Why Do I Still Get Acne And What Can I Do About It?


If you’re a decade or more past puberty, you might wonder why you’re still struggling with breakouts. If you’re tired of hiding embarrassing breakouts, you’re not alone. The American Academy of Dermatology found that acne rates among adults are increasing, and currently 15% of adult women struggle with acne.

There’s good news, though. You don’t have to depend on concealer and foundation forever. Here at Northstar Dermatology, our team of providers is experienced in treating acne in teens and adults. This article sheds light on the common causes of adult acne and what you can do about it.

Still getting acne? 

Acne is annoying no matter what age you are, but when you’re an adult, it can be even more frustrating. The first step in achieving clear skin is targeting acne at the root cause. Here are four common causes of adult acne.

Clogged pores

This is a very common cause of acne. When a hair follicle (pore) becomes clogged with dead skin, dirt, and bacteria, it leads to inflammation. This is commonly known as a whitehead, or closed comedone

Makeup can also clog pores. Look for products that are specifically labeled as non-comedogenic, which means it won’t cause those closed comedones. 


Many pregnant women are surprised to learn that increased acne is a side effect of their pregnancy hormones. That’s right, hormones are a big culprit when it comes to acne.

That’s why acne surges during major hormone shifts like puberty, pregnancy, and even menopause. Hormonal acne tends to be more painful and deeper than other types of acne.

Certain medications

Acne can also be a side effect of certain medications. If you think one of your medications is causing acne, don’t stop your medication unless your doctor specifically instructs you to do so.

Contact irritation

Have you ever shaved your legs or bikini area and noticed pimples the next day? This is a result of contact irritation. You can also receive pimples from irritating substances or topical products that irate your skin, so try new products on a test patch to determine if you have any sensitivities. These pimples typically fade once the irritating event stops.

Treating adult acne

Before one of our providers can create a treatment plan for you, it’s important to determine what’s causing your acne. For example, if makeup is the culprit, you might find relief by switching to a different brand.

Depending on the cause of your acne, you might benefit from:

  • Antibiotics
  • Hormone treatments
  • Tretinoin, or its prescription form, retin-A
  • Isotretinoin
  • Salicylic acid
  • Benzoyl peroxide

You might also benefit from an improved at-home skin care routine. This includes using products meant for your skin type (oily, dry, or combination skin) and gently washing your face before bed to remove bacteria, makeup, and dirt from the day. Regular gentle exfoliation at home can help keep your pores clear.

Clean skin is within your grasp

If you’re less-than-happy with your skin, we can help. As a full-service dermatology office, we support all of your skin care needs from aesthetic services like microneedling to acne treatments.

To explore your options, we’re just a call or click away. You can reach our Fort Worth, Texas, office at 817-380-4755. You can also request an appointment online.

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