Adult Acne: Your Age. Your Skin.

By on Aug 3, 2016

"You only get acne when you are a teenager" is a MYTH. Although it is easy to associate horrendous breakouts with junior high and high school, adults can get spotty later on as well."

Acne occurs when sebum (skin oil), dirt, and dead skin cells mingle and clog a pore opening in the skin. As a result, the inflamed bump may become red. Despite the common misconception, acne may develop beyond our adolescent years due to several factors: 

Hormone Fluctuations

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, women are 45 percent more likely to develop acne as an adult than men due to hormone fluctuations that occur when women approach their menstrual cycles, pre-menopause, and menopause. 

However, men are not completely off the hook. Both men and women produce androgenic hormones, which over-stimulate oil glands in the hair follicles of the skin. As a result, men may notice skin oil heavily contributes to seeing those familiar red bumps again. 

Family History

It is common for acne to run in the family. Research has found that mothers can increase their child’s chances of adult acne by three times and fathers by two-fold. If your parents experienced acne as a teenager or an adult, your chances of developing acne later in life are significantly increased. 


Products that are not oil-free or non-comedogenic can clog pores and promote acne. To avoid breakouts, try double checking the claims and ingredients on personal products such as make up and shampoo.

In addition, your skin can become very sensitive to the products you use over time. The conditioner or hair gel that you have been using for years may be the culprit of the pimples forming on your face. Try switching product one at a time, and once per month.


As you rush throughout your daily life under constant stress, your body produces more and more androgenic hormones. As a result, your skin is more irritable and shedding skin cells become sticky in conjunction with oil production in your pores. 


Some medications may have acne as a side effect—making the bumps on your face worse. Talking with your doctor who prescribed the medication is the best option to find out if your medication is causing your acne and what you can do to reduce its negative effects.

As you begin to find treatment options for acne, it is important to take appropriate care of the situation. If your acne gets progressively worse, contact a dermatologist for a consultation.