Acne: Adult Acne & Causes

Adult Acne, Acne & its causes & types

Adult Acne is the worst..the absolute worst! Just when you thought puberty and adolescence had done their damage to your skin, a pimple comes up to remind you that it’s never going to leave you. As per the Skin Care Institute, 55% of adults these days suffer from Acne. So, if it’s any consolation, you’re not alone!
So let’s understand a little more about adult acne, the types, causes & the treatments.

What is Acne?

Also known as Acne Vulgaris, is characterized by bumps and lesions on the surface of & beneath the skin. So you know those tiny pores all over your skin, these pores have hair follicles inside them. Each hair follicle has a gland at its base that produces sebum. Sebum is an oily substance that moisturises your skin and is essential for hydration. Sometimes, there’s an excess of sebum production, that sebum ends up clogging these pores. This sebum combines with dead skin and bacteria and clogs your pores, and more sebum builds up behind this, leading to the formation of pimples.

Types of Acne

Acne is Characterised into 2 broad categories

  • Non- Inflammatory
    1. Blackheads – These are uninfected, clogged follicles that appear as a dark bump on the skin.
    2. Whiteheads  – Whiteheads are clogged follicles covered by a thin layer of skin that appear as white bumps or spots.
  • Inflammatory
    1. Pimples
      Pimples are further categorised into Papules & Pustules:
      Papules – Papules are inflamed lesions that may appear red, and can be sensitive and painful.
      Pustules – Pustules are inflamed lesions that are generally pus-filled. They may appear white or yellow, and popping pustules can lead to scarring.
    2. Nodules – Nodules are a severe form of lesions that develop under the skin; they don’t generally contain pus but are hard to the touch.
    3. Cysts – Cysts are a severe form of lesions that is inflamed and filled with pus. They are generally painful and require professional medical treatment.

Now that you know the types of acne, it’s important to understand the causes behind acne.

Causes of Acne

There are multiple causes of acne, and it’s still an ongoing debate among dermatologists, but it’s mostly down to these 6 major causes. A lot of dermatologists also believe that the location of the zit/pimple also tells a lot about the cause behind it.


  • Hormonal Imbalances
    This is found to be the most common cause among women. Hormone fluctuation due to PCOD, pregnancy, periods, menopause etc leads to hormonal acne, for which you should consult a dermatologist immediately.
  • Digestive Disorders
    If there’s something wrong with stomach, it will show on your face! Too much acidity, constipation, gas, liver disorders, all lead to pimples. Consult a doctor immediately!
  • Certain Make-up & Skincare products
    Those having oily or acne prone skin should be very careful while picking skin and hair products. Certain sunscreens and moisturises that are oil based lead to pimples. Also, using comedogenic makeup products is one of the major causes. While buying beauty products, always look for the ‘Non-Comedogenic’ label.

  • Hereditary 
    One of the major causes of acne is genetics! If your mom/dad/brother/sister/aunt suffered from acne, it’s more likely that you will too.
  • Medication
    Certain medicines, including oral contraceptives, have been found to cause pimples and zits. In fact, for some women, oral contraceptives can control it while for some they can lead to an increase in it. Anticonvulsants, corticosteroids, and sobriety drugs are generally linked to an increase in pimples.
  • Poor Hygiene 
    CTM – Cleanse, Tone, Moisturise is a mantra that has to be followed by everyone! Not doing so can lead to bacteria build up that leads to acne. Washing your face too often is also not recommended since it depletes the essential oils from your skin. A couple of other things to note: Not cleaning your phone screen, dirty pillow cases, too much sweat – they all lead to pimples!

So now that you know the type of acne you have and the possible causes, the best way to treat it to consult a dermatologist. We’ll be talking about home remedies as well, but for a permanent solution, a dermatologist is your best bet.

You can visit or call us at 9870293933 to book an appointment with a trusted dermatologist near you!

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