You know the feeling.
You wake up one morning and think to yourself, “What is that little tingly feeling on my face?” You put your feet on the floor and make the long walk to the mirror only to discover…a PIMPLE! Wait, what?!? "Have I entered a time capsule? Am I 14 again?" The answer is, no. Acne isn’t just for teens. Many people have it as adults.
There's no need to fear. We’re going to educate you on why you get it, and how to fight it!
What causes adult acne?
There are many reasons why you still have acne as an adult.
- Fluctuating hormone levels can attribute to adult acne. These can include the time during or before your period or menopause. Pregnancy can also contribute to adult acne as well as discontinuing, switching or starting birth control pills. (Don’t we have enough to deal with as women? Jeesh!)
- Stress can be a contributing factor as well. Many people complain of flare-ups during stressful times. Our bodies produce more androgens (a type of hormone) when we’re under a lot of stress. These hormones stimulate oil glands which can lead to acne. So, not only are you stressed out, but your face is broken out, which causes more stress, which causes you to break out, which causes more stress. Shall we go on?
- Those mean old genetics can be one of the reasons you have adult acne, as well. Do you have a close blood relative that is prone to acne? Your parent, sister or brother? Studies show that you may be genetically predisposed to adult acne.
- Sometimes the side effect from medications can cause acne. Could this be it? Don’t go quitting your medications! Talk to your doctor about whether this may be triggering your acne. You might be able to switch to skin-friendly medication.
Help! What can I do to treat my adult acne?
Don’t worry! Premier Dermatology offers many options for treating adult acne. Not ready to take that step for a medical appointment? Here are three ways our aestheticians can help you.
- Our blue/red light combo treatment is a great option for treating acne. The blue light helps battle the bacteria, and the red light fights off the inflammation. It’s a double whammy!
- Another option for tackling acne is with a chemical peel. Chemical peels are acids which (as the name indicates) chemically peel the top layer of skin and cause your skin to exfoliate. This exfoliation signals the cells inside the skin to produce more rapidly, which can help hasten skin turnover and prevent pores from becoming clogged.
- Hydrafacial MD is an excellent treatment for acne as well! Not only does this treatment have a salicylic acid component to it, but it also extracts, exfoliates and leaves your skin feeling soft and glowing!
Here’s the best part about all of the above treatments: they also help with anti-aging! Yessss!
Medical ways of treating adult acne
- Remember how we talked about those nasty hormones and how they can affect your breakouts? The drug Spironolactone, which is commonly used to treat high blood pressure, is getting a second life as a treatment for hormonal acne. This drug blocks the receptors of the hormone androgen which helps to limit the testosterone surges that can wake up those nasty pimples.
- For mild to moderate acne, our physicians recommend our own Exfoliating Glycolic Wash. The glycolic acid in this cleanser along with a prescription topical antimicrobial is a great combo!
- Stronger cases may call for prescription retinoids (the greatest thing since sliced bread). Topical retinoids are real multi-taskers. For acne, this power-packed vitamin-A provides a gentle chemical exfoliation to the upper layer of the skin. Picture it: a thick layer of dead skin cells bound by oily skin. Clearly, that type of congested skin needs some exfoliation assistance! Retinoids are also used in almost every anti-aging regimen we recommend due to their collagen-stimulating properties. Another benefit of using a retinoid: skin cancer prevention. Studies have shown that pre-cancerous lesions (actinic keratoses) and basal cell carcinomas have regressed with this topical treatment. Long story short, retinoids are a win-win-win.
- Lastly, your dermatologist at Premier may suggest Accutane. This oral medication is an excellent choice for people with consistent or cystic acne. Its effectiveness can truly be life changing for the right candidate - even adults. This course of medication lasts about five to six months and requires routine in-office monitoring. Accutane works by targeting multiple pathways that lead to acne which means that the most common side effect is really dry skin. For some, this may seem like a dream come true! The best part is long-term side effects are uncommon in healthy patients.
See? There are all kinds of things you can do to tackle that adult acne. The best part: we're here to help! Don't worry, we'll be your superheroes.