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Why Do I Still Get Acne and What Can I Do About it?

Why Do I Still Get Acne and What Can I Do About it?

Think you’re the only one struggling with acne? Believe it or not, acne is the eighth most common skin disease worldwide. And it isn’t only a problem for teens in the peak of puberty — adults are just as likely to deal with pimples. In fact, adult acne has risen over the past two decades. 

When you’re frustrated with acne, and store-bought cleansers simply don’t work, turn to our team of experienced dermatologists at Sanford Dermatology. We have the expertise and treatments necessary to clear your skin for the long haul. 

What’s causing your acne?

When you were a teen, breakouts were a matter of if, not when. Now that you’re an adult, you want answers to why your skin is still branded by blemishes. 

At the most basic level, acne stems from an issue with your skin and pores not functioning as they should. Specifically, your pores can’t keep up with the abundance of oil, which causes them to become clogged and turn into blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples. 

Here are a few things that can contribute to this skin problem.

Family history

It doesn’t seem fair, but sometimes you’re simply genetically predisposed to having acne. It doesn’t even have to be a close relative — your uncles, aunts, or cousins could be to blame. 

Hormone swings

Hormone changes aren’t just a problem during puberty. Adults, especially women, experience shifts in their hormones throughout their lives. Ever-changing or excessive hormones can lead to a variety of physical changes, including:

Additionally, hormone changes can increase your oil production and lead to acne. That’s why many women experience breakouts around their periods. 


Cleansers, razors, and other irritants can affect your skin’s defense system and trigger a protective reaction that leads to inflammation and acne. 

Hair and skin products

Check the labels on your personal care products. If there are any oil-based substances inside, it could be the reason you have so many breakouts. 


Stress isn’t just a mental health issue. It can also wreak havoc on your physical health and lead to frustrating problems like acne. Stress creates a biological change in your body that signals your adrenal glands to release more stress hormones, boosting your oil production and exacerbating acne. 

Physical stress on your body can also set off hormonal changes and lead to acne. Some possible causes include illnesses, sleep deprivation, dehydration, and even extreme weather.


It’s widely held that sweets, white flours, chocolate, dairy, and greasy fast foods play a role in acne. Because there’s no hard-and-fast evidence about how diet contributes to breakouts, it’s best to track your reactions to certain foods to determine if they’re to blame.

Skin problems

Acne can also stem from certain skin issues, including excess oil, clogged pores, and the presence of a bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes. 


Some medications, ranging from corticosteroids and antidepressants to hormonal birth control pills, have been linked to acne. Talk to us about all medications you’re taking so we can better understand where your pimples are coming from. 

Underlying health conditions

There are also several health and skin conditions that can either resemble acne or trigger breakouts. They include rosacea, keratosis pilaris, Cushing syndrome, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

What’s the solution?

The solution to acne isn’t the same for everyone — and it’s certainly not always found on the shelves of your local drug store. We take a holistic approach to acne and personalize your care to you and your symptoms. Depending on your needs, we may recommend one or more of the following:

We can also direct you towards some skin-friendly products that won’t irritate your skin or clog your pores. 

What else can I do about it?

There’s no substitute for our advanced treatments, but that doesn’t mean you can be a part of the solution. Consider embracing the following healthy habits to maximize your treatments:

Above all else, be patient. Adult acne isn’t a problem that goes away overnight, but with our lineup of acne treatments and a little discipline from you, you can have the clear skin you’ve only dreamt of. 

Ready to get started? Call our friendly staff to request an appointment at any of our Sanford, Pittsboro, or Lillington, North Carolina offices today.

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