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Causes of Acne in Men

25th May 2015

Acne is a common skin problem that causes frequent outbreaks of spots. In its most severe form it can cause permanent scarring and an also be a cause of emotional struggles and social embarrassment. Whilst acne is most common in adolescents, it can persist into adulthood. Surprisingly, many people dismiss acne as a trivial skin condition but it can cause real suffering and blight many peoples' lives, preventing them from living life to the full because of self-consciousness about their appearance.


Spots are essentially caused when the hair follicles in the skin become blocked. In acne sufferers, this tends to be because the glands produce too much sebum, an oil substance used to lubricate the skin. Mixed with dead skin cells and any dirt on the skin, pores become blocked and spots and blackheads form. 

During adolescence, more testosterone is produced by both sexes, however, levels are higher in male adolescents. It's thought that the higher levels of testosterone cause higher sebum production which is one of the main causes of acne. 

It's also the case that shaving can exacerbate acne if your razor isn't kept clean. Why not try soaking the blade in rubbing alcohol for ten minutes before shaving? Intense exercise can also make acne worse, so try to wear only breathable natural fabrics for working out and shower using a mild antibacterial wash soon after exercise. If you wear hats or caps, you may find you’re prone to forehead breakouts - try washing cloth headwear weekly, or wipe the inside with an antibacterial wipe every so often.

There are ways to treat severe acne in men and it's worth discussing options with a dermatologist if it is negatively affecting your life.

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