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Hormonal Acne in Men (What You Need to Know)

Acne is often associated with the rollercoaster ride of teenage years. It's an almost universal rite of passage, with over 80% of people having to deal with it at some point. However, acne doesn't always retire when adolescence is over. In fact, many men experience acne breakouts well into their adult years, a condition commonly known as adult acne or hormonal acne in men.

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • Understanding different types of acne, including non-inflammatory, inflammatory, hormonal, and fungal acne, can guide the appropriate treatment approach.
  • Hormonal fluctuations, particularly in testosterone levels, play a crucial role in the development and severity of acne, especially in men.
  • Stress hormones like cortisol and growth hormones can trigger acne and worsen existing conditions, highlighting the importance of a holistic approach in acne management.
  • Exposed Skin Care offers a scientifically formulated and comprehensive skincare system with natural ingredients, effectively managing acne across genders and skin types.

Man with acne on face standing

Hormonal Acne in Men: It's Not Just a Puberty Thing

While hormonal acne is often associated with fluctuating hormones during puberty, it doesn't discriminate based on age. Men of all ages can experience hormonal acne, from teenagers to adults. So, what causes hormonal acne in men, and why is it a persistent issue for many?

The Role of Hormones in Acne

Hormones, particularly testosterone, play a significant role in the development of acne. Elevated testosterone levels can increase sebum production — the oily substance secreted by sebaceous glands to hydrate the skin and hair. But when there's an overproduction of sebum, it can clog pores, trapping dead skin cells and leading to acne breakouts.

The Different Forms of Acne

Hormonal acne in men manifests in several forms. The main types of acne include:

  • Papules and Pustules: These are small, red, and inflamed bumps that can be filled with pus, commonly known as pimples.
  • Nodules and Cysts: These are larger, deeper, and more painful forms of acne. Nodules are hard, while cysts are filled with pus. They represent severe acne.
  • Blackheads and Whiteheads: Also known as comedonal acne, blackheads, and whiteheads form when excess sebum and dead skin cells clog the hair follicles.

Nose with whiteheads

Beyond Testosterone: Other Causes of Acne in Men

Hormonal fluctuations, particularly in testosterone, aren't the only triggers for acne in men. Other factors contribute to the condition as well.

Dead Skin Cells and Sebum: A Recipe for Acne

When dead skin cells aren't properly exfoliated, they can mix with sebum and clog pores. This can lead to the development of acne. Moreover, an overproduction of sebum can worsen acne by providing an environment where acne-causing bacteria can thrive.

The Inflammatory Connection

Inflammation can significantly worsen acne. It can cause mild forms of acne, like blackheads and whiteheads, to progress to more severe forms, like nodules and cysts. Various factors can cause inflammation, including stress, diet, and lifestyle habits.

Lifestyle and Acne: More Than Skin Deep

Several lifestyle factors can influence the occurrence of acne in men, exacerbating hormonal changes and contributing to frequent acne breakouts.

  • Stress: Chronic stress can lead to hormonal imbalances that can trigger or worsen acne.
  • Poor Diet: Consuming a diet high in sugar and unhealthy fats can cause inflammation, worsening acne.
  • Lack of Sleep: Insufficient sleep can disrupt hormone balance, potentially leading to increased acne breakouts.

Image of man with insomnia

Treating Hormonal Acne in Men

Hormonal acne in men can be frustrating, but it can be managed effectively with the right approach. Here are some treatment options:

  • Salicylic Acid: This is a commonly used ingredient in over-the-counter acne treatments. It helps to unclog pores by breaking down the dead skin cells and excess sebum that cause acne.

  • Proper Hygiene: Regularly washing your face with a gentle cleanser can help remove excess oil and dead skin cells that can clog pores and cause acne. However, avoid harsh scrubbing as it can cause irritation and worsen acne.

  • Healthy Diet: Consuming a balanced diet rich in antioxidants can help reduce inflammation, reducing acne breakouts' severity and frequency.

  • Regular Exercise: Regular physical activity can help balance hormones, reduce stress, and promote overall skin health.

Identifying and Understanding Types of Acne

It's essential to understand that acne is not a one-size-fits-all condition. In fact, there are different types of acne that one can develop. Recognizing the type of acne you have is crucial as it guides the best treatment approach.

  • Non-Inflammatory Acne: This category includes whiteheads and blackheads that are usually less noticeable and less likely to cause scarring.
  • Inflammatory Acne: This type of acne is more severe and includes papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts. Inflammatory acne can be painful, red, and swollen and often leaves acne scars.
  • Hormonal Acne: This is often related to hormone fluctuations, including testosterone. Hormonal acne in men is very common, particularly along the jawline and chin.
  • Fungal Acne: Unlike the other types of acne caused by clogged pores and bacteria, fungal acne is triggered by an overgrowth of yeast, a type of fungus. It usually manifests as small, uniform, itchy pimples.

Image of asian man picking on his acne

Understanding these types of acne will not only allow you to identify the type you are experiencing, but it will also allow you to take a more targeted approach in treating and managing it.

The Relationship Between Hormones and Acne

Hormonal acne in men is usually tied to fluctuations in hormones, such as testosterone. Men can get hormonal acne when the levels of testosterone increase, which then triggers the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum. This excess sebum can clog pores, causing acne outbreaks.

Hormones like testosterone play a crucial role in acne development. But other hormones can also worsen acne. For instance, stress hormones like cortisol can trigger acne and make existing acne worse. Even growth hormones that peak during certain menstrual cycle stages can play a role in acne outbreaks.

Hormonal acne in men can be a chronic condition that persists for several years. It's also worth noting that hormonal acne may flare up periodically, often in sync with hormonal fluctuations. This is why you might notice new acne or worsening of existing acne during periods of stress or significant hormonal changes.

These two key understandings about the different types of acne and the role of hormones in acne provide a holistic view of the pathogenesis of acne. They are a foundation for dealing with acne and establishing a comprehensive treatment plan to reduce acne breakouts.

Leveraging Exposed Skin Care for Acne Management

As a prevalent skin condition, acne, particularly male hormonal acne, can persist and cause breakouts that disrupt your daily life. One solution to tackle this chronic acne issue is using a product line such as Exposed Skin Care.

Exposed Skin Care Expanded Kit

Exposed Skin Care offers a unique blend of science and nature to treat acne effectively. Its benefits include:

  • Scientifically Formulated: Each product is designed to fight acne vulgaris, the most common form of acne. It targets the root causes of acne and prevents acne from forming.

  • Natural Ingredients: Exposed Skin Care incorporates natural extracts that soothe and heal the skin, reducing the appearance of acne and acne flare-ups.

  • Effective for All: Whether you're a man with acne or a woman with acne, Exposed Skin Care caters to all genders and skin types.

  • Complete Skincare System: From cleansers to toners to serums, Exposed Skin Care offers a comprehensive range of products to manage all stages of the acne lifecycle.

Understanding the benefits of using Exposed Skin Care helps anyone struggling with acne, including those dealing with hormonal acne causes. By incorporating it into your daily regimen, you can develop a robust defense against acne and enhance your skin's overall health and appearance.


Navigating the world of acne, especially male acne, can be challenging, but it becomes a manageable condition with a proper understanding of its causes and manifestations. It's important to remember that acne, including hormonal acne in men, is a common condition that affects many people across the globe.

From recognizing the different types of acne to understanding the hormonal influences on sebum production and acne development, you can be well-equipped to address this skin concern. Products like Exposed Skin Care can aid in managing acne, targeting the visible symptoms and the root causes.

Dealing with acne requires more than just treating visible pimples. It involves a holistic approach that includes lifestyle modifications, understanding the pathogenesis of acne, and utilizing well-formulated skincare products. Remember, the acne you see on your skin usually a result of various underlying factors, so tackling those is crucial to long-term skin health.

Acne is not a determinant of your worth or beauty. It's a skin condition that can be managed, and with knowledge and appropriate care, you can overcome it. May this comprehensive guide to understanding and managing acne serve as a helpful resource in your skincare journey.


Q: Can men get hormonal acne at any age?

A: Yes, hormonal acne in men is not limited to adolescence. Men of any age can experience hormonal acne due to factors such as hormonal imbalances, stress, and diet.

Q: Does testosterone cause acne?

A: Testosterone can contribute to acne development by increasing sebum production, which can clog pores and lead to acne breakouts.

Q: Is hormonal acne in men different from female acne?

A: While both men and women can experience hormonal acne, the patterns and severity may differ due to the differences in hormonal profiles between the sexes. However, the fundamental mechanisms involving hormones, sebum, and inflammation, are the same.

Q: What can men do to reduce hormonal acne?

A: Men can manage hormonal acne by maintaining a good skincare regimen, including using salicylic acid products, maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and managing stress levels.