Acne being one of the most common skin conditions around the world, affects almost anyone. It can affect teenagers as they grow up, sometimes are fortunate to outgrow it through adulthood. Acne does not only affect teenagers, but occur in adults as well. While some teenagers continue having acne through adulthood, some people experience the first onset of acne during their adult years.
How does Acne develop?
Acne in adults is caused by the same mechanism causing acne in teenagers. The general mechanism as to how acne comes about is due to excess sebum or oil produced by the sebaceous or oil glands of the face. These sebaceous glands are located under the skin, connected to the pores or the follicles. The sebum or oil is responsible for carrying dead skin cells via the follicles which serve as small canals, out to the skin surface. The excess sebum along with dead skin cells can cause the blockage of skin’s pores, causing an accumulation of oil and dead skin cells, and may even be potential for bacterial growth. The blockage then results to the different types of acne.
Who are more prone to adult acne?
Regardless of gender and age, the same factors that cause acne in adult apply. However, women tend to be more prone to adult acne due to fluctuations in hormones, probably also because of the use or application of cosmetic products both on the face and hair and some other factors too. Women too also experience the onset of acne during adult years compared to men.
What Causes Acne in Adults?
The exact cause of acne is still unknown and men or women vary in triggers of acne. Acne in adult is believed to be caused by a number of factors.
Genetics play a role as a contributing factor to acne in adult. People with a genetic predisposition for acne are more probable in getting acne. Meaning, people with relatives that had or has acne is more likely to get acne as well. It is also believed that genetic predisposition a more significant factor compared to environmental factors.
Fluctuating hormones and other chemical imbalances especially in women can cause acne breakouts. These imbalances may trigger sebaceous glands, leading to excess production of sebum. Women experience hormonal imbalances during menstrual period, pregnancy, pre-menopause and menopausal stages or upon discontinuation or start of birth control pills
Stress was also found to have a link with acne breakouts. When a person is stressed, the body produces more of the hormone called androgens which act to stimulate oil production hence leading to acne.
Food is a controversial contributing factor to acne in both teenagers and adults. However, new research studies have found a link between certain foods, particularly a diet high in glycemic index and acne.
Underlying medical conditions are also causes of acne. Some instances, acne can possibly be a sign of a particular medical condition. Once the condition is treated, the acne then clears.
Medications and cosmetic products may also lead to acne. Some medications like corticosteroids can lead to acne. Some of these medications have acne for its side effect. Some cosmetic products are greasy in nature, causing skin to be oilier and may even clog pores. Sometimes, the use of inappropriate products for the specific skin type leads to acne in adult.
Is it Okay to wear Makeup even with Acne?
It’s okay to wear make-up and other cosmetic products as long as the right product is used for the specific skin type. People have varying skin types and varying skin chemistries, therefore using the right product for each skin type is essential. It is also important to wear make up to a clean face, and of course remove it through cleansing the face. Cosmetic products that are non-comedogenic, non-acnegenic and oil-free are great choices.
What are the Treatment Options for Adult Acne?
Treating adult acne requires patience for finding the right treatment and seeing results may take time. There are a number of effective treatment options available for adult acne. Consulting with a skin specialist will help one in finding the right treatment for the adult acne. There are treatments available for both mild and severe cases of acne in adults. Over-the-counter medications like products containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid and prescription drugs like isotretinoin and antibiotics are considered to be effective in treating acne. Hormonal therapy with the use of oral contraceptives for instance seems to be effective in most women with hormonal changes.
Are there New Ways in Treating Acne in Adults?
There are continuous developments of new ways in treating acne. For one, high-tech laser treatments continue to emerge. These laser treatments target acne causing bacteria, eliminating them to treat the current acne. Other types of laser treatments target the sebaceous glands to reduce oil production. These new treatment options however can be costly and the effects are not definite. Experts also claim that improvements from these treatments might be temporary.
What to avoid when acne is already present?
There are a few ways to remember to prevent acne from getting worse:
- Popping the pimples must be avoided. It may make acne worse when infection may be pushed further down, leading to more blockage, swelling and redness. Plus, it may even cause permanent scarring.
- When washing the face, hard scrubbing must be avoided as it may further irritate the skin.
- Touching the face must also be refrained.
- Avoid wearing tight clothing like caps, headbands or scarves for the skin needs to breath.
- Going to sleep with make-up on is a bad idea. Avoid cosmetic products that will make acne worse.
- Avoid too much sun exposure as it will stimulate sebum production of the skin.
Aside from these, it is best to avoid anything that will trigger or make acne worse.