What to Do with Adult Acne?
Why Do We Get Acne?
Acne can occur during different stages of life, though most commonly in teens during puberty, and can develop as a variety of blemishes on your skin. Blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, and pimples are among its usual forms. Acne is influenced by a number of factors.
Acne is considered one of the most common skin conditions and ranges from mild to severe breakouts. There are four main contributing factors with the most common being excessive oil production. The other three are hair follicles becoming clogged by dead skin cells and oil, bacteria and excessive activity of hormones. In particular, the androgen hormone group will cause breakouts.
Acne is the end result of clogged pores. A clogged pore that remains closed results in a whitehead. On the contrary, clogged pores that are open to the air will yield a blackhead. Papules are small red bumps that do not contain pus, and pustules (pimples) are similar in nature but do contain pus. The most severe and long-term type of acne is a cyst. Cysts are pus filled, but form beneath the skin.
You Mean Adults Still Get Acne?
Adults can still have acne breakouts. Both men and women up through their 50s, on some occasions even older, can develop acne. On an even rarer occasion, it could be their first experience with the condition. Adult acne occurs more in women than it does in men due to their monthly cycle. It is also quite common during menopause for women to experience breakouts.
Adult acne can happen for a number of reasons, usually a little different than in teenagers. This is mostly because adults' hormones have, for the most part, stabilized. Dramatic hormone changes are the most common reason teenagers get acne. So, why do adults still get acne? Part of it is influenced by genetics. If your parents had acne, either as a kid or an adult, you will most likely see acne flare ups as well.
Is Adult Acne Different from Teenager's?
Adult acne and teen acne share the same end result; blemishes. However, there are some differences between the two. Acne as a teenager is caused largely by excess oil on the skin because of puberty. Too much oil can clog pores, trapping dead skin cells and allowing bacteria to grow inside. How the affected pore develops dictates the type of acne that occurs.
Hormones are often a leading factor in acne breakouts for both teens and adults. Women experience hormone fluctuation several times past puberty. Often times periods, pregnancy, starting or stopping birth control, and menopause will send hormones to abnormal levels. An imbalance in hormone levels can cause a spike in oil production. Increased stress levels can affect hormones in adults as can some medications.
How to Tackle Adult Acne
It is extremely important to first understand the reason why you are breaking out as an adult. Perhaps it can be easily avoided or treated. If you have frequent breakouts, you should routinely review the events of your day to see if you can narrow down the main cause.
Perhaps you had a particularly stressful week and as a result you start to notice acne. As a result of stress, your body will produce more androgenic hormones which stimulate the oil glands that may lead to clogging and acne. Avoid stressful situations as much as possible, but you can also opt for some stress relieving techniques. Try deep breathing, exercise, listening to music, or even talking to a friend or family member. All options are great for bringing your stress levels down and reducing breakouts. You may not be aware of this, but your skin and hair care products could be the cause of acne breakouts or worsening your current breakouts. Most over-the-counter acne treatments are targeted for teenagers to combat their oily skin. However, such products may over-dry adult skin, causing more flaking and encouraging clogged pores. Pay close attention to the ingredients in your products and look for non-comedogenic, non-acnegenic, oil-free, or phrases like "won't clog pores." Products that list those ingredients are more likely to keep your skin moisturized and prevent acne.
The best way to tackle your adult acne is to have a consistent routine to cleanse your face after a long day. Choose a gentle cleanser that will not torture your skin along the way and can let other products be effective. Non-acnegenic and non-comedogenic over-the-counter products are good selections to add to your routine. If you still cannot rid your skin of acne, consult a dermatologist if it is of a serious concern to you. There are prescriptions and procedures that can help prevent, eliminate, and control breakouts.