Suffering from adult acne? You’re not alone. Breakouts can be incredibly frustrating, especially when they keep showing up long after your adolescent years have passed you by. Read on to find out some possible causes of acne and appropriate treatments for adults.
Acne is an extremely common skin condition that has affected almost everyone at some point or another. It can consist of one pimple or a cluster of pimples and can appear on any area of the body but is often found on the face.
Acne manifests when the sebaceous glands -- the glands producing the skin’s natural oil, called sebum -- become clogged in a pore on the skin. Sebum can also mix with sweat, bacteria, and skin cells within the pore. The ensuing blockage becomes sticky and can harden, resulting in pimples, whiteheads, or blackheads. These breakouts can also become inflamed, which tends to cause a reddish appearance.
While the cause of acne is the excess sebum being trapped, the root cause of the oil production can be difficult to pin down. Commonly, changing hormone levels in teenagers over-stimulate the sebaceous glands, causing them to produce extra oil. But if you’re an adult who’s still struggling with acne, you might be wondering what the culprit is.
Hormonal changes in adults are extremely common, particularly for women during menstrual cycles and throughout pregnancy. These hormonal changes can cause excess oil production and potentially clog pores. Oily beauty products and harsh chemicals can also irritate the skin and cause inflamed pores.
Stress, whether emotional or physical, is another common cause of adult acne. Breakouts can happen with stress related to work, family, or finances. But it can also show up with changes in weather, getting sick, or not getting enough sleep. Stress of any kind can cause the overproduction of oil in the skin and lead to acne.
It’s worth noting that contrary to popular belief, diet is not a cause of acne. But greasy finger foods can leave oil on the hands, which can easily be transferred to the face, hence the association with foods and acne.
The number one way to reduce acne is to find a gentle cleanser suitable for your skin type. Cleansers formulated for acne-prone skin often include ingredients like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. Just be careful not to use anything too harsh that could further irritate the acne.
Regular facials, including dermatologist microdermabrasion treatments, can also help. These treatments clean out the pores and slough off dead skin that might be trapping excess oil. Additionally, if you’re looking to reduce acne scars, chemical peel treatments can help with this by smoothing out the skin’s surface through the removal of the top layer.
If you’re still trying to get to the bottom of your adult acne or need help with choosing a suitable skincare product, call Vanguard Dermatology today. We’re a leading group of providers in the greater New York City area with years of expertise in diagnosing and treating adult acne.