When we have bad skin as a teenager we are often comforted and told that we will “grow out of it.” Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. A clinical study revealed that 45 percent of women between the age of 21 and 30 have acne, and this extends well into midlife, with 12 percent of women between 40 and 50 being affected too. Although adult men also suffer from acne, usually the severe cases are women, and many go for treatment even after menopause.
What causes adult acne?
1. Hormones. The menstrual cycle and the fluctuations it causes in hormones can have a direct result on the skin.
2. Stress. Another hormone is the culprit here: cortisol. The more you stress, the more cortisol is released in your body, and it is accompanied by testosterone. This drives the oil glands to produce more oil.
3. Pollution and make-up. Anything that clogs your pores can contribute to breakouts.
4. Using the wrong skincare products. You may think you’re cleaning your skin when you’re actually making it worse.
5. Over-cleansing and scrubbing. Too much rubbing and cleaning can dry out your skin which causes it to produce more oil to compensate.
6. Diet. Specific foods may trigger breakouts. This varies from person to person, so you may need to eliminate certain foods to determine if one is a trigger for you. Start with dairy as this is a common cause.
7. Sugar. This raises your insulin level, which in turn triggers oil-producing male hormones.
What is adult-onset acne?
Many people get acne in their adult years, but never had any problems as an adolescent. In fact, this is true for nearly three quarters of adult acne sufferers (particularly women). This is usually due to hormonal changes, such as pregnancy, menopause or starting and stopping of birth control pills. Many women also get cyclical acne which starts before their period is due.
The causes are the same for all adults, whether or not the acne started in adolescence or later years. However, sudden acne can also be an indication of an underlying health issue. If you also notice your hair thinning (with visible bald patches), facial hair, and infrequent periods, the sudden acne can also be an indication of polycystic ovarian syndrome. Be sure to visit your doctor if this is the case.
How is adult acne treated?
The most important line of defense is using the correct skincare and acne-fighting products. Unclogging your pores and removing bacteria, without stripping the skin of its natural oils, is essential.
It is also important to try and lower your stress levels, eat healthily, and try to regulate your hormones. This can be achieved through birth control pills and other hormonal therapies, and is worth discussing with your doctor. These treatments can take a while to take effect, however, so treating your skin topically from the beginning is your best chance at beating adult acne. Click here for more information on how Activ O2 can help.