What Causes Adult Acne and How to Get Rid of it?

Some people are fortunate enough to never really suffer from acne during their lifetime. For others, however, this common skin condition becomes all-consuming and has a significant effect on their confidence and self-esteem. It can even become painful and debilitating, causing them to spend many hours trying to heal it. While acne generally begins around puberty, some patients will continue to experience acne into their adult life. Adult acne is also more common than you might realize. Here’s what you need to know about what causes it and what you can do to get rid of it and feel confident in the skin you are in.

What is acne and how does it form?

Acne occurs when the pores in the skin, which are connected to hair follicles, become blocked with oils and sweat. This happens more easily than you might think since there are sebaceous glands located near the surface of the skin. The purpose of these glands is to lubricate the hair and skin to prevent it from drying out, which they do by producing an oily substance known as sebum.


Unfortunately, the glands of patients with acne go into overdrive, producing far too much sebum which then mixes with dead skin cells present on the face or body and forms a blockage within the pores. If the blocked follicle is close to the surface of the skin, it will begin to bulge outwards and create a pimple, also known as a whitehead. However, if the blocked follicle is open to the skin, it creates what is known as a blackhead. In some cases, bacteria that live on the skin can then penetrate the pores, causing infectious acne to develop.

What causes adult acne?

Adult acne can be caused by a variety of different factors. These include the following:


Hormone fluctuations. Hormones are one of the key elements responsible for the development of acne which is why the spike in hormone activity is believed to be one of the main reasons why acne begins to develop during puberty. However, this isn’t the only time that hormones fluctuate during your lifetime. Women are more likely to experience adult acne than men because they are more likely to experience hormone fluctuations, particularly:

  • Around the time of their period
  • During and after pregnancy
  • During perimenopause and menopause
  • When you change, start or end using hormonal birth control measures


Poor cleansing habits. Unsurprisingly, many cases of adult acne occur simply because the patient doesn’t cleanse their face properly. This leads to an accumulation of oil, dirt, dead skin cells and bacteria on the skin which is perfectly poised to clog the pores and cause acne to develop. A robust cleansing routine is the very best way to help prevent acne. Cleanse your face twice each day using a gentle cleanser. Cleansing any more than that will just dry out your skin and leave it dehydrated. It may even prompt your skin to produce excess oil to compensate.


Stress. Studies have found that chronic stress can play a huge role in the development of skin issues including eczema and dryness, and in fact, acne. This is because stress prompts the adrenal glands to release cortisol. Cortisol has many functions, including helping our bodies to regulate processes such as the immune system. If there is too much cortisol produced by your body, it could mess up its usual processes.


Other causes of adult acne. Other potential causes of adult acne include:

  • Smoking
  • Excess sun exposure without adequate UV protection (sunscreen)
  • Using the wrong products on your skin
  • Side effects of certain medications

How to get rid of adult acne

There are many different treatments advertised that claim to be able to get rid of adult acne. However, some are more effective than others. One of the most successful treatments for acne utilizes laser technology. Acne laser treatment is an innovative solution that uses short pulse, high energy beams of light in a therapeutic way. These beams of light, provided by the Quanta Q-Plus EVO laser works by heating and removing the top layer of the dermis, eradicating blocked pores and revealing fresh, new skin beneath. The laser also destroys bacteria and reduces inflammation by prompting the shut-down of inflammatory chemicals within your body.


Many people have concerns about the use of laser technology. Although the Quanta Q-Plus EVO laser uses heat, it also has an inbuilt contact skin cooler which helps to ensure that patients remain as comfortable as possible during the procedure. The entire process is carried out with the minute precision and care afforded by the use of laser technology.


Results from laser acne treatment can usually be seen within 72 hours. Most patients choose to undergo a series of treatments in order to achieve the best esthetic results.


If you have concerns about adult acne and you would like to learn more about laser treatment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our expert skin team today.