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Why Do I Still Get Acne?

You’ve left the drama and angst of your teenage years far behind you, so why do you still have acne? Puberty’s hormonal surges caused your first outbreaks. Is that what’s causing them now, or are there other factors at play?



Whether you’re in your 20s, 30s, 40s, or beyond, if you’re breaking out in acne lesions, you probably wonder why. When you look around at your peers, most of them have clear skin. But about a third of women and more than 10% of men still break out, or even break out for the first time in their lives.

Why do you have adult acne? One or more factors could be at the root of your problem.

At Central Utah Dermatology in Richfield, Utah, our medical dermatology experts and aestheticians are determined to restore your skin to health. If you have adult acne, we determine the causes and then prescribe an appropriate treatment.


Do you wonder why you’re still breaking out as an adult, when you may even be facing other skin issues such as wrinkles and sagging? Below are a few reasons that could be behind your adult acne.


Your hormones need to be balanced

Just as a surge in hormones trigger acne in the teenage years, unbalanced hormones in adulthood can also cause breakouts. Women, especially, are susceptible to hormonal imbalances that could lead to acne lesions.


If you’re a woman, you may have a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which is marked by an excess of the “male” hormone testosterone. If your acne is related to PCOS, you may also have other evidence of hormonal imbalance, such as:

  • Facial hair

  • Scalp hair loss

  • Weight gain

  • Infertility

  • Irregular periods


Even if you don’t have PCOS, changes in your hormones sometimes trigger acne outbreaks. Many women find they have a small breakout just before their period.


Pregnant women may have acne. Also, as you move toward menopause and go through the interim period called perimenopause, the shift in your hormones can bring back your “teenage” acne.


Friction is a factor

Back during the pandemic, when almost everyone wore a mask to slow down transmission of the virus, many adults developed a type of acne that was nicknamed “maskne.” The combination of the friction of a mask on facial skin combined with the moisture that collects in the mask caused irritation and outbreaks.


If you have acne on your forehead, do you habitually wear hats? If so, the friction from the hat could be causing your acne. If you play sports and wear protective gear, you may also notice breakouts on the areas where the gear rubs against your skin.


Be sure to keep any equipment, hats, masks, or other gear clean to minimize the risk of irritation and transmission of bacteria. Also clean and dry your skin, then protect it with a non-oily, non-comedogenic moisturizer to reduce friction from the gear or clothing.


You’re sensitive or allergic

The products you use on your skin could cause a breakout. Perfumes and dyes can be very irritating. Choose high-quality skin care and hair-care products that are fragrance-free and chemical-free.


Some moisturizers contain oils that could clog your pores. Clogged pores attract the bacteria that triggers acne outbreaks. Look on the labels to be sure your products are “non-comedogenic,” which means they don’t cause comedones (the precursor to pimples, zits, and cysts).


Get help with your skin

We want you to be happy and confident in your skin. That means skin that’s acne free, clear, and vibrant looking. Depending on the factors involved in your acne, we customize a treatment plan for you, which could include:

  • Chemical peels to exfoliate and unclog pores

  • Microneedling to improve skin health

  • Acne surgery to remove lesions

  • Lasers to improve skin health and reduce scars


We also help you find skin-care products that won’t irritate your skin or cause breakouts. 

To find out why you’re still breaking out with acne and get the treatment you need to look and feel your best, contact our friendly team at Central Utah Dermatology today. Phone our office at 435-558-7031 or use our online booking form

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