I use this word every day in my Dermatology practice and so do my patients. In fact, you probably use it too.
ACNE. That ugly word that no one likes but everyone has said and probably had at some time in your life. And if you are like the hundreds of women I treat in my office, you are still getting acne well after 30.
Reasons for adult acne
Yes, adults get acne. Some adults continue to get acne well into their 30s, 40s, and even 50s. It is even possible to get acne for the first time as an adult. Dermatologists call this “adult-onset acne.” It is most common among women going through menopause.
Women tend to get adult acne more often than men do. If you’re getting acne for the first time as an adult, it is likely due to one or more of the following reasons.
Fluctuating hormone levels: An imbalance can lead to breakouts.
Women often experience fluctuating hormones:
- Around their periods
- During pregnancy, peri-menopause, and menopause
- After discontinuing (or starting) birth control pills
Stress: Researchers have found a relationship between stress and acne flare-ups. In response to stress, our bodies produce more androgens (a type of hormone). These hormones stimulate the oil glands and hair follicles in the skin, which can lead to acne. This explains why acne can be an ongoing problem when we find ourselves under constant stress.
Family history: Does a close blood relative, such as a parent, brother, or sister have acne? Findings from research studies suggest that some people may have a genetic predisposition for acne. People who have this predisposition be more likely to get adult acne.
Hair and skin care products: If you have adult acne, you should read the labels on your skin care and hair care products. Make sure that you see one of the following terms on every container:
- Won’t clog pores
You want to make sure your moisturizer, cleanser, sunscreen, and all other products contain one of these terms. These products are least likely to cause acne.
Medication side effect: Acne is a side effect of some medicines. If you suspect that a medicine is triggering your acne or making it worse, continue taking the medicine, but talk with the doctor who prescribed it. Ask if acne is a possible side effect. If acne is a possible side effect, ask if you can take a different medicine. If you cannot take another medicine, you may want to see a dermatologist who can help you control the acne.
Undiagnosed medical condition: Sometimes, acne is a sign of an underlying medical condition. Once the medical condition is diagnosed and treated, the acne often clears.
Effective treatment available for adult acne
There are multiple treatments for adult acne available without a prescription, but the mainstay of any acne treatment plan is a Retinol or Retinoid.
Retinol packs a powerful punch when it comes to fighting acne and the shadowy scars it leaves behind. Regular use helps clear up your complexion by pulling dead skin cells out of pores, which makes them look smaller. It’s also an anti-inflammatory, which helps with redness.
I think this is such an important step for acne treatment, I am pleased to announce our Perfecting Night Serum.
Containing the latest in stabilization and delivery technology, our 0.5% retinol is encased in a patented moisturizing layer for steady time release. This allows it to treat and moisturize while decreasing the irritation that retinols are known for.
This cutting-edge cream also helps smooth fine lines and wrinkles, and evens out skin tone for an overall more youthful appearance.
Stay tuned for the launch of our Perfecting Night Serum (coming this Fall).
While you wait, click here to purchase our Lift + Tone Germanium Contouring Roller. This easy to use beauty tool combines the power of germanium with massage to promote a more even and toned appearance!
Dermatology PA and creator of Perfect Skin Code.