Acne is more common than you think

Acne can happen to anyone and although it is more common in teenagers, a number of adults still get acne in their 30s, 40s and even into their 50s. Dermatologists call this adult-onset acne.

What causes acne?

There are numerous things that can cause acne to occur in adults. Fluctuating hormone levels can lead to breakouts. Women are more susceptible to this because there are more elements that can alter the levels of hormones. Women often experience the changing levels around their menstrual cycle, during pregnancy, menopause, starting birth control, or discontinuing birth control.

Stress can also cause these breakouts. During a stressful period our bodies respond by producing more-than-normal amounts of androgens. These hormones will cause the oil glands to activate.  In addition to stress, your family history can be a factor in adult acne. You could be predisposed to it – ask your family if they know the history of anyone having acne problems.

Be careful using skin and hair care products and make sure you read the labels and see at least one of the following terms:

  • Non-Comedogenic
  • Non-Acnegenic
  • Oil-Free
  • Won’t clog pores

You’ll want to make sure any moisturizer, cleanser, sunscreen, and any other type of product you are using, has at least one of those terms listed.

Medications can have a negative side effect on acne as well. If you notice acne is occurring more often while taking a prescription consult the prescribing physician and discuss alternatives.

How can I treat my acne?

If your acne is severe then you should consult a dermatologist. However, if your breakouts are mild there are a few things you can do at home.

  1. Cleansers.  Use a gentle cleanser like Cetaphil or CeraVe. Using too strong of a product can be abrasive and can irritate the skin.
  2. Creams and lotions. To treat a specific spot use a product that contains benzoyl peroxide, which helps kill bacteria.
  3. Prescription medications. When over the counter medications are not controlling your acne, consult with a dermatologist. There are many prescription topical and oral medications that can help.

Contact George Wooming, M.D. today to set up an appointment. Adult acne is nothing to be embarrassed about, it happens to many people, but it doesn’t mean you have to keep living with it.