Causes of Adult Acne and What You Can Do About It


Most people consider acne breakouts as something only teenagers suffer from. So much so, that this acne phase in a teenager’s life becomes the subject of books, movies and TV shows about high school life. In most cases, this becomes a central point about bullying and being accepting of others who are not like themselves.

But what happens when that teenage acne phase just never ended? According to the American Academy of Dermatology, about 50 million Americans are affected by acne every year, with approximately 20 to 40% of that number being older, adult women.

Causes of Adult Acne

Most dermatologists agree that the reasons adults suffer from acne could differ from patient to patient, there are some common factors that most sufferers share.

  • Stress and Hormones – Do you notice that you get breakouts before and during your period? This is something most women are familiar with and it’s because the hormonal changes your body goes through during your menstrual days can cause heavy oil production on the face. If you have a stressful job, this could also increase your cortisol levels, worsening your hormonal acne breakouts.
  • Dirt and Dust Pollution – These particles are 20 times smaller than human pores. So if you typically commute to work in an urban setting where dust and smoke from cars and buses are higher, you’re more prone to acne breakouts. A dermatologist could recommend ways for you to better protect yourself against such harsh pollutants.
  • Using the Wrong Beauty Products – You can’t just use current popular beauty trends if you have acne-prone skin. For example, you might be thinking that you have to dry out your acne for it to heal but that is not the case. Seek treatment with a dermatologist, so they can recommend skincare products for acne-prone skin.
  • The Food You Eat – Do you have a sweet tooth? You might find comfort in that chocolate bar you just consumed but you’re also not doing your skin any favors. High sugar levels in the body are known causes of acne breakouts.
  • Bad Habits – It’s not just food that can cause your breakouts. If you have a tendency to touch your face often or if you don’t wash your face to clean your makeup, you’re adding to the dirt that seeps into your pores. The same thing with sleeping on dirty pillowcases or picking at your pimples when you do get breakouts. Just don’t do it.

Remedies for Adult Acne

acne on the jaw area

Now that you know the causes of you breakouts, there are some things you can do to lessen the chance of your skin developing acne.

Generally, over-the-counter treatments can help clear up most people’s acne. If you’ve lived with this your whole life, then you’re practically an expert on what works for you and what doesn’t. We’re sure we don’t need to tell you the importance of moisturizing your face.

You might also want to try some natural products that are known for their acne-clearing and healing properties:

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Tea tree oil
  • Aloe vera
  • Zinc
  • Green tea extracts
  • Probiotics

Similarly, if you get severe acne breakouts, your dermatologist might recommend some other powerful treatments such as taking birth control pills, using retinol or hydroxyl acids (and their more popular cousins, salycilic acid or benzoyl peroxide) or, even possibly, effective blue light therapy that are also commonly used for people with depression.

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