Adult Acne. You had it when you were a teenager – acne. It was supposed to go away after adolescence, but why do those pesky pimples keep showing up well into adulthood?
Adult acne can be so frustrating. A treatment that worked so well during our teen years can be useless — or make acne worse. If this happens, you may wonder whether those blemishes really are acne. After all, why do 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 as an adult, it is likely due to one or more of the following reasons:
- Women often experience fluctuating hormones, that can lead to breakouts:
- Around their periods
- During pregnancy, perimenopause, 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 seem 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.
Adult acne can be really frustrating. Talk to your doctor if you need medical treatment or suggestions on how to handle it.