Adult Acne: The Facts

By: Matthew Hick

You may remember suffering with embarrassing acne when you were a teenager. Sure, there were those times when you were too horrified to go on a date because of a pimple on your cheek. And there were the times when you couldn't imagine having your crush pass you in the hall when you had a big zit on your nose. But now that you are older, you notice that your acne is coming back. What is happening? Unfortunately, it is called adult acne, and it affects 25% of men and 50% of women at some point during their adulthood.

The main cause of acne is blocked hair follicles or pores. There are many reasons they can become blocked. Acne can reappear at any age. It can be a reoccurrence of our teenage acne problem. It can be a hormone issue, or it could possibly be a first time occurrence. If you are an adult with acne and you have never had it before, it is a good idea to let a doctor investigate its cause and determine why this is happening.

Sometimes acne can just be a chronic, persistent problem. It is most common to women. Due to menstrual cycles and hormonal changes, which accompany them, women often experience acne outbreaks the week before their menstruation. Birth control pills, which contain the sebaceous gland stimulating hormone androgen, can also be a reason for adult acne. This type of acne is referred to as hormonal acne and is usually the main culprit of adult acne in women.

Medications can also cause acne in adults. Anabolic steroids, anti-epileptic medicines, anti-tuberculosis drugs and iodine containing medicines can all produce acne in adults.

Stress is also a contributor to an acne problem. The older we are, it seems the more stress we have in our lives. When we are stressed out, our body produces cortisol, a steroidal hormone that over stimulates oil glands and promotes acne. Any type of hormonal imbalance can be a cause of acne.

There are several treatments available for adult acne. Some birth control pills are capable of keeping hormones at bay and reduce blemishes. Topical creams and gels called retinoids can help unclog pores in mild to moderate cases. Antibiotic topical creams and gels; oral antibiotics, or a combination of both, may be needed in moderate to severe cases.

Gentle face washings using mild soaps are recommended. You should avoid any rough scrubbings. This will irritate your skin and make the situation worse. Women should use a moisturizer since acne dries the skin. When choosing cosmetics, look for the types labeled noncomedogenic. This means they do not clog pores, the primary cause of acne.

Adult acne can cause physical, as well as, emotional problems in people. You may wonder why, after all these years, did this skin condition show it's blemished head. Or you may have been experiencing it on a regular basis. It can interfere with your life everyday. It can be a challenging task, but with the assistance of medications and a dermatologist, you can regain control again.

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