Men’s Acne: causes, prevention and treatments

Skincare

Acne is something that both men and women can get. It can occur at any point in your life, even if you have always had good skin before that. There are several reasons why acne can occur, and these can vary depending on the person.
But, for the most part, these causes can be treated.  

If you want to know more about acne in men and how to get rid of it, we have put together our guide to men’s acne.

What is acne? 

Acne is an incredibly common skin condition. Spots can happen to most people in their lives; however, acne is when the skin becomes covered in spots and oily patches. It can also leave your skin feeling hot or painful.  

Men can get acne in a variety of places on their bodies. This includes their face, their back and their chest. The face is the most commonplace that you will find acne occurring.

man acne causes

Acne is made up of 6 main types of spots. There are: 

  • Blackheads – these can be either small black or yellowish bumps 
  • Whiteheads – these look like blackheads; however, they are much firmer to the touch, and when you squeeze them, they will not empty entirely 
  • Papules – these are the type of spots that are small and red; they often feel sore to the touch 
  • Pustules – the same as papules, but these have a build-up of pus, which leads to a white head 
  • Nodules – these are larger lumps that are hard to the touch. They are usually beneath the skin and can be painful 
  • Cysts – these are the most severe of all the spot types. They look much like boils and are filled with pus. These types of spots can lead to scarring

Why does acne happen? 

We all have tiny holes in our skin; these are our hair follicles. Most of the time, they are clear, but there are times when they can become blocked.  

The reason for this is due to our sebaceous glands; these are found near to the surface of your skin and are responsible for producing oils (sebum) that will attach to the growing hair and stop it from being too dry.  

If you have acne, this may be because the glands in your skin have produced too much sebum. This oily substance then mixes with any dead skin cells, plugging up the follicle hole.  

There are many reasons why your sebaceous glands might start to overproduce the sebum. However, one of the most common ones is all down to testosterone. This chemical is present in men and women (although it is usually seen in women in smaller quantities).  

When your body picks up on increased levels of testosterone, then you may find that your glands produce more sebum than it needs.  

Some of the other reasons that acne can occur include: 

  • Genetic factors 
  • Certain medications (the most common are those that contain steroids, as well as those that are used to treat depression or bipolar disease) 
  • Wearing things that cause pressure on the skin, such as backpacks 
  • Smoking

How can you treat acne? 

Skincare routine

Like many skin conditions, there are plenty of things that you can do to try and treat acne. The treatment you should try for your acne will depend on how severe it is.  

If you have relatively low levels of acne, which are a few blackheads, whiteheads and spots, you can treat this at home.  

men acne treatments

However, if you have severe acne, which has not improved despite you having a dedicated skincare regime, then you are going to need to speak to your GP about any treatments that they can recommend or prescribe.  

If you prefer to try home remedies for your acne issues, then there are lots of different things that you can do. 

The first thing is to wash your face every single day properly. This simple act will remove any of those excess oils that can end up clogging your pores. You do need to be careful that you are not over-washing your face as then you will be stripping your skin of the natural sebum that it produces.  

This throws your skin out of whack and will tell the glands to make more sebum making the problems even worse.  

Skincare products for men’s acne

It is also important to remember to use a good quality moisturiser on your skin if you have acne. You don’t want your skin to become too dry, as this is when the sebum will increase. If you have acne, you may find that you have sensitive skin, which means that you need to avoid highly fragranced skincare products, as these can irritate your skin and leave it feeling sore and uncomfortable.  

The thing to focus on with skincare products is that the lower number of ingredients, then the better it is likely to be for your skin.  

You also want to aim to be as hydrated as possible. When you stay hydrated, you will find that your skin will be glowing and looking as healthy as possible. Not only this, but it will ensure that your body doesn’t think that it is dehydrated, which then leads to the skin producing more oils.  

acne routine for men

Sun exposure

One final tip to remember about acne is that if you try to reduce your sun exposure, you can also reduce your acne. Sure, spots can dry out with short term exposure to the sun, but over time, or if this becomes frequently, then you are going to dehydrate your skin and leave it feeling dry and flaky.  

Acne can be uncomfortable and make you feel that your self-esteem has taken quite a hit. However, the good news is that you are likely to find a way to treat it and to stop it from happening in the future.  

You just need to learn your triggers and then think about which treatments will be suitable for your needs, which will give you the best results. 

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