Can stress cause acne?

Stress and Your Skin

Part 3


Did you know that acne is the most common skin condition in the United States? It affects up to 50 million Americans annually!

Did you also know that one of most commonly reported “triggers” for an acne flare is stress?

Who gets acne?

Acne most commonly affects teenagers and adult women, but can occur at any age.  Acne can develop on almost any part of the body, including face, neck, arms, back, legs and buttock. It most commonly affects the T-Zone in teenagers and the jawline and chin in adult women.

What are the symptoms of acne?

  • Whiteheads (closed comedones)
  • Blackheads (open comedones)
  • Small red bumps (papules)
  • Pimples (pustules), which are papules with pus at their tips
  • Large, solid, painful lumps beneath the surface of the skin (nodules)
  • Painful, pus-filled lumps beneath the surface of the skin (cystic lesions)

What are some common triggers for acne flares?

  • Increases in stress levels
  • Hormonal changes (puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, etc)
  • Increase in sweating
  • Certain topical products, as well as certain oral medications

How is acne treated?

There are many treatment options available for acne depending on the severity. Mild acne is typically treated with a combination of topical medications targeted towards killing bacteria, renewing skin texture, and shrinking the pores. Moderate to severe acne may require oral medication, such as oral antibiotics or anti-androgen medications, in addition to topicals. When needed, we are also experienced in treating patients with severe acne with isotretinoin (Accutane).  All of our patients are closely monitored.

In addition to prescription acne medications, NW Dermatology also offers the following to help clear your skin:

  • Blu-U Light Acne Treatment
  • Hydrafacials
  • VI Peels

We are not currently doing aesthetic services due to increased safety precautions. Hopefully, we can restart these procedures again soon.

NW Dermatology Institute is now offering telemedicine appointments. If you are interested in speaking with a member of our staff, call 503–223–1933 or schedule an online appointment at