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Acne in Men

By Shannon Marks ; Updated July 18, 2017

Acne, which commonly appears on the face, neck, shoulders, back and chest, can develop when oil glands in the skin secrete excess sebum, causing the hair follicles to clog and become inflamed. Acne is a common skin disease that affects about 80 percent of those ages 11 to 30, according to the National Institutes of Health. Although adults continue to be affected by acne well into their 40s and 50s, men are less likely than women to have breakouts.

Adult Acne

In 2007, the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology published a study by Dr. Julie C. Harper, a dermatologist at the University of Alabama Birmingham School of Medicine. In a random sample of 1,013 men and women ages 20 and older, the researchers found that 42.5 percent of men in their 20s had acne; 20.1 percent of men in their 30s had acne; 12 percent of men in their 40s had acne; and 7.3 percent of male study participants 50 or older had acne.

Acne and Shaving

Shaving products can contribute to skin problems. If you think your shaving routine or products are exacerbating your acne, try going a day without shaving. If you don't break out, change your products.

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Acne and Stress

In an article published by Forbes.com, Dr. Pamela Jakubowicz, a dermatologist at Montefiore Medical Center in New York, said that almost every skin disease, including acne, gets worse with stress. Mission Health System, a network of hospitals in North Carolina, reports that major causes of stress for men are finances, career, family and relationships. Instead of letting stress get to you, and your skin, try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or yoga; develop new hobbies; stay connected with a support network; and exercise regularly.

Hormonal Acne

Proactiv, the manufacturer of the acne-treatment system, reports that men typically have more severe acne, compared with women. The hormone androgen causes breakouts in both men and women. Because men have more of the hormone, especially while they are teenagers, they’re more likely to have severe acne.

Severe Acne

Acne conglobata is a type of severe acne that men are at higher risk of developing, according to Skin Care Physicians, a website published by the American Academy of Dermatology. Acne conglobata is a chronic form of acne that often causes scarring. It’s characterized by deep abscesses and inflammation and causes severe damage to the skin. It tends to look like widespread patches of blackheads, which typically occur on the face, neck, chest, back, upper arms and buttocks.

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