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Why Am I Suddenly Getting Acne in My 30s?

We try to chase after our youth in many ways as we fight off aging, inside and out, but there are some things that we do want to grow out of, such as acne. 

Acne is, far and away, the most common skin condition, affecting about 50 million Americans each year, and, yes, the numbers do skew toward a younger demographic. That said, adult acne can and does strike with regularity — about 33% of women in their 30s and 12% of men in their 40s have acne.

So, if you’re redeveloping acne in your 30s or getting pimples for the first time, adult acne isn’t all that uncommon. To explain further, the team here at Z-ROC Dermatology, led by Dr. Khongruk Wongkittiroch and Dr. Matthew Zarraga, tackles adult acne in this month’s blog post.

A matter of hormones

The reason why 85% of people between the ages of 12 and 24 get acne is due to hormonal changes. When kids enter puberty, reproductive hormones fly, and one of the common side effects is acne.

As an adult, you can still encounter hormonal imbalances that lead to adult acne. This occurs more in women, whose reproductive hormones fluctuate far more than they do in men, which is why women are more likely to develop adult acne.

Also, women can develop adult acne if they have a gynecologic condition like polycystic ovary syndrome, which stems from too many androgen (male) hormones. These hormones stimulate your oil glands and hair follicles, leading to acne.

Stress and acne

Life was easier as a kid, and you had far fewer worries. Now that you have a career, kids, mortgages, and all the other things that come with adulthood, you also have more stress.

When you’re in a state of stress more often than not, your body produces more androgens. And as we discussed above, androgens create the perfect environment for acne.

Clogging your pores more

As a teen, you might not have used the same amount of skin care products and makeup on your face. As an adult, you might be slathering on the face creams and wearing more makeup, which can clog your pores and lead to adult acne.


To combat this outcome, it’s important that you focus on cleaning your skin thoroughly each day to make sure your pores are free and clear.

Too much inflammation

Another culprit behind adult acne is food that triggers inflammation in your body, such as:

As you can see, these are all what we consider unhealthy foods these days. So, if your diet favors any of these foods, it’s a good idea to steer clear for any number of reasons, including adult acne.

If you want to figure out what’s behind the teen-like breakouts of pimples and how to get rid of them, we’re here to help.

For quick and effective adult acne treatment, please schedule an appointment at our Fort Lauderdale, Florida, office.

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