The Key Differences Between Bacterial vs Hormonal Acne and How to Treat Them

Acne is a common skin condition that causes pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. It can occur at any age and affects both men and women. There are two main types of acne, bacterial and hormonal. Bacterial acne is caused by the buildup of bacteria on the skin.

While hormonal acne is triggered by hormonal fluctuations in the body. Both types of acne have similar symptoms, but they require different treatment approaches. In this article, we will discuss the key differences in bacterial vs hormonal acne and how to treat them.

Underlying Cause

The main difference between bacterial and hormonal acne lies in their underlying causes. Bacterial acne is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria on the skin’s surface, specifically a strain called Propionibacterium acnes. This bacteria feeds on excess oil and dead skin cells.

This can lead to clogged pores and inflammation. On the other hand, hormonal acne causes hormonal imbalances in the body. These imbalances can be caused by factors such as:

  • puberty
  • menstrual cycle changes
  • pregnancy
  • menopause

Hormonal fluctuations can increase the production of oil and skin cells, leading to clogged pores and breakouts.


Another key difference between bacterial and hormonal acne is their location on the face. Bacterial acne tends to occur in areas where there are more oil glands, such as the forehead, nose, and chin. This type of acne also often appears as red, inflamed pimples.

Hormonal acne, on the other hand, tends to occur around the mouth, jawline, and chin. These areas are more sensitive to hormonal fluctuations and often produce deeper, cystic acne lesions.

Regardless of the type, consistent skincare remedies can also support the health of the skin and reduce the occurrence of acne. This includes gentle cleansing and the use of non-comedogenic products.

Age of Onset

Bacterial and hormonal acne are two prevalent types that can arise at any point in life. Each is often associated with distinct age groups. When it comes to bacterial acne, it tends to be more prevalent among teenagers and young adults.

This age group experiences heightened hormone levels and increased oil production, setting the stage for the development of bacterial acne. On the other hand, hormonal acne, while not limited by age, is observed in women aged 20 to 40.

In more severe cases you need to consult a dermatologist for specialized treatment options. Such as prescription medications or professional procedures can be beneficial.

Treatment Approaches

Treating acne effectively requires a targeted approach based on its cause. In handling bacterial acne, treatments often focus on reducing the bacteria on the skin’s surface. Topical antibacterial creams containing benzoyl peroxide or clindamycin are commonly recommended.

Maintaining a regular cleansing routine can help prevent the buildup of bacteria. However, hormonal acne may require treatments that address the hormonal imbalances causing the outbreaks.

Oral contraceptives or other hormone-regulating medications such as spironolactone are frequently prescribed for women with hormonal acne. These treatments can help reduce the severity of acne by regulating hormone levels in the body.

Discover the Differences Between Bacterial vs Hormonal Acne and Their Treatment Today!

Bacterial vs hormonal acne may have similar symptoms, but they have distinct differences. Understanding these differences is crucial in choosing the right treatment approach for your acne type. Remember that everyone’s skin is unique.

So it may take some trial and error to find the best treatment plan for you. Taking care of your skin and addressing acne early on can lead to clearer, healthier skin in the long run.

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