Acne in Men



Impacts of Acne in Men

Women are not the only ones who favour clear skin. Men also would like to have spot-free skin and acne for them is also a major hindrance. Acne is extremely common, and affects up to 80% of teenagers and young adults. Puberty and hormonal changes in sebum are major acne triggers for the development of acne in men. However acne can persist in adults, even in men up to their forties and fifties.

Various factors trigger Acne in Men. The most common factor is a change in hormonal levels. The hormonal drive of the male androgens (male hormones such as testosterone) causes an increase in the oily sebum in the skin, resulting in the pores becoming clogged due to the oil that is secreted from these hormones. This sometimes fosters the growth of bacteria. Both, clogged pores and bacteria are acne triggers.

Acne can also be hereditary for men, as those with fathers who succumbed to acne are more likely to get acne than men whose fathers have not suffered from acne.

Acne generally affects the face, back and chest as these are the areas of the body that have the most sebum (oil) producing skin pores. Pressure from sports helmets or equipment, backpacks, tight shirts, or tight sports uniforms can cause an acne flare. Humidity and stress can also make acne worse.


Treating Acne in Men

Contrary to popular belief, acne is not caused by unclean or dirty skin, however, engaging in a good acne skin care regime is going to help your skin. Leading dermatologists recommend that you wash your face twice daily at most, using warm water, acne face wash or an oily skin cleanser and your fingers. Try to avoid abrasive products as they can irritate your skin. Use a moisturiser for dry or irritated skin. Shave gently and only when necessary to reduce the risk of nicking pimples.

Use cleansers that contain benzoyl peroxide. These cleansers are used in the shower to cover large areas such as the chest and back. Avoid using rough cloths and other scrubbing materials as scrubbing too vigorously can aggravate your acne.

There are some over the counter products such as creams, gels, lotions and soaps that can fight your acne. Some of these contain benzoyl peroxide which kills the bacteria responsible for acne, and may reduce oil production. Remember that in order to improve acne and see good results it takes several weeks of consistently applying acne products to clear the skin. If necessary, consult a medical expert and enquire about prescription medications to fight acne.



  1. Gollnick H, Cunliffe W. Management of Acne. A Report from the Global Alliance to Improve Outcomes in Acne. J Am Acad Dermatol 2003;49(1):S1-S37
  1. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Acne. November 2015. Available at: Accessed 26 January 2016
  2. Thiboutot D, Gollnick H, Bettoli V, et al, of behalf of the Global Alliance to Improve Outcomes in Acne, New Insights into the management of acne in men: An update from the Global Alliance to Improve Outcomes in Acne Group. J Am Acad Dermatol 2009;60:S1-S50

Written by Lauren Espach
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