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Acne In Adults – Causes And Treatments

You might wonder why you still have acne when you are already past puberty. As a fact, acne is the eight most common skin conditions worldwide. The number of people who have acne in adulthood has gone up over that last couple of decades.

Acne is an inflammatory skin condition that mostly occurs during puberty but also affects adults as well sometimes. According to a study, 85% of females and 15% of male adults have acne.

Causes Of Adult Acne

Almost all adult acne is caused by inflammation and clogged pores. But sometimes this condition can be hereditary. Below are some causes due to which you might face acne problems.


Excessive or fluctuating hormones both in males and females can lead to adult acne. These changes can lead to pH imbalance, inflammation, dissimilarity in circulation or excessive oil (sebum) production. Hormonal fluctuations occur due to the following reasons:

  • Menstruation
  • Pregnancy
  • Postpartum period
  • Breastfeeding

Contact Irritation

Anything that causes irritation to the skin can lower the skin’s defenses and so, as a protective reaction, can lead to inflammation. Cleaners and razors, if used against dry skin, maybe a cause of adult acne.

Emotional And Physical Stress

If you are going through emotional stress, it creates biological changes in the body, leading to several triggers of adult acne.

Physical stress may also be a reason as it also triggers hormonal changes, weakens immunity and inflammation. It may arise from:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Extreme weather
  • Illness
  • Dehydration
  • Exposure to environmental irritants.

Clogged Pores

Excessive production of sebum in our body can clog pores. Also, a rapid turnover of skin cells can lead to backed up hair follicles. In both cases, the end result is acne.

Treatment For Adult Acne

There are several treatments for adult acne including over the counter products, prescriptions, and home remedies.

Medical Treatments

A variety of OTC and prescription medications have been approved to treat adult acne. Some of them are listed below.

  • Spironolactone
  • Tretinoin and clindamycin gel
  • Hydroxy acid
  • Antibiotics
  • Retinol
  • Oral birth control pills
  • Salicylic acid
  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Sulfur
  • Blue light therapy

Home Remedies

There are few powerful home remedies for adult acne, including oral supplements and substances that can be directly applied to the skin.

Some effective remedies are:

  • Aloe vera
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Green tea extract
  • Tea tree oil
  • Probiotics
  • Vitamin A
  • Zinc