Adult Acne in Women – Causes and Treatments for Women

Just when one thinks that acne is a “thing of the past”; it hits them in the adulthood. The first question most adult women acne sufferers ask their dermatologist is “Acne! How did I get it at this age?”

Causes of adult acne in women

There are several causes and trigger factors that contribute to adult acne in women. Women undergo several hormonal changes: from puberty to adulthood, during pregnancy followed by child birth and then again at menopause. In fact: the menstrual cycle is one of the main triggers of adult acne in women. Many women tend to notice acne lesions at the start of their cycle but see them go away as the cycle ends. In some women, pregnancy and menopause are the main triggers of acne.

The use of certain birth control pills is also known to lead to acne. In some women, however, stopping their birth control pills can lead to acne. Other medications like those used for treating depression, epilepsy etc can also give rise to acne.

Certain skin and hair care products (especially those that are comodogenic or acnegenic) as well as makeup items can also trigger acne in women.

Heredity plays an important role in giving rise to adult acne in women. Chances of getting acne in adulthood are higher in case there is family history of the same.

Unhygienic conditions and bad diet have always been blamed for acne. This has led to the myth that washing and scrubbing the face hard can reduce chances of getting adult acne in women. However, it has now been proven that scrubbing or over-exfoliating can actually worsen facial acne. Likewise, there has been no established evidence that eating chocolate or junk foods worsens adult acne in women, though, it is still important to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly to help curb it.

Now we shall see some common modes of treatment for adult acne in women.

Treatment for adult acne in women

The treatment for adult acne in women varies based on the extent or severity of the condition. Most dermatologists prescribe a standard cleansing routine for mild acne that involves blackheads, whiteheads and a few pustules around the chin, cheeks or forehead. Benzoyl peroxide based cleaners and creams may be used as recommended by a dermatologist. Likewise, salicylic acid and sulfur based creams and face washes are also very effective for clearing blackheads, small pimples and pustules.

In case of moderate to severe adult acne in women that covers nearly 1/4th to 3/4th of the face; dermatologists may prescribe an altered form of vitamin A called Retinol or Retinoic acid. Oral/systemic or topical antibiotics may also be given based on the type and severity of the adult acne in women.

For the extreme cases of adult acne in women which may also include acne on the back, shoulders as well as the face, a combination or oral birth control pills as well as systemic antibiotics may be prescribed. There are many strong, yet effective drugs, available in the market to treat severe adult acne in women but it is very important to evaluate their side effects with an experienced dermatologist. Some of the milder side effects include dry eyes, itching and irritability along with mood swings whereas the more serious side effects include birth defects in the unborn child etc. Hence, women must not take such acne drugs when planning a pregnancy.

In conclusion

Adult acne in women can be a distressing condition that can lead to reduced self confidence.  It is important to evaluate ways and means of preventing the acne mainly by focusing on gentle skin care products while avoiding the harsh ones. It is essential to avoid picking the acne in order to prevent permanent scarring.

Do talk to your doctor regarding the treatment options available today for adult acne in women.

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