What Causes Adult Acne?

what causes adult acne
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Adult acne is an increasingly common problem in the United States, with nearly half of all adults between the ages of 25 and 44 reporting at least some degree of acne. But what causes adult acne, and how can it be treated? In this article, we’ll look at the causes of adult acne and discuss possible treatments.


One of the most common causes of adult acne is hormonal imbalance. Hormones can affect the way your body produces sebum, an oily substance that can clog pores and contribute to acne. An imbalance in hormones can also cause the skin to produce too much of the protein keratin, which can also clog pores.

Hormonal changes can occur at any age, but they’re most common during puberty and menopause. During these times, the body is going through significant changes, and fluctuations in hormone levels can cause adult acne.


Stress can also be a contributing factor to adult acne. When the body is under stress, it produces hormones called corticotrophins, which can increase the production of sebum. This can lead to clogged pores and acne.

It’s important to manage stress levels in order to reduce the risk of adult acne. This can be done through relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation, as well as through regular exercise.


Diet can also play a role in adult acne. Eating a diet that’s high in processed foods, sugar, and dairy can all contribute to the development of acne.

It’s important to eat a balanced diet that’s rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Eating meals that are low in fat and avoiding foods that are high in sugar and processed carbohydrates can help reduce the risk of adult acne.


Certain medications can also cause adult acne. These include medications for high blood pressure, depression, and thyroid disorders, as well as certain oral contraceptives.

It’s important to talk to your doctor if you think a medication may be contributing to your acne. In some cases, your doctor may be able to adjust your dosage or switch you to a different medication that doesn’t cause acne.

Skin Care Products

The wrong skin care products can also contribute to adult acne. Products that are too harsh or contain irritating ingredients can strip the skin of its natural oils, causing it to produce more sebum and leading to acne.

It’s important to choose skin care products that are designed for your skin type and that don’t contain irritating ingredients. A dermatologist can help you find the right products for your skin.


The treatment for adult acne depends on the underlying cause. If hormones are the cause, a doctor may prescribe hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills to help balance hormone levels. If stress is the cause, a doctor may recommend relaxation techniques or counseling.

In cases where diet or skin care products are contributing to the problem, a doctor may recommend making changes to your diet or switching to a different skin care routine. In some cases, antibiotics or other medications may be prescribed.


Adult acne is a common problem, but it can be treated. Identifying and addressing the underlying cause of the acne is the key to successful treatment. If you’re concerned about your acne, it’s important to talk to your doctor about possible treatments.

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