook all the time, go to their profile and see theirs "likes" and...shocker, they're anti gmo, gluten, vaccines, the list goes on. I get being skeptical of the medical community/pharmaceutical industry to some extent, but a lot of these people are seriously a cult.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Personalized Advice Quiz - All of Acne.org in just a few minutes

×