Male Acne Causes and Prevention

A large percentage of acne sufferers are male and this can be due to many causes. Acne is caused by the over secretion of oil glands (causing what is known as 'whiteheads') and blocked hair follicles ('blackheads').

Acne can be caused by shaving (the blades cause the skin to become damaged and can aggravate existing acne if blades are not regularly changed or harsh razors are used), an overbalance of the sex hormones, performance enhancing drugs (these cause dehydration and upset the body's hormone balance), stress (can cause an overbalance of hormones), a change in diet (lack of nutritional foods), a continuation of teenage acne (called 'Acne Vulgaris'), and can also be hereditary (passed on in the family gene pool).

Related article: 10 homeophatic remedies for acne vulgaris

Male Acne Causes

Acne has also been shown to occur predominantly in male athletes due to the friction of clothing on skin, sweat production or a combination of these things. And these all produce an acne called 'Acne Mechanica'.

Oil glands are bigger and more prominent on the back, chest and lower face and these are very common areas for acne to occur in males.

The hair shaft is the greatest cause of acne as sebum (an oily substance produced by the sebaceous or oil glands) is excreted from the hair shaft to the surface of the skin and is there combined with the molecules that maintain the skin known as lipids.

The skin has a film of acid or an 'acid mantle' that helps to protect against bacteria, if this film deteriorates, a bacteria called the P Acnes Bacteria, a bacteria that forms part of the skin flora (the microorganisms on the skin) and lives on the sebum excreted by the hair follicles. If there is a lack in the P Acnes Bacteria's food source, the oil gland and hair follicles will become inflamed and infected and in turn result in Acne Mechanica.

How to prevent male acne

How do you prevent this acne? Acne preventions are very similar for both men and women but there are a few things that can be done that are more specific to men.

  • Use sharp and clean razors and mild colognes and shaving creams. (prevent acne after shaving)
  • Wash your face twice a day.
  • If you suffer from back/shoulder acne, avoid tight fitting or scratchy clothing. Men generally perspire more than women so shower/wash regularly and after all exercise.
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking, they cause your body to dehydrate and your skin to become dry and more prone to acne.