5 Causes of adult acne in men and how to treat it properly

All acne associated with puberty, the tweens, to adolescence, and even to young adults. That is why we are surprised when, suddenly, we find ourselves in front of a slightly older person with acne problems. However, while it is true that it is an inflammatory skin condition that most often tends to occur during puberty, the truth is that it can affect adults as well, so in order to accounts, it can appear at virtually any age. In fact, acne is estimated to be the eighth most common skin disease worldwide, and the number of people suffering from what is known as adult acne has increased dramatically in the last two decades. What are its causes and how could it be treated?

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What is adult acne and what are its causes?

In general, adult acne usually consists of blackheads, whiteheads or small pustules. It can also include a more moderate form of presentation, in which there is more extreme swelling, redness, irritation and deep cysts.

As with acne during adolescence, at the root of any acne problem is a clogged pore. The pores, which are the opening that surrounds each hair follicle, are an important part of the skin, as they also house the sebaceous glands, which secrete sebum (oil) through the pores.

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And sebum has a very important function, since it helps to keep the skin protected and soft. However, when excess oil, dirt, bacteria, and dead cells clog your pore, you can end up with a pimple.

Hormonal fluctuations

Hormonal fluctuations, such as fluctuations that occur before the menstrual cycle, is often one of the main causes. But this occurs in women, only. And in the case of men, how can hormones in the adult stage influence the appearance of acne at a stage in which one is not a teenager=.

Androgens (male hormones), such as testosterone, are known to increase sebum production and therefore play a key role in the development of adult acne.

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As some scientific studies have already shown, it is known that chronic stress can play a very important role in different skin problems, such as acne. In this sense, it is suspected that cortisol, a hormone, may be responsible for this link.

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For example, when we are stressed, our adrenal gland releases cortisol. Some experts have even pointed out that it can also be produced locally in hair follicles, as well as in different types of skin cells.

Thus, when we experience stress, especially chronic stress, cortisol can end up causing problems with different bodily processes, including the skin. In this way, research suggests that it may end up contributing to acne formation by creating a favorable environment for inflammatory acne primarily caused by the presence of bacteria.


Air pollution can also become a related cause. Although, it is true, at least for the moment, experts are not completely clear about how pollution, among which we find dirt and UV radiation from the outside, can end up influencing the appearance of acne.

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Obviously, as you might imagine, too much dirt and grime on your face can increase the chances of clogging your pores. But, apparently, it’s believed that sun exposure can also cause acne, by drying out the skin, leading to excessive oil production in a natural effort to make up for that lack of moisture.

Too frequent or too intense cleaning

In most cases, it is recommended to clean our faces at least twice a day with the help of a mild cleanser. And if you have especially dry or sensitive skin, at least once a day.

However, it is known that excessive cleaning, or doing it intensely, can end up damaging the skin, and worsen acne if it already exists. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid exfoliating your face too frequently, and with products that may be too strong to damage the skin.

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