Acne isn’t just a teenage problem; it affects even the grown-ups. Yes, adults get it too! Some adults continue to get acne well into their 30s, 40s, and even 50s. Women tend to have adult acne more than men due to frequent biological changes they undergo in their lifetime.
Most people suffering from acne say “there are many times I would not meet my friends because of the way I look,”. Adult acne is not a mere ignorable skin problem, it can deeply hamper your self-confidence.
Adult Acne: What Causes It?
There are many reasons why adult acne may appear:
Stress can do a lot to your body. When you’re stressed, your body releases more of certain hormones that stimulate the oil glands, leading to clogged pores and acne. Hence, watch out if you’re under constant stress.
- Hormonal Imbalance
Hormones play a big role in your skin health too. It is one of the primary reasons behind adult acne, especially in women. Pregnancy, pre-menopause, and menopause contribute to adult acne due to the accompanying fluctuations in hormones. As women get older, female hormone levels often decline. At the same time, male hormones rise. This, in turn, will increase oil secretion, making your pores larger, leading to more breakouts and acne.
Certain medications like lithium, antiseizure drugs, and corticosteroids, can cause acne in some individuals.
If you suspect acne symptoms after taking certain medications, talk to your doctor and see if you get an alternative drug for it. If not, see a dermatologist who can guide you to control the acne.
- Family history
If your blood relatives, such as a parent, brother, or sister have acne, then you’re likely to get it too. Your skin is expected to be acne-prone if this skin issue runs in your family.
- Hair and skincare products
Using wrong beauty products can worsen acne too. If you’re acne-prone, glance through the ingredient list on your skincare and hair care products to avoid on-set of breakouts.
Prefer moisturizers, cleansers, sunscreen and other products that have these written on it:
- Won’t clog pores
These products are unlikely to cause acne.
- Undiagnosed medical condition
Many a time, acne is an external sign of an underlying health condition. Once you identify the cause and get it treated, the acne often clears by itself without extra effort. Let your dermatologist diagnosis your acne to find out the cause and hence the right acne-treatment. In some cases, it may relate to a much serious condition you had been ignoring all this while.
Is adult acne different from acne affecting teenagers?
No, it’s the same.
Acne is quite common not just during your teenage years but in your adulthood too.
Adult Acne: How to treat it?
- Proper Skin Care
✔ Wash your face gently twice a day (once in the morning and night). Never scrub your face.
✔ Face cleansing removes extra oil and dirt that can worsen acne.
✔ Use a suitable face wash or face cleanser after discussing with your dermatologist.
✔ Use cool or warm water. Avoid hot water.
✔ Pat (don’t rub) your skin dry.
- Lotions, gels and creams
Certain acne cream available in the drug store can help unclog pores and exfoliate the skin. Usually, it’s the product containing an ingredient called “retinoids” that helps reduce inflammatory effects and heals your skin faster.
Consult a skin doctor once before starting any such acne treatment.
- Oral Prescription Medications
Some adult acne needs prescription-strength medications to heal. Usually, a dermatologist suggests antibiotic pills, birth control pills or prescription retinoids that are effective in treating acne.
- High-tech Procedures
Certain solutions for adult acne involve light therapy, vacuum therapy, chemical peels, blue light therapies etc. They work best if you want to clear up acne more quickly. Consult your dermatologist to find out what suits best to your present condition and skin type.
When is the right time to see a skin doctor?
Consider visiting a doctor If your acne
✔ Persists for a long period of time.
✔ Recurring acne that keeps coming back.
✔ Leaves scars or spots behind.
✔ If home-remedies or OTC ointments have not been effective.
✔ If acne is affecting your self-esteem or confidence.
It might be time to consider a prescription treatment from a dermatologist, as a next step in treating your stubborn adult acne.