Worried about Adult Acne: Here’s Why You Still Have Them

January 7, 2022

A common misunderstanding about acne is that it’s a skin condition limited to children and teenagers. However, that really isn’t the case because adults can still get acne. 

Most people may have experienced it when they were younger, but acne is a skin condition people can experience into adulthood. In the UK, three per cent of adults over thirty-five have adult acne. 

What Causes Adult Acne?

There are many reasons why some adults develop acne. We discuss some of them below.


One of the more common causes of adult acne is hormones. Hormonal acne is a common problem in both women and men, and its excess androgens are the guilty party.

Androgens are primarily male hormones, but women have them in their bodies, too. Overproduction of androgens can lead to hormonal acne, appearing on the face, back and chest. This kind of acne is often related to premenstrual syndrome in women and can also flare up during pregnancy.

Poor Diet

A poor diet can lead to acne in teenagers and adults. A diet high in refined carbohydrates, for example, can lead to a spike in blood sugar, which, in turn, can result in an increase in androgens. 

The same goes for sugar and refined carbohydrates. If you have a poor diet and breakouts are a problem, you may want to get a handle on your diet.


Stress is one of the most commonly cited causes of acne in adults. See, your body often responds to stress by producing excess cortisol, a hormone released by the endocrine system in response to stress. Hormones like cortisol affect the production of sebum, a grease-like substance secreted by the sebaceous glands located at the base of each hair follicle.

Overproduction of sebum can lead to dead skin cells, dirt, and oil trapped in the pores. The body’s natural reaction is to try and rid itself of this debris, and that’s how acne forms. The good news is that, in most cases, you can reduce acne by managing your stress levels and controlling your reactions to stressful situations.

How Does One Treat Acne?

Over-the-Counter Acne Medication

If you’re looking for an acne treatment that you can pick up at the pharmacy, you may want to look into products containing benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or erythromycin.

Benzoyl peroxide works by killing the bacteria that causes acne, while erythromycin and salicylic acid are great anti-inflammatory agents. Be careful when using these products, though. They can dry and irritate the skin if you go overboard with them.

Aesthetic Treatments

If you have acne scars and you’re looking for a more permanent solution, you may want to consider some aesthetic treatments. For example, chemical peels exfoliate the skin, freeing it from dead skin cells and excess oil, both of which can cause acne.

Another treatment you should look into is Jen Vittanuova Medical Aesthetics’s Intense Pulsed Light to combat acne. The procedure reduces inflammation and occurrence of breakouts by targeting overacting sebaceous glands. While mildly uncomfortable, the Intense Pulsed Light acne treatment requires no downtime and has shown promise in reducing adult acne.

Dermatological Sessions

If you’re not looking for an acne treatment that you can administer yourself, you should consider seeing a dermatologist. These specialists are uniquely qualified to handle your acne and can have it under control within a short timeframe.

A dermatologist will often prescribe an antibiotic for adult acne, which may take a few weeks to kick in. Following this course of treatment, you should have a better grasp of your acne situation.


Adult acne can be very frustrating, especially since it takes time to pinpoint the causes. Fortunately, several treatments are available to help reduce and even eliminate adult acne.

For acne treatment in Huddersfield, consider visiting Jen Vittanuova Medical Aesthetics. Our chemical peel and Intense Pulsed Light acne treatments both work to address adult acne issues, leaving patients with less inflammation and breakouts. Book an appointment today!