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Late Onset Acne

Late Onset Acne

While both men and women can experience persistent acne that lasts into adulthood, women going through menopause are more likely to experience late onset acne.

Acne occurs when excess sebum (naturally occurring oil in our skin), skin cells and bacteria accumulate. Several factors may trigger the condition, including fluctuating hormones; stopping the use of birth control pills; side effects from taking certain medications such as anticonvulsants and corticosteroids; a family history of acne; stress; cosmetic products such as sunscreens or hair products.

Late onset acne is most prevalent on the chin, jawline, and around the mouth. Lesions can also form on the chest and the back. The blemishes can be more inflamed and deep-seated than acne experienced during previous bouts. Sometimes acne can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition such as polycystic ovaries, or adrenal hyperplasia. If you develop late onset acne, it is important to see your AOA doctor, who can uncover the cause and determine the best course of treatment.


Treatments for acne can include topical creams, gels or solutions that combine benzoyl peroxide and a topical antimicrobial to effectively combat bacteria. Other treatments can include over-the-counter products that contain sodium sufacetamide and sulfur. Additionally, there are effective oral antibiotics that can help get acne under control. If your acne is very severe or resistant to other treatments, oral isotretinoin can be prescribed. In persistent cases, your AOA doctor may refer you to a dermatologist who can determine if another kind of medication is required.

Out of embarrassment many women do not seek treatment for late onset acne, however, since it is a common and treatable condition, seeking help from your AOA healthcare provider can provide relief and peace of mind.

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