Are Hormones Causing Your Adult Acne?

When investigating the causes of acne, what happens on the inside of the body is as important as what’s going on with the outside. Hormones, which are chemical messengers traveling thru the body directing complex procedures like metabolism and growth have a significant role. This role is especially true during puberty when girls and boys start to produce the hormones known as androgens.

Androgens cause the body’s oil-producing glands to increase in size and oil production. With an increase in oil and a decrease in the shedding of dead skin cells, pores become clogged, and hormonal acne is the result. This issue affects approximately 85% of all teens.

Women and Hormonal Acne

Hormonal balance determines the rate at which your body produces sebum (oil). This level of oil production fluctuates in women and men as they become adults. Typical variations in estrogen, the hormone which regulates and develops a woman’s reproductive system, and androgen levels may produce hormonal acne in adult women. This fact explains why women experience hormonal acne after puberty and well into adulthood. It becomes visibly apparent in some adult women the week before their period.

These hormonal imbalances are more apparent at certain points in life. During pregnancy and right after childbirth (post-partum), hormonal fluctuations often lead to deeper acne bumps. And again, during menopause and the time leading up to menopause, there is a fluctuation of hormone levels which can trigger acne breakouts.

The connection between acne and hormones is easy to recognize as an important reason why many adult women experience acne in their post-pubescent adult years.

Men and Hormonal Acne

Hormones are a source for acne in men as well. While men also produce androgen hormones, testosterone is an androgen which spikes in boys during puberty. When boys become adults, their oil production often normalizes, and acne becomes less of an issue. Then, testosterone causes an increase in skin thickness, a benefit for men which helps their skin wrinkle less as they age.

Cortisol and Acne

While stress isn’t the underlying cause of acne, it may worsen flares. One reason for this is that during periods of stress our bodies release a stress hormone called cortisol. Cortisol has many effects, one which is an increase in oil production on the skin, and thus can exacerbate acne.

Schedule a Consultation with a Qualified Dermatologist

The best solutions to fight acne breakouts for teenagers or adults are available with a board-certified dermatologist, acne treatments for men and women of any age. Here are some of his proven acne treatments which help reduce their acne breakouts.

  • Medical Grade Skin Care: We offer multiple skin care lines which we customize to the patient for at home treatments. These are medical grade products not available at your local drug store.
  • Prescription Topical Medications: These are applied to the skin surface to treat mild forms of acne, stubborn blemishes, and acne flare-ups.
  • Prescription Pills: Antibiotics, birth control, and spironolactone are some medications which are used to control adult acne.
  • Laser Skin Tightening: This treatment is designed to tighten skin which can have a positive effect on acne scarring, pits, and depressions.
  • Skin Peels and Medical Facials: Can be customized to skin type and breakout pattern. They focus on unclogging pores, cleansing skin, and reducing oil levels.
  • Injectables: These aesthetic treatments can plump up the skin to diminish acne scars, pits, and rises to provide a smooth, healthy skin presence.


To learn more about the causes of acne and how we can treat the condition, please schedule a consultation or call Plainfield (815) 267-8830  Morris (815) 941-1877  Burr Ridge (630) 455-9292



Skip to content