Many people have experienced moderate acne breakouts and some even got severe ones, while only a few were lucky to have no acne at all. Why is that so?

We usually associate acne with teenage life when puberty strikes and most often, it will go away at the end of adolescence, at least we believe so. However, some people are still suffering from acne breakouts in their adulthood. So, does acne really go away after puberty? Whether it’s a yes or no, virtually all acne can be treated, you just have to find the right treatment you need.

But getting back to our major concern, why does acne persist beyond puberty and continue to be pesky even in the late 20s through to 50s? This is because acne should not only be blamed to puberty but to other underlying factors as well. And if these factors are not properlyaddressed, the bad news is acne may not even stop at all! 

In fact, 26% of 40-year old and 12% of 50-year old people in the U.S. do experience acne. Add to this a sad reality that 10% of women get oily skin starting from teenage life on through their entire life.

Why Does Acne Persist Well Beyond Puberty

Now that it’s clear that acne won’t simply go away after puberty, it’s time to learn why is that so and understand the factors behind it.


Adult acne can be caused by many things such as hormonal fluctuations or imbalances, genetics, and stress. It typically starts in the late 20s until the early 30s. One of the major factor causing acne is hormonal changes which can be due to several things, such as pregnancy, stopping the use of birth control pills, and premenstrual hormonal fluctuations.

Another key factor playing a big role in adult acne is genetics. It can pull the strings of hormone production, allergies, resistance to bacteria causing acne, and other factors that can aggravate acne. So, if you have a sibling or a parent suffering from acne, there’s a great chance that you’ll have it as well.

Finally, don’t forget about stress. It’s another major catalyst that can worsen acne formation. Alleviating stress with healthy habits, good sleep, and positivity could also mean reducing your acne symptoms.

The presence (and absence) of oil

As we know, overly oily skin can become easily inflamed and plugged. Once acne is formed, the oil in the skin becomes too thick and waxy and so it forms a plug and blocked the pores. This enables the acne to flourish.

Not only excessive oil or sebum production in the skin causes acne, but the absence of it, too. Dry skin is also prone to adult acne because as the dead skin cells flake off, it further blocks skin pores and aggravate the existing acne condition. This can result to blackhead formation or cause pores enlargement, which is the starting point for acne to grow. 

Allergy to yeast

You might be surprised to know that another reason for acne to happen is skin’s allergy to yeast. Another possibility is yeast overgrowth that can be a serious skin problem leading to acne breakouts. Excessive yeast in the skin can be a result of having naturally oily skin, using greasy lotions or creams, taking in oral contraceptives, again stress, and many more.

Life style and diet

While lifestyle, in general, is not a cause of acne, it does play a role in every condition that the body has. In particular, unhealthy diet and other poor habits can be an influential factor for adult acne. So, it helps to consider cut backs in eating pro-inflammatory foods like sugars and dairy. They are the biggest diet factors that can encourage acne formation.

The other pro-inflammatory foods to reduce include alcohol, chocolate, starch, and caffeine. While they don’t really directly cause acne, cutting back on these foods will help in treating acne.

The Bottom Line

Clear enough, acne can come and go for any of the different reasons above. Fortunately, there is hope of getting rid of adult acne. You can consult an acne specialist about the possible treatment methods that you can try to treat this condition.

A lifestyle change may be an option but the same may go for topical or oral treatments. Just strictly stick to what the acne expert tells you to achieve best results. 

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