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Why Do I Have So Much Acne? (Causes, Treatments, and More)

Do you ever find yourself looking in the mirror and thinking, "Why do I have so much acne?" Acne can be a significant source of stress, affecting people of all ages, from teenagers to adults. It can appear anywhere – on your face, back, chest, or shoulders. Understanding the different types, causes, and treatments can help you manage this common skin condition.

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • Acne is a multifaceted skin condition with causes ranging from genetics and hormonal changes to lifestyle habits, making it necessary to understand its symptoms and causes for effective management.

  • Over-the-counter treatments, like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, and a healthy lifestyle and proper skincare routine, can help manage acne.

  • Severe forms of acne, such as cystic acne, require more potent treatments. While these cases can be challenging, various effective therapies and products are available, and understanding your skin's specific requirements can make a significant difference.

  • Exposed Skin Care products offer an innovative approach to managing acne, combining dermatologist-approved active ingredients with soothing natural extracts for effective acne treatment and prevention.

Close up of woman trying to pop her pimple

Unmasking Acne: What It Is and Why It Occurs

Acne is a skin condition that occurs when hair follicles under your skin become clogged. This blockage can be due to excess oil (sebum), dead skin cells, and sometimes bacteria. Let's delve into the various types of acne and what causes these blemishes on your skin.

Types of Acne

  • Papules: These are small red, tender bumps caused by inflammation or infection of the blocked follicle.
  • Pustules (Pimples): Pustules are papules with pus at their tips.
  • Cysts: These are painful, pus-filled lumps beneath the surface of your skin.
  • Nodules: These are solid, often painful lumps beneath the surface of your skin, larger than papules.
  • Blackheads: If the pore is partially blocked, the trapped sebum and dead skin cells are exposed to air and turn black, causing what we know as blackheads.
  • Whiteheads: These are formed when the pore is completely blocked, causing trapped sebum and dead skin cells to appear white on the skin surface.

Close up of nose filled with white heads

Causes of Acne

A combination of factors causes acne, such as:

  • Overactive Oil Glands: If your oil glands produce too much sebum, it can mix with dead skin cells and clog your pores, leading to acne.
  • Hormonal Changes: Hormone fluctuations, such as those during puberty, menstruation, or due to birth control pills, can trigger overactive oil glands.
  • Clogged Hair Follicles: Hair follicles clogged by oil and dead skin cells can result in various types of acne, including blackheads and whiteheads.
  • Bacteria: Excess oil on your skin can lead to the growth of bacteria, which can contribute to acne.

Everyday Habits That Make Acne Worse

Many everyday habits and factors can worsen acne, sometimes unknowingly.

  • Touching Your Face: This can transfer bacteria on your hands to your face, causing breakouts.
  • Poor Skin Care: Not washing your face regularly or properly can cause excess oil and dead skin cells to clog pores.
  • Certain Foods: Some studies suggest that certain foods, like dairy and high glycemic index foods, may worsen acne.
  • Stress: It's been found that stress can make acne worse.
  • Sun Exposure: Sun can irritate your skin and cause a breakout. Always apply an oil-free sunscreen.
  • Using Wrong Skin Care Products: Using oily or greasy cosmetics, sunscreens, and other skin care products can clog pores. Choose oil-free, non-comedogenic products.

Woman looking at skin care product with a worried face

Acne Treatment: The Path to Clear Skin

Over-the-Counter Treatments

Over-the-counter (OTC) products can treat mild to moderate acne. These products include:

  • Benzoyl Peroxide: This works by killing bacteria on your skin.
  • Salicylic Acid: Salicylic acid helps prevent clogged pores by slowing the shedding of skin cells inside the follicles.
  • Sulfur: This removes dead skin cells and excess oil.
  • Retinoids: These help to clear acne by promoting the turnover of new skin cells.

Exposed Skin Care Body Kit

Lifestyle Changes

Making specific lifestyle changes can also help manage acne:

  • Wash Your Face: Wash your face twice daily and after sweating to remove excess oil and dead skin cells.
  • Avoid Touching Your Face: This will help prevent the transfer of bacteria to your face.
  • Choose Makeup Wisely: Use oil-free, non-comedogenic makeup products that won't clog your pores.
  • Avoid Sun Exposure: Wear an oil-free sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.
  • Eat a Healthy Diet: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can help your skin stay healthy.

Digging Deeper: The Genetic Link and Severe Forms of Acne

While various environmental factors and habits play a significant role in acne, it's also essential to acknowledge the genetic component. Research indicates that if your parents had acne, you might be more prone to developing acne due to the hereditary aspect of the skin condition.

A family history of acne often implies a genetic predisposition towards overactive oil glands, making you likely to get adult acne. Other factors, such as how your immune system responds to acne-causing bacteria and how your skin reacts to hormonal fluctuations, also contribute to your risk of acne.

Understanding Severe Acne

In some cases, people with acne may develop severe acne called cystic acne. This type of acne tends to run in families and can cause significant distress due to its appearance and the discomfort it causes.

Cystic Acne is one of the most severe forms of acne. It occurs when cysts form deep underneath your skin. This can result from a combination of bacteria, oil, and dry skin cells that get trapped in your skin.

The Role of Exposed Skin Care in Managing Acne

Exposed Skin Care is an innovative skincare line that treats acne and improves skin health. The line is a fusion of science and nature, containing powerful dermatologist-approved active ingredients combined with soothing natural extracts.

Exposed Skin Care Expanded Kit

Key benefits of using Exposed Skin Care products include:

  • Effective Cleansing: Their facial cleanser helps remove dirt, oil, and other pollutants that can trigger acne without stripping the skin of its natural moisture.
  • Exfoliation: Exposed products contain active ingredients like salicylic acid to exfoliate the skin gently, unblock pores, and prevent pimples from forming.
  • Moisturizing: Their moisturizer hydrates the skin without making it greasy, reducing the chances of clogged pores and breakouts.

In addition to treating existing acne, Exposed Skin Care products can help manage the underlying causes of acne and prevent future flare-ups. They offer various treatment options tailored for those prone to acne, whether teen or adult-onset.


In our quest to understand "why do I have so much acne", it's clear that the causes of acne are multifaceted, ranging from genetics to lifestyle habits. This common skin condition, which can cause pimples on the face, upper back, and chest, often starts during one's teenage years but can persist or even start in adulthood.

To manage acne effectively, it's important to understand its symptoms and causes. This knowledge can empower you to make informed decisions about your skincare routine and lifestyle habits that could trigger breakouts. While some causes, like genetics, might be out of your control, you can still take several proactive measures, such as using the right acne products, maintaining a healthy diet, and adopting a good skincare routine.

Treatment options are available, and they vary depending on the severity of the acne. For mild to moderate acne, over-the-counter topical treatments can be effective. Products like Exposed Skin Care can be beneficial in clearing your acne. They address the acne flare-ups and target the underlying causes, helping prevent future outbreaks.

Remember, treating acne is a journey. It often gets more severe before it starts to clear, so don't be discouraged if you don't see immediate results. Start treatment early, stay consistent, and be patient. In time, you can manage your acne effectively and reclaim the confidence that comes with clear, healthy skin.


Q1: Why do I have so much acne as an adult?

A1: Adult acne can be caused by various factors such as hormonal changes, stress, poor diet, and improper skin care. It's possible to get acne well into adulthood; some people are more prone to adult acne than others.

Q2: Can I prevent acne?

A2: While it might not be possible to prevent all acne, you can reduce your risk by washing your face regularly, eating a healthy diet, avoiding touching your face, and using oil-free skin care products.

Q3: Does picking at pimples make acne worse?

A3: Yes, picking at pimples can cause more inflammation, lead to scarring, and spread bacteria, which can cause more acne.

Q4: Are there any effective treatments for adult acne?

A4: Yes, treatments like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and retinoids can be effective for adult acne. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and a good skin care routine can also help manage acne.

Q5: Is it true that certain foods can cause acne?

A5: Some research suggests that certain foods, particularly those high in sugars and fats, may contribute to acne. However, more research is needed to understand the link between diet and acne fully.