According to a study presented at the American Academy of Dermatology's annual meeting this past March. Even though over 50% of adults continue to get acne well into adulthood, if you are over 18 and have acne, it's easy to feel like you're the only one. It's mortifying enough to have acne as a teenager, but to have it as an adult is downright humiliating. People find themselves hiding from the public or unable to compete for jobs or promotions with clear-faced peers.
Professionals with acne are not taken seriously - a big problem for those who really need credibility not only with their peers, but with their own clients. It is tough not to feel like a failure when you have adult acne. And it's not just women who suffer there are many adult men who come into our clinic looking for the answer to their skincare woes.
What causes adult acne?
For most people who suffer from acne, they get to blame their family. It is an inherited tendency of the pores to clog up with dead skin cells too quickly, which causes a cascade or acne-forming events to happen. So, some people never "grow out" of their acne until much older. Other people don't have acne in their teenage years, but start breaking out in their twenties and/or thirties. Why their acne laid "dormant" for their teenage years is a mystery, but as adults, many things can contribute to the onset of acne problems. Stress, medications, comedogenic (pore-clogging) makeup, skin and hair products, pregnancy, birth control pills and smoking are just some of the contributors to chronic breakouts.
Hormonal fluctuations caused by birth control, Plan B, pregnancy, pms, medications, and menopause can also affect your propensity for breakouts, sometimes causing severe acne flare-ups in women who never got a single pimple as teenagers. If you are acne-prone, choose a birth control method that won't make your acne worse and learn about the relationship between hormones and acne so you can prepare yourself ahead of time for any changes in your skin that may arise. A condition called pyoderma faciale which mimics acne is a sudden breakout that happens to women in their thirties.
Medical conditions like PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) or thyroid disorder can wreak havoc with the skin.
Medications for bipolar disorder like lithium, thyroid medications, anticonvulsant medications, lo-dose birth control pills, corticosteroids, sobriety drugs, etc, can also cause acne.
Pore-clogging makeup, skin care and hair care can be a culprit in adult acne. Even if a product says "non pore-clogging" or "noncomedogenic" on the label you cannot trust it. I have seen scores of products claiming this and look at the ingredient deck to see pore-cloggers. Even the prescribed acne medication, Retin A (the cream form) has a terrible pore-clogging ingredient in it called isopropyl myristate. If a doctor is going to prescribe a retinoid for acne, it should never be the cream form of Retin A. For a list of pore clogging ingredients, head to our website, utahacneclinic.com.
The difference between adult acne and teenage acne
One of the challenges of adult acne is that skin generally becomes less oily and more sensitive. Acne products and treatments that worked well in your teen years may dry you out or cause severe irritation. If you had acne as a teen, you may have noticed that acne seems to travel down and across your face as you age. You used to break out on your forehead, and now you break out on your cheeks. Then it goes to the jawline and sometimes the neck. This is because the sebaceous follicles mature in stages. For this reason, adult acne is most commonly concentrated around the cheeks, chin, and/or jawline. It is imperative to use the right strength of acne-clearing products on older skin. Also, starting slowly with a routine allowing the skin to adapt to strong products is an important strategy.
The good news: acne products can also be anti-aging!
People who have had acne since adolescence, may be under the impression that their pimples are unstoppable. Adult acne sufferers have usually tried various prescription medications, over-the-counter products, systems such as Proactiv and Murad, and every spa treatment and facial under the sun. The reality is that effective acne treatments and products do exist!
By virtue of their exfoliating properties, some acne products and treatments can even be beneficial for anti-aging and lightening dark spots and acne scars. At Skintherapy Skincare and Acne Clinic, we advise adult acne sufferers to work closely with our acne specialists for a period of four to six months to achieve a lifetime of clear skin. There is no need for anyone, teen or adult to be embarrassed and inconvenienced by the ravages of acne and the scars it can leave behind.
Life is full of enough problems... don't let acne be one of them.
One of our clients shares her experience. "I'm 30 years old and have struggled with Acne since I was in high school. I've been to a few dermatologists, which continued to prescribe antibiotics. One by one they quit working and I worried about my long-term health since I was continually on antibiotics. I'd been looking for a more natural approach. I stumbled upon Skintherapy Skincare and Acne Clinics website and am so glad I did. They cleared my face up within 10 weeks and I'm now acne free. It's a miracle. Jil taught me how to manage my acne. I'm a nursing mother and she has always been careful to use safe products. I have more confidence at work now and don't wear much makeup anymore because I don't need to."
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