Understanding Adult Acne Causes And Treatments

You’re an adult now, mature, have a good job, and have let go of all your youthful indiscretions. So why are you getting acne like you did as a teenager? It doesn’t seem fair. Let’s take a deep dive at understanding adult acne causes and treatments.

Take Heart – You Are Not Alone

Many adults get acne, and some even get it for the first time, known as “adult-onset acne.” More women than men have to deal with this pesky problem.

woman with adult acne

Understanding adult acne is similar to understanding adolescent acne. Many of the same factors cause those unsightly red zits to appear.

Similar Causes

Adult acne and adolescent acne can stem from similar causes.


When we are stressed, our body produces more androgen hormones. These particular hormones stimulate oil glands and hair follicles which lead to breakouts.

Hormone Fluctuations

Women tend to have hormone fluctuations throughout their life. This occurs during adolescence, before each period, after starting or stopping birth control pills, and of course during perimenopause and menopause. This constant imbalance leads to acne.

Family History

If a close relative had acne, you are more likely to suffer through it as a teenager, and more likely to get adult acne.

Your Hair And Skin Products

Take a close look at the ingredients in your hair and skin products if you have adult acne. You want to have products with the following terms on the labels: oil-free, non-comedogenic, non-acnegenic, and won’t clog pores.

Look for products that have at least one of these terms on the label. This includes sunscreen, moisturizers, and all makeup.

Excess oil and bacteria are the prime culprits, so never sleep without removing all your makeup.


Yes, some of your medications may be causing adult acne. Talk with Goodless Dermatology if you suspect that is the case. This is especially true of corticosteroids, anabolic steroids, and lithium.

Certain Medical Conditions

Some undiagnosed medical conditions can cause adult acne.

Most Effective Treatments

There are many treatments for acne for adult acne. Schedule a visit with Goodless Dermatology at our Orlando or Celebration office to discover which treatments and lifestyle changes may be most effective for you.

Contact Goodless Dermatology at (407) 566-1616 or request an appointment online to schedule a visit.