Adult acne: what causes it and what can you do about it?

Adult Acne – Causes and Treatment

There are many things we all miss about being a teenager – not having to worry about rent or bills, staying up late and being able to sleep until noon, having seemingly endless amounts of energy – but one thing we definitely don’t pine after is the acne many of us suffer from in our youth. Unfortunately, just because you have left your teenage years behind and entered adulthood, that doesn’t mean you have completely escaped acne.

It is said that around 25% of adult men and 50% of adult women will suffer from adult acne at some point, with 1/3 of sufferers having acne on their back and body, as well as their face. Acne has been known to affect adults in their 20s, 30s, 40s and even 50s.

Acne can usually be characterised by blackheads, whiteheads and cysts and is caused by a combination of overactive grease or oil producing glands, hormones and bacterial infection. An oily substance called a sebum clogs your pores, which then attract bacteria and end up becoming inflamed. The fact that hormones can cause adult acne is why adult women tend to suffer more than adult men – periods, pregnancy and menopause can all cause adult acne breakouts in women.

While there is currently no permanent cure for acne, there are a number of steps you can take to prevent the formation of new spots and treat the existing ones.

Be careful with your makeup

Some people will tell you to avoid wearing any makeup at all if you suffer from acne, but you don’t need to. Just be careful with the type of makeup you use and make sure that you remove it properly at the end of the day. Leaving makeup on your face for too long can cause your pores to become blocked which can in turn lead to acne breakouts.

Watch your diet

Despite what you may have been told; there is no link between a poor diet and acne. However, maintaining a healthy diet is still important as it will help keep your skin generally healthy.

Look out for tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is an excellent partner to have in the fight against acne outbreaks. The oil has antiseptic qualities that help reduce the amount of acne-causing bacteria on your skin, as well as helping reduce the inflammation caused by acne. Keep an eye out for soaps, face washes and other cosmetics that contain tea tree oil and introduce these to your daily skin care routine.

Manage your stress levels

Just like with your diet, stress alone would not cause adult acne, but it can exacerbate existing acne, as well as a range of other skin conditions. If you find yourself constantly suffering from stress, try managing it through exercise, reading, deep breathing, meditation, listening to music – anything to take your mind off the stress and calm yourself down.

Resist the urge to pick or squeeze spots

As tempting as it may be, you need to resist the urge to pick or squeeze any spots or pimples that may appear on your face. While this can be quite satisfying in the short time, it can actually aggravate your skin and cause scarring.

Don’t over exfoliate your skin

You may think that the more you wash and exfoliate your face, the better your skin will become, but this isn’t true. Over-using exfoliating products or facial scrubs can make your acne worse, as your skin will already be sensitive and weakened.

Visit a specialist

While all of these tips can help keep your skin healthy and reduce the chance of you having an acne breakout as an adult, what if your acne is at such a level that these aren’t enough? If you feel like your acne is getting out of control, your best plan is to visit a specialist dermatologist. At Harley Street Dermatology Clinic, our expert dermatologists can provide friendly advice as well as specialist acne treatment to help you get back in control of your skin.