Book Virtual Consultation

Dr Simon Zokaie BSc MBChB MRCP

Linia Skin Clinic

Acne in men: causes and coping

18th July 2023 Acne

Acne is something that many of us will have experienced at some point. The skin condition, characterised by spots and oily skin, generally occurs in adolescence, but acne is also relatively common later in life. Adults from all backgrounds and genders may experience acne, and men are no exception. Yet, although 4 in 10 adult men report experiencing acne, it’s not often spoken about. 

We will explore some of the various contributors to acne in men and how to cope with the condition. 

male face with acne

What causes acne in men?

Acne occurs when the skin produces too much sebum, which is a naturally oily substance that occurs in the skin. This excess oil, combined with dead skin cells and other debris in the skin, can block pores on the skin’s surface and eventually cause a breakout. In men, however, certain factors can exacerbate this process: 

  1. Hormonal factors

Acne resulting from hormones is often associated with women, but men can get hormonal acne, too. Testosterone, a hormone that men have in higher amounts, has shown to increase sebum production, thereby contributing to the development of acne. High levels or fluctuations in testosterone can trigger breakouts.  

  1. Genetics 

Some men may have a genetic predisposition or family history of acne, which can increase the likelihood of developing the condition.

  1. Lifestyle and environmental factors 

Poor diet, lack of quality sleep, and high stress levels are all linked to worsening acne. Pores in the skin are also likely to become blocked with regular sweating or exposure to pollutants. Some men might also experience a breakout through certain habits such as frequent face-touching or inadequate washing. 

  1. Shaving

Shaving can cause hair follicles to get trapped in skin pores, leading to a likely acne breakout. Using dull blades or improper shaving techniques that cause friction or razor bumps can irritate the skin. This irritation may develop into acne.

Managing acne 

Acne can often feel really debilitating. Sometimes, you may feel your confidence has taken a hit or find that acne stops you from doing what you love. The good news is that there are methods to help eliminate acne. 

Acne treatment

There are a range of various acne treatments that a dermatologist may recommend for your specific type of acne. This could include:

Topical treatments: These include creams, gels, and lotions containing active ingredients such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and retinoids. These compounds can unclog pores, reduce inflammation, and control oil production. 

Oral medications: Some oral treatments, such as antibiotics and other drugs, can help curb acne growth. 

Chemical peels: These treatments consist of powerful chemical solutions that are applied directly to acne.

LED light and lasers: Light beams in LED lights and heat in lasers both work by destroying the bacteria responsible for acne. These forms of therapy help to deal with swelling and redness caused by acne. 

Lifestyle changes

As well as acne medication, making some lifestyle changes may help reduce any further skin irritation. This could include: 

  • Adopting a skin care routine suitable for your skin type, including the use of a cleanser to clean your skin 
  • Using skin products that are labelled as ‘non-comedogenic’ as these contain ingredients that won’t block your pores 
  • Avoid doing anything to irritate your acne, including picking or touching skin, overwashing, and squeezing spots. 
  • Showering after you’ve been sweating lots
  • Maintaining good shaving practices 
  • Looking after your well-being, including getting enough sleep, maintaining a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and managing stress.

Some people, including men, also find it helpful to cover up or hide their acne through some lightweight, natural make-up. 

Need support with acne?

Want to take the next step to get your acne under control? We’re here to help.

At LINIA Skin Clinic, we specialise in a range of acne treatments and can help you find the right treatment for you. Find out more about our acne treatments and organise a consultation with our expert team today.

Posted in Acne

Enquire Online

  • Monday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Wednesday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thursday 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Friday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

    As Featured In

    Linia Skin Clinic
    Linia Skin Clinic
    Linia Skin Clinic
    Linia Skin Clinic

    Our Partners

    Linia Skin Clinic
    Linia Skin Clinic
    Linia Skin Clinic
    Linia Skin Clinic


    Linia Skin Clinic
    64 Harley Street,
    W1G 7HB

    Call directly:

    0207 100 5252

    Linia Skin Clinic Linia Skin Clinic Linia Skin Clinic