Looking At Adult Acne With Fresh Eyes – Mission Clear Skin

Hallmarks of teenage — Acne, Awkwardness, and Braces are three repudiate traits most adults are thankful leaving behind with their pubescence, never to be remembered. But of lately, acne is proving to be one pesky affliction that is refusing to fit under the stereotype “teenage”, in fact “Adult Acne” is rearing it’s irate bulbous head more and more commonly on grown up mature faces. In my clinical practice a good number of grown ups mostly women are reporting experiencing acne well into there 20’s, 30’s and even 50’s.


Research Has Validated The Rise Of The Zits In Adults


The observation that breakouts are seemingly becoming more and more common later in life is officially a well-established and documented fact now. Studies published in Journal of the American Academy of Dermatologyhave alerted that 50 percent of women will suffer from acne at some point in their adult years, and the median age of those afflicted has increased from 20.5 to 26.5 years old – Bummer.


It’s About Time Ya’ll Got Familiar With Your zits & Excrescences


Folks, all acne is not created equal — teenage acne mostly involves T-zone-centric blackheads and whiteheads, while adult acne hits around the jaw-line and neck, and often showing up as painful cysts and nodules. Women tend to get adult acne more often than men do, and these breakouts are most common among women going through menopause.Another bummer attached to grown-up breakouts might be more scarring, because skin becomes less resilient with age.


Lingering Reasons Vexing Goopheads


Now that research has put acne on the adult facial map all the way zigzagging into your 50’s you need to get familiar with yet another fact — yes it is possible to get acne for the first time as an adult even if you never experienced it as a teen. Dermatologists call this “adult-onset acne”.


Let’s take note of common reasons behind acne and try to avoid them:


Fluctuating hormone levels: An imbalance can lead to breakouts. Women often experience fluctuating hormonesaround their periods,during pregnancy, before menopause, and during menopause. Some women experience acne after discontinuing (or starting) birth control pills too.


Stress: Researchers have found a direct relationship between stress and acne flare-ups. In response to stress, our body produces more androgens (a type of hormone). These hormones stimulate the oil glands and hair follicles in the skin, which can lead to acne and hair fall. This explains why acne and hair fall can be an ongoing problem when we find ourselves under constant stress.


Family history: Statistical studies have suggested that some people may have a genetic predisposition for acne. People who have this predisposition seem more likely to get adult acne.


Diet: Sugar, fizzy drinks, fried & junk food are ultimate culprits in aggravating blemishes.


Hair and skin care products: If you suffer from adult acne, it’s imperative that you should read the labels on your skin care and hair care products. If you want to avoid acne make sure that you see one of the following terms on every container:

  • Non-comedogenic
  • Non-acnegenic
  • Oil-free
  • Won’t clog pores

You also need to make sure your moisturizer, cleanser, sunscreen, and all other products contain these terms. These products are least likely to cause acne.


Medication side effect: Acne can also appear as a side effect to some medicines. If you suspect that a medicine is triggering your acne or making it worse, talk with the doctor who prescribed it. Ask if acne is a possible side effect. If yes, ask if you can take a different medicine. If you cannot take another medicine, you may want to see a dermatologist who can help you control the acne.


Undiagnosed medical condition: Sometimes, acne is a sign of an underlying medical condition. Once the medical condition is diagnosed and treated, the acne often clears.


Clear Up Pharmacon


Acne can be particularly frustrating for adults, as some of the treatments that work so well for teen acne can be useless — or make acne worse.


Some of the treatments that work well with adult acne are:


  • Prescription creams containing retinoids (derived from vitamin A) to help unplug follicles.
  • Combination creams containing benzoyl peroxide and antibiotics such as Clindamycin.
  • Gel containing 5% dapsone, to help fight inflammation involved in acne.
  • Birth control pills, like Yaz (Yasmine) can regulate the hormonal fluctuations that spark breakouts.
  • Oral antibiotics, for anti-inflammatory action.
  • A blood pressure medication called Spironolactone is frequently used off-label to treat acne.


If nothing clears your acne, see a dermatologist. With a specialist’s help and a bit of patience, virtually every case of acne can be controlled.

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Shazia Ali
A certified dermatologist, Skincare guru to the who's who of the Middle East, Dr. Shazia knows the secrets of anti-aging, the insider tips and tricks on how to achieve healthy, beautiful radiant skin and everything in between. Currently the brand Ambasador for University of Westminster, and the head Dermatologist at Tababa Clinics.

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