Timeline to determine if you have completely stopped getting acne


Hello AM. My last question was a bit along some specific lines. Thus I believe that it’d be answerable. This question of mine is a bit “out there”.

I believe all of us have faced this dilemma to whether or not stop using acne cure/ prevention techniques and move into a more general facewash and sunscreen kind of routine. But just when we think we could leave out certain medications, we are stuck with another round of acne and we tear our hair out and have to start from square one again. It’s as if acne has borrowed the tagline from vodafone “wherever you go our network follows” :P.But in some other cases I have seen people stop getting acne all of a sudden and never again will they get a single blemish on their face.

So my question is simply this, is there a timeframe by which we can judge whether or not we are acne free (completely). Say for example if we don’t get acne for the next X months then we are deemed to AF (Acne Free). Or is it something that we have to live through our entire life,fighting a continuous battle and hoping and praying that we never get this disease again ?

PS: May be we can conduct a kind of small survey within the members of AM, and find out the general time frame since their last bout. If we have this data then atleast it will help us if getting somewhere in putting a timeline to this question.


3 Answers


Well in my case i was acne free in 2010 and 2012. Both the times I was based abroad. As soon as I got back to India something triggered it.

Thats exactly what but dermat told me. She said all these acne treatments , creams and antibiotics work to subdue your current condition and makes the bacterial infection dormant until something like certain foods or the good old hormones trigger it to a full blown attack worse than the previous one.

I was acne free for a year at a stretch and bang all of a sudden back to square one. So my advice is if a basic regime is working for you keep it up.





Hi Sumit, this is a great question. I’m sure many of us have wondered about it in varying degrees. In my case for example, the thoughts that go through my mind are on the lines of – God, will this torture ever end? It’s sad but true, acne keeps coming back, it is sort of cyclical.


Whether it comes back or not depends on the root cause of it. Everyone’s acne is not caused or helped by the same things, that’s why we don’t see a specific duration before it ceases. Many people “outgrow” it. My mom did, at about 25 years of age, but I didn’t. 25 years of age came and left, but my acne didn’t. So it depends, even within the family. Then when you go out and look at people not even related to you, that is where you see real randomness.



One thing is for sure though. I’m noticing and probably I’m not alone, that less and less people in this modern world are being able to outgrow acne. There is a reason – research has shown that various strains of acne bacteria are becoming more and more resistant, so outgrowing acne is becoming harder. Because of this people are continuing to see pimples well into their 30′s, 40′s and even 50′s.


As for how long a single bout of acne lasts, that depends entirely on how long the hormonal and chemical upheaval inside the body lasts. For example, some women experience severe acne during pregnancy. After childbirth everything goes back to being normal as if acne never happened. So as soon as the pregnancy hormones have subsided, acne ceases. This is a case of a very specific time frame, 9 months. Others go through it exactly during a certain time of the month and then it ceases for the rest of the month.



Men too, during periods of intense stress or physical activity (gymming for example) may notice an increase in breakouts which calm down once the stressor is removed. One may also remain stuck with acne until an underlying nutritional deficiency is addressed. In my case, supplementing with vitamin D, addressing my severe vitamin D deficiency, almost completely stopped spontaneous acne breakouts. But it is not doing the same for everyone. For others it may be thyroid, pre-diabetes and other factors.



So, addressing the root cause is important. Using a non-comedogenic skincare routine until then and even afterward is a way to support your efforts, but skincare is not a solution – it is a support mechanism.

I hope more people will add their experiences. 🙂


Hi sumit.

I have wondered this myself many times and haue come tõ the conclusion that for some people(like me) acne can only be kept in control,never eradicated.I have seen many of my classmates who had much severe acne than me,having absolutely clear faces now,whereas i still battle the odd one.
A lot depends on what is triggering your acne.
If its jušt a matter of pore -clogging products,then jušt chucking that out wil help.But if its hormones playing havoc,then it becõmes that very tough. I get a bout only when am going through a hõrmonal imbalance. During both my pregnancies,i had cystic acne which šubdued after childbirth. Alšo,whenever my cycles go irregular,i face a bout..otherwise,my skin behaves good.

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