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Understanding and Treating Adult Acne

Apr 07, 2020

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Understanding and Treating Adult Acne

Adult acne is something that frustrates many individuals well beyond their teenage years. What worked in the past may not be an effective treatment option anymore, and it may even cause the acne to get worse over time. When this is the case, it’s easy to become frustrated and discouraged, leaving many afflicted individuals wondering why this happens and what to do about it. If you’re in this position, you’re not alone. But we have good news: there are answers to your questions and solutions to the problem.

Why adult acne occurs

Hormone changes

Most people think that acne goes away around a certain age, but many adults experience acne outbreaks into their 30s, 40s, and some even into their 50s. Whether it carries over from adolescence or it starts when you’re already an adult (called adult-onset acne), the troubling skin ailment of adult acne is often caused by fluctuations in hormones.

While it may be more common for women, men can suffer from adult acne, too. Women going through menopause are the most likely demographic to experience adult acne due to the hormonal imbalance. Additionally, other women may experience adult acne around the time of their monthly period, at the start or end of a birth control regimen (especially when the birth control method is pills), or during pregnancy.

Stress responses

Acne and stress are often linked, again due mostly to a change in hormone levels. During times of stress, we produce a higher level of androgen hormones than we do under normal circumstances, and this change tends to stimulate our skin’s oil glands and hair follicles. As a result, acne may flare up. The connection makes sense when you consider how often acne occurs under times of increased stress in our lives.

Adverse reactions

Sometimes, adult acne has some surprising causes. One of them may be the products that you’re using on your skin or in your hair. If your product bottles or containers contain long lists of hard to pronounce ingredients and chemicals, they may be contributing to your breakouts. Before you use them again, check for terms like “oil-free” and “doesn’t clog pores” on the containers. If you don’t see anything like this, it might be time to swap them out for something better. Fewer and healthier ingredients may be the key.

Genetic predispositions 

If a close relative suffers from adult acne, your family history may be the source of yours. Genetic predisposition affects many things from skin ailments to substance abuse. Unlike stress or skincare product choices, this is one cause of adult acne that can’t really be helped without outside interference. However, acne treatment may be the answer.

Medical conditions

Less frequently, adult acne may be a sign that there is an undiagnosed medical condition present. Depending on the results of applicable diagnostic tests, treatment may help both the condition and the resulting acne breakouts.

Side effects

Certain medications can cause acne breakouts in adults and some may make existing acne worse. If the medication is prescribed by a medical professional, you shouldn’t stop taking it because it’s causing you to break out. Talk to your doctor to see if there are any alternatives or if you should seek acne treatment in a clinic like ours.

Adult acne treatment options

No matter the cause of your adult acne, there are several treatment options available to you. These are the most common and effective:

Laser treatment

Fraxel acne laser treatments are highly effective. These can be used for youth through adult acne and a variety of other skin conditions. As far as skin rejuvenation goes, this is the most advanced and trusted system available today. This state-of-the-art laser works by repairing damaged skin and promoting fast and natural healing. There is very little downtime involved and you’ll feel and see the results of this non-invasive adult acne remedy immediately.

Alternative treatments

Our office of experienced and dedicated professionals helps countless patients through laser treatments, but we like to offer alternatives, too. We offer a variety of acne treatments that include facials, derma peels, home-based treatments, and other light-based options. Through a brief consultation with our master aesthetician, Kathleen, we can determine the method that will be best for you.