Acne is frustrating when you’re a teenager, but it’s extra disappointing when you grow up, look in the mirror and still see a spotty complexion staring back at you. And, what is worse, none of the treatments that worked before is making any difference now. So, what are those blemishes really and how do we fight them? Can adults really get acne?
Is It Real?
Unfortunately, adults can get acne. Some people continue breaking out well into their 40s and even 50s, while others get acne in their 30s for the first time! Professionals call this phenomenon “adult-onset acne” and it is most common in women, especially those going through the menopause, but men are not safe from adult acne either.
Why Do We Get It?
The main reason adults get acne is fluctuating hormone levels that lead to breakouts. This cause is most common in women who often see acne popping out around their periods, during pregnancy or menopause, or after starting or discontinuing birth control. Another very common reason behind adult acne is stress. When we’re under a lot of stress, the body boosts the production of androgens (a type of hormone) that stimulates the oil glands and hair in the skin which leads to breakouts. That’s the reason why acne won’t go away even after extensive treatment: the skin is constantly bombarded with androgens and the breakout will not stop until the stress itself is managed.
Even some medication can cause acne. If you think your meds are triggering the breakouts, don’t stop your treatment, but consult your doctor who prescribed it. If acne really is a possible side effect, ask whether there’s a different medicine you can try or whether you can see a dermatologist who will help you control your adult acne. On the other hand, acne can be a sign of a medical condition that has not yet been diagnosed. Once you start the proper treatment, the blemishes often clear.
Other common reasons why adults get acne are family history (genetic predisposition) and the use of various skin and hair products that clog pores. Make sure to read the labels of your products and check for phrases such as “unclogs pores”,” non-drying” and “non-bleaching”. This is especially important when it comes to your cleansers and acne treatment lotions! For instance, switch your drying products for high-quality acne skin care that will keep your skin looking healthy while helping with redness reduction, skin calming and improvement of blemish issues. These products are always your safest bet and they are least likely to cause any skin problems, no matter whether you have dry or oily skin!
What Can I Do To Prevent Breakouts?
If you know you’re prone to hormonal imbalance or any of the above-mentioned causes of acne, make sure to have a good prevention and treatment plan. The best thing you can do is avoid spot treatment. If you’re a teen and have pimples popping out in the oily T-zone, spot treatment will work, but it’s not appropriate for adult pimples on the lower part of the face. Instead, grab a quality cleanser and toner and treat your face every day.
Another thing that also works is antibiotic pills prescribed by your dermatologist. Aldactone (originally made to control high blood pressure) is highly effective, but it takes around 3 months for it to start working. Isotretinoin is also commonly prescribed for adult acne, but women who are pregnant or planning to conceive shouldn’t take it. All in all, if you can solve your acne problem with cleansers and lotions, that’s a much better and healthier solution.
Any Other Advice?
Basically, your skin is a magnet for all sorts of pore-clogging oils and dirt, so you must work extra to keep it clean if you suffer from acne. And don’t think that your face isn’t dirty just because you didn’t touch anything! Even increased levels of air pollution can cause ugly skin bumps. That’s why it’s best to clean your face twice a day (more will cause the opposite effect) and never to touch it with dirty hands. If you’re too exhausted to go wash up or you’ve forgotten to clean your face before work, keep a pack of oil-free face wipes in your nightstand and your bag!
Adult acne is certainly annoying, but it is not untreatable! If you take care of your hygiene and health and find good products, you’ll eventually be stunned by results!
Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in business and marketing related topics.
In her free time she enjoys exercising and preparing healthy meals for her family.