Acne usually starts affecting people during their teenage years, but adults are not spared from it as well. While majority of teenagers outgrow their pimply phase when they reach their twenties, one out of five people will not lose them, or will develop them as they grow older.
Just like acne during your teenage years, adult acne is not one to be taken lightly, because it can cause self esteem problems over time. Some people have it so bad that they actually fall into depression.
While that is a damper, the great news is that this problem can indeed be treated.
Teenage vs. Adult Acne
What makes adult acne different from its teenage version? Well, this type of acne usually springs out and manifests itself at the age of twenty-five and onwards. Some people actually go through puberty with smooth skin, but end up with really bad skin when they grow older.
Also, adult acne is usually manifested by pus-filled boils and bumps, often along the jaw line. Teenage acne, on the other hand, are always a mixture of large pimples, black heads and white heads
The causes between both cases also differ. Teenage acne, for example, is often caused by hormonal changes brought about by puberty, so its main cause is fairly easy to pinpoint. The adult version, on the other hand, is caused by a wide range of factors – environmental conditions, illnesses, medication and stress being some of the most common ones. Because there are many factors behind this, it is much more difficult to pinpoint the reason behind it.
What Causes Adult Acne?
So, what exactly causes adult acne? Here’s a quick look at some of the factors, so you can figure out if you are doing some things that actually worsen it as well.
- Hormones – Unfortunately, growing older does not always save you from acne, because you might just have hormonal imbalance as well. One of the main indications of hormonal problems is irregular periods. Pregnancy, menstruation and menopause all cause a fluctuation of hormones, so you should expect acne to flare up during this time.
- Genetics – Studies show that genetics play a crucial role in acne. Fifty percent of adults with acne problems will most likely have a sibling or a parent with a similar problem.
- Make-up and cosmetics – Adulthood brings forth the opportunity to work, and many women who enter the workforce make use of something that can be very bad for the skin on a daily basis: makeup. Whether it is foundation, concealer or blush, beauty products can clog pores and aggravate your condition. If you suffer from adult acne but need to wear make-up, you should avoid cream and liquid versions and stick to dry versions like mineral and talcum powder.
- Beauty treatments – While beauty treatments are targeted to help your skin look great and flawless, they can also trigger breakouts if you are not careful. Diamond peel facials, for example, can very well irritate the skin and cause acne formation. Facial clean-ups and massages may also do the same thing. If you already have an existing problem, consult your dermatologist before trying out any kind of treatment, just to be on the sure side.
- Medication – Certain drugs such as those containing steroids and lithium, for example can cause breakouts. Some birth control pills are prescribed to clear out pimples, but those containing androgen can do the exact opposite. If you are taking contracteptive pills, consult with your doctor so that you can choose one with low or no androgen content.
- Stress – Lack of sleep, work demands and other stressors can cause acne. While the stressful event does not automatically trigger the growth of pimples, it can cause your hormones to go haywire.
- Work – Your job may also be causing problems with your skin. Work that involves exposure to the sun, elements, industrial and chemical products and even makeup can be triggers as well.
How To Treat Adult Acne
Treating adult acne often starts out just like teenage acne treatments. You may want to start with a routine treatment using OTC anti-acne products. There are many sets out in the market and there are even those that have natural ingredients. Helpful tip: If you are trying out a set, use it regularly for at least a month. This should give you enough time to see if your problem is improving.
If you do not see any improvement after a month or two, then you may need to switch to something stronger or eventually see a dermatologist. He or she may recommend you to undergo hormonal evaluation to see if there is indeed an imbalance in your hormones.
When you see a dermatologist (and when the reason behind your acne is determined), he or she will them recommend other kinds of treatments for you. These may include in-office treatments, medications and products that you have to use at home. Oftentimes, there will also be restrictions on what you can and can not eat, do and use on your skin.
At the end of the day, the key to curing adult acne is always in the consistency of your treatment. If you need to drink medicine everyday, then be sure to take it regularly. If you need to visit an aesthetician or therapist every week, then be sure not to miss out on these visits. If you need to avoid triggers like certain kinds of make-up or long hours of sun-tanning, then make sure you do it. Diligence and persistence is indeed key to making sure that your skin is flawless and acne free.
Preventive Tips To Remember
Curing adult acne is not always the end, as some people experience “relapses” after getting acne free skin. Thus, it is important to take preventive measures to make sure that your efforts are not wasted.
• Avoid using products that you did before when you were breaking-out, and try to get your hands on oil-free products instead. Always choose beauty and cosmetic products that are non-comedogenic so that they do not clog your pores.
• Keep your skin clean at all times by washing your face and keeping it free from sweat and dirt. Remember not to overdo it and stick to cleansing at least twice a day. On other occasions, pat your skin with tissue or oil blotters to keep oil at bay.
• Try to adopt a hands off policy for your face. Don’t pick your pimples, don’t try to squeeze those whiteheads and keep your hair off your face as much as possible.
• Keep yourself stress free. Remember that stress is one of the major causes of adult acne, so make sure that you take time to relax and unwind to keep your stress levels low.
• Eat healthy. A good diet manifests itself in many ways, including your skin. Get your fill of fruits and vegetables, avoid junk and fatty food and go on a cleansing detox diet every now and then to purge the body of toxins.
Acne is a fact of life for many people. Still, at the end of the day, it is good to know that you can do something to prevent and stop it so you can get that beautiful and flawless skin you deserve.