Teen Acne vs Adult Acne 

We are seeing a rise in the the number of adult clients experiencing acne and many are confused as to why it hasn’t stopped as soon as they left their teenage years behind.
Teenage acne is very common as the hormonal changes of puberty bring on oilier skin and hair, which can make it easier for acne to develop.
It is thought that around 55% of adults also now suffer with acne. Out of the 55%; it is believed 80% are women.

What is the difference between teen and adult acne? 


  • Adult acne tends to appear on the lower part of the face; whereas teen acne tends to show up all over the face, and back, chest and shoulders.
  • Adults suffer more with deeper nodules or red papules; whereas teens mostly see lots of tiny bumps, blackheads or whiteheads on the skin


Are the causes the same?

Acne develops when dead skin cells and natural oils (sebum) block up tiny hair follicles in the skin. Bacteria work their way into the plugged-up follicles and the body’s immune cells move in to attack the bacteria, the results of the battle are the classic symptoms of acne – swelling, redness and spots.
Teenage Acne is common for being hormone related, the sudden surge and change in hormones to accommodate puberty.
Adult Acne can range from lots of various reasons:

  • hormones during pregnancy, stop/starting birth control pills, menstrual cycle
  • medication
  • slower cellular turnover – more dead skin cells to block the pores
  • stress
  • inflamed or impaired skin barrier function from using aggressive skincare
  • diet

When looking at the possible causes in adult acne,it highlights just how many factors can influence your skin.

The Treatment 

The way to treat adult acne will differ to how we treat teenage acne.
Teenage skin is a lot more durable and thicker than adult skin. Also young skin that produces too much oil needs more aggressive treatments to reduce the presence of p.acnes bacteria and dry up all that oil.
Adult treatment will depend on the cause as to how to treat. We recommend booking a consultation with a skin clinic or GP to help assess the causes and treatments available to you.
Ingredients to look for are:

  1. Retinol ; such as Osmosis Clarify Blemish Serum 
  2. Salicylic acid ; such as The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% 
  3. Sulphur ; such as ZO Sulphur Mask (available via consultation only) 
  4. Azelaic Acids; such as Skin Design London Acne Serum 
  5. benzoyl peroxide; such as ZO Aknetrol Serum (available via consultation only)

To book a consultation with one of our trained aesthetic team members, please call 01132253938 or email info@medifine.co.uk