Acne Symptoms and Signs – Do You Have Adult Acne?

Acne is a skin condition caused due by the infection or inflammation of clogged skin pores. It occurs mainly because the oil glands that are situated at the base of the hair on the skin secrete more oil than normal, clogging up the pores in the process. Bacteria then thrive in these clogged pores. Later, acne pustules, blackheads and whiteheads develop as the body tries to fight the infection. Hormones, stress, genetics or birth control pills etc can all aggravate this condition.

Acne Symptoms and Acne Signs: Do you have adult acne?

The earliest adult acne signs are whiteheads. Whiteheads are clogged, closed or plugged skin pores. These later develop into blackheads. Blackheads are open plugged oil glands which turn black owing to their exposure to air. It is a myth that blackheads are caused by dirt.

In the final stages of adult acne symptoms, you might develop red and angry pustules or pimples. These are inflamed, infected and plugged oil glands that are filled with pus.

In some cases, one of the adult acne signs also includes painful cysts or nodules. These are bumps located in the deeper layers of the skin and are typically seen on the chin and forehead.

What are the different types of adult acne signs and symptoms?

Adult acne can be of three types. This includes Acne Vulgaris, Cystic Acne and Acne Rosacea.

Acne Vulgaris– Acne vulgaris is characterized by non inflammatory pustules, blackheads, papules and nodules etc. This type of acne is seen on chest, upper arms, back, shoulders and face. Other acne symptoms in this type include redness and localized pain.

Cystic Acne– These are characterized by painful bumps/boils which trap dead skin and hair follicles underneath. This can be considered as the more severe form of acne vulgaris.

Acne Rosacea– This is a red, oily and bumpy rash limited to the nose, cheeks, chin and forehead. The blood vessels may also become visible and the nose might turn red and bulbous.

Do you think you have adult acne? Diagnosis and tests

A dermatologist will check to see the kind of adult acne symptoms you have. Apart from the face, s/he will examine your back, shoulders etc to see if the problem persists in these areas as well. You will need to inform him/her about your skin care routine as well as for how long you have had the adult acne symptoms and signs.

In extreme cases of adult acne symptoms, a small biopsy may be taken and examined under the microscope to determine the cause and the appropriate treatment plan.

Factors That Can lead to Adult Acne Symptoms

It has now been proven that three main factors are responsible for adult acne symptoms. These are:

  • Genetics– If either or both your parent has suffered from acne, chances are that you might develop adult acne signs too.
  • Hormones– Hormones, especially testosterone can lead to excess oil formation in the skin’s pores.  Women adult acne sufferers can hence develop acne on account of hormonal imbalances following pregnancy, delivery and menopause etc.
  • Bacteria– Naturally the most important culprit leading to adult acne signs and symptoms is bacteria. Some adults are more sensitive to bacteria that are trapped under the hair follicles on the skin and hence prone to adult acne.

Adult acne can be a devastating skin condition as it can severely hamper one’s confidence. However, today there are many excellent treatment solutions that can permanently rid you of these acne signs and symptoms. Talk to your dermatologist about the treatment plan that is best suited to you.

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