Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What causes adult acne?"
I'm 30 years old and have acne all of the sudden like I haven't had since junior high! Why would this happen all of the sudden? Is my body going through a change or something?
Acne is caused when pores on the skin become clogged by dead skin, bacteria, and other debris. Therefore, acne can occur under two conditions. First, if there is increased debris on the skin caused by exercise, sweating, cosmetics, or exposure to dirt. Second, if there is a change in the hormones in the body which cause the bacteria to proliferate more. Based on these criteria, if you have recently started exercising more, or if you are using a different brand of cosmetics, or if you are working in a job that exposes you to more contaminants in the air, then this is likely the reason. Working on a more vigorous skin cleansing regimen should take care of the problem for you. Similarly, if you have recently started a new medication, this might have an effect on hormone levels and worsen acne. Many women with a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome (a condition in which hormone levels from the ovaries are altered) will have acne. Many men who take body building supplements (which are hormone altering) will also have changes in acne severity. If you cannot identify and eliminate the potential cause, then you should go see your doctor who can help you perform a more thorough analysis.