What Causes Acne – Theory or Fact

What causes acne? This is the explanation from the NHS website as of 2017:

“Acne is caused when tiny holes in the skin, known as hair follicles, become blocked.

Sebaceous glands are tiny glands found near the surface of your skin. The glands are attached to hair follicles, which are small holes in your skin that an individual hair grows out of.

Sebaceous glands lubricate the hair and the skin to stop it drying out. They do this by producing an oily substance called sebum.

In acne, the glands begin to produce too much sebum. The excess sebum mixes with dead skin cells and both substances form a plug in the follicle.

If the plugged follicle is close to the surface of the skin, it bulges outwards, creating a whitehead. Alternatively, the plugged follicle can be open to the skin, creating a blackhead.

Normally harmless bacteria that live on the skin can then contaminate and infect the plugged follicles, causing papules, pustules, nodules or cysts.”

Having studied the various causes of acne for 25 years and having worked with over 2000 patients I can categorically state that the above information provided by the NHS is incorrect.

Doctors are also questioning this theory

Around 7 years ago when I was working in Glasgow a doctor from England flew up to see me to see if I could clear her skin. My patient had tried everything, drugs, medicated lotions, diets – nothing worked. I quickly identified with the type of spots that were appearing that she was unable to digest fat and lactose. I set out a plan and she was able to clear her skin in 7 days. She was delighted but she was confused.

When she returned to her hospital she discussed the outcome with some fellow doctors who decided to conduct some research as to the origin of what the NHS had come to believe as to the cause of acne. Their findings?

Their findings indicated that around 1950s some doctors came up with a theory as to what causes acne.  Research into what causes acne stopped as doctors concluded that they would treat acne in accordance with this theory.

If there was one cause of acne – there would be one solution

If you think about it, it is clearly evident that the above theory is incorrect because the internet is full of advice about acne showing that what works for one person does not always work for another. Therefore it is obvious that there are many different causes.

In the medical world, even amongst alternative practitioners many continue to run with the above theory as they too believe it to be factual. This is stopping millions of people from clearing their skin.

In a more serious note, even though certain acne drugs can clear skin, albeit for a limited time, they are not addressing the actual cause of acne, which is why acne keeps on returning. In many cases this is leading to far more serious health issues such as stomach ulcers, IBS, depression, strokes, heart attacks to name but a few.

I work with facts not theories – Fact:

  • What causes acne can differ from person to person.
  • A clogged follicle such as a blackhead or small whitehead does not turn into any other type of spot.
  • Bacteria living on the skin does not cause cysts or any other type of spot

Alternative practitioners often work with their own theories

  • Dairy can cause specific spots for some people but all acne is not caused by dairy intolerance.  Dairy intolerance can be resolved with some very simple steps.
  • Gluten on rare occasions when the digestion system has broken down can cause tiny spots but this is rare. Gluten however when the digestion system has broken down can cause fatigue/stress.
  • A clean diet for some can benefit the skin but for others it can make very little difference because the cause of their acne is not diet related.
  • Some supplements such as zinc can look to cause acne but in reality it is not the zinc, it is the condition of the stomach.

You Tube – Acne Diaries

  • Those who share their acne diaries with the use of Roaccutane are misleading people into believing that this is a wonder drug.  Roaccutane in reality seals the pores of the skin to stop the body from excreting substances that form into spots. Roaccutane does not address the root cause of acne. The majority of my patients prior to coming to my clinic have used this drug 2-3 times with only short term results.
  • The contraceptive pill can be beneficial for some but for others whose body retains excess sodium, the contraceptive pill can lead to a stroke, increase the risk of breast cancer and death.
  • Pustules can be stopped relatively quickly with the use of antibiotics. The effect is only ever short term and the type of antibiotic will need to be changed regularly. The use of antibiotics wipes out the immune system, interferes with digestion, can damage the stomach lining, can cause leather like skin and can discolour teeth. The over use of antibiotics is well documented by the medical world as the cause of super bugs that are killing many people each year throughout the world.
  • No matter how hard you look there are no medicated skincare products that clear acne long-term and the reason why is that for 99% of people acne is caused by internal issues










Fresh Approach To Acne Treatment

Fresh Approach To Acne Treatment

Elaine Mummery offers a new and refreshing approach to clearing skin


"The research you are doing is unparalleled, and I've no doubt that it will be very readily received.  There are so many people who suffer these problems and who are never fortunate enough to find a practitioner with the right expertise - and who doesn't peddle pills - to cure it." Fiona, Glasgow

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Elaine Mummery Acne Clinic

Elaine Mummery Acne Clinic

Having had clinics in both Glasgow and London spanning over 10 years, Elaine Mummery now works from her home in France.  She continues to offer a limited number of Skype/Facetime consultations each month.