What Could Be Causing Your Adult Acne?

 What Could Be Causing Your Adult Acne?

After living with acne as a teen, it can be frustrating to still deal with blemishes in adulthood as well. Some people may even experience adult acne after having clear skin their whole lives. Fortunately, by working with a dermatologist, you can uncover the cause of your acne, begin treatment, and regain your confidence.

What Causes Adult Acne?

Adults can experience acne at any age. While it’s most common in people in their 20s, acne can appear during your 30s, 40s, and 50s as well. It’s most common in women, and may be more likely to occur around your period or during pregnancy and menopause.

There are several adult acne causes. To pinpoint the specific cause of your acne, your dermatologist will perform a visual exam and discuss other health factors with you. Here are some of the most common causes that dermatologists see:

  • Bacteria: A bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes can exist on the skin and build up to cause acne. It’s often present underneath the top layer of skin, so you may not be able to eliminate it by simply washing your face.
  • Clogged Pores: Excess oil and dead skin cells can clog hair follicles, which often turns into acne. Certain cosmetics and hair care products can also clog pores, so it’s important to look for products that are non-comedogenic.
  • Hormones: Imbalances and fluctuations in hormones are a common cause of acne. Factors like pregnancy, menstruation, and breastfeeding can contribute to these fluctuations. When hormones are out of balance, individuals are more likely to experience excess oil production, inflammation, and pH imbalances on the skin.
  • Stress: Constant stress can cause the body to produce extra hormones, leading to excess oil on the skin. This is true for physical stress as well, which can be triggered by factors like a lack of sleep, dehydration, and illness.

Remember that the exact cause of your acne may not be clear, but working with a dermatologist is the best way to get answers. They can also recommend ways to prevent your specific type of acne.

What Treatments Are Available?

Once your dermatologist diagnoses your skin condition, they can recommend treatment. A combination of prescription and over the counter adult acne treatments are effective for many people.

  • Topical Creams & Gels: Topical medications are some of the most common adult acne treatments. These medications can contain retinoids, which are derived from vitamin A and prevent hair follicles from clogging. Other common ingredients are salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide.
  • Oral Medications: If you have moderate to severe acne, your dermatologist may recommend an oral medication. These can include antibiotics, oral contraceptives, and oral Isotretinoin.
  • In-Office Treatments: Light therapies, in-office extractions, chemical peels, and steroid injections can be effective adult acne treatments. However, be sure that you only undergo these treatments at a licensed dermatologist’s office.

Some individuals will benefit from multiple treatments to clear up their acne. Your dermatologist can also work with you to develop an at-home skin care routine, ensuring that you’re using dermatologist recommended products exclusively. Through persistence, at-home care, and regular appointments, you can get your acne under control.

If you’re living with adult acne and looking for solutions, the team at Pacific Dermatology Specialists are available to help. With locations in Long Beach, Seal Beach, Torrance, and Carson, CA, our experts offer a range of treatments to clear up mild to severe acne. Contact us today to request an appointment.

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