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I'm an Adult and I Still Have Acne

I'm an Adult and I Still Have Acne

Adolescent acne was anguishing, but you soldiered through it, believing there was light at the end of the tunnel. You trusted that someday, you would leave your teen years and pimply skin behind you. 

Yet, here you are, a full-fledged adult with full-fledged acne. What can be done?

We’re glad you asked. Our team at Easton Dermatology Associates helps teens and grown-ups throughout Easton, Salisbury, and Stevensville, Maryland, understand the source of acne and offer safe, effective treatments to resolve it. Here, we take a closer look at what causes adult acne and the best treatments to clear up your skin for good.

Common causes of adult acne

Acne results from clogged pores, so the real question you should be asking is: What clogs pores?

Pores are tiny ducts attached to your sebaceous glands under the surface of your skin. You also have sweat pores all over your body, but those typically don’t have clogging problems. Your oil pores, on the other hand, are highly susceptible to plugging up with dirt, excess oil, and dead skin cells. When this happens, oil can’t escape through the duct, so it backs up and leads to inflammation and infection — acne.

Here are some of the most common pore-cloggers.

Fluctuating hormones

Teens are so prone to acne because their hormones spike during puberty. Along with changes in their body hair, voices, and reproductive systems, they also crank out much more oil than they did as children, and more oil means more chances of clogged pores.

Even though you’ve come through adolescence, you haven’t outgrown hormone fluctuations. Stress and imbalances caused by medical conditions can stimulate oil production and clog your pores. Women are also more vulnerable to breakouts during hormonal peaks and valleys, such as menstruation, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause. 

Environmental factors

Maryland is a beautiful state, and we generally enjoy good air quality, but that doesn't mean it’s pristine. Fumes from cars and buses, smoke from manufacturing plants, and chemicals from heating and cooling systems float around in the air and land on your skin. These invisible substances seem harmless until they seep into your pores and seal them shut. 


Food doesn’t cause acne, but certain ingredients can trigger a response in your skin, making it more susceptible to clogged pores and acne. For example, the oil from fried foods is bound to end up on your face as you chow down, and the last thing you need is more oil. It doesn’t take much to overwhelm your pores and fill them with junk.

Dairy products, sugar, and white flour also make the food list of potential pore-cloggers for some people. 


Whenever the weather fluctuates, you can expect to see some changes in your skin. When the humidity drops, your skin dries out, but don’t be tricked into thinking it’ll dry up your acne, too. Your skin may jump into overdrive and produce more oil to compensate for the weather, and you could end up with a breakout.

Hot, humid weather is also a problem, as you add perspiration to the equation and clogged pores as a result. We can help you manage your skin type and the Maryland weather to keep the balance on point and the acne at bay.


Corticosteroids, birth control pills, and epilepsy medication are a few of the drugs known to increase the risk for acne. Ironically, birth control pills may also be the solution to acne for some women. Don’t stop taking your medication without discussing it with our team or your primary care physician, but do ask if an alternative that doesn’t induce acne is available.

How we treat adult acne

You can’t scroll through your social media feed or turn on the television without seeing an ad for an acne product. But those are largely ineffective and a waste of money. The best way to get rid of adult acne is to identify the underlying cause of it with our help. In many cases, addressing that issue resolves the acne.

To alleviate stubborn acne, we offer Icon® laser treatments that obliterate the bacteria in your pores and stop the breakouts. But the benefits don’t end there. The laser energy also stimulates fresh collagen production under the surface of your skin, which improves the texture and diminishes the appearance of acne scarring. 

Call us today at 410-819-8867 to schedule a consultation with our specialists to discover if the Icon laser is the answer to your adult acne. 

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