Funny how acne commercials always show teens; sudden acne flares often strike adults including middle age; here are causes and solutions.
Causes of Adult Acne Flare-up
Adult-onset acne can occur in a woman or man, 30s to 50s. And a teen history of acne is not required. Women more than men, however, are affected, due to the following:
• Menstrual hormone fluctuations.
• Start or discontinuation of birth control pills (hormone fluctuations).
• Pregnancy hormone fluctuations.
• Perimenopausal and menopausal hormone fluctuations.
Both men and women can get adult-onset acne for these reasons:
• Stress. It’s not a myth; stress can bring on acne, even in adults. Stress stimulates oil glands and hair follicles, leading to acne breakouts in some adults.
• Chronic stress can mean chronic acne.
• Side effects of medications. Read the insert of any medications you’re on. If it lists acne as a possible side effect, do NOT cease the drug. Instead, consult with the prescribing doctor for possible solutions.
• Genetic predisposition. This raises the risk but doesn’t guarantee a breakout of acne. The risk is heightened with skin and hair care products, depending on their ingredients.
Solutions to Adult Acne Breakouts
An obvious solution is to get stress under control, but this is a lot easier on paper than in real life.
What you can do is train yourself to be more relaxed during situations that make you cringe, such as traffic jams, waiting in a dentist’s office, going through a pile of mail, etc.
Engaging in intense workouts is a proven stress buster. They won’t make traffic go faster or lessen the amount of your utility bill, but a trained body translates to a trained mind—one that just deals with stress better.
Make sure your skin and hair care products say the following on their labels: won’t clog pores, oil-free, non-comedogenic, non-acnegenic.
These won’t necessarily prevent an adult acne breakout but will lower the risk.
See a dermatologist if the acne is not responding to over-the-counter treatments.
Consider the possibility that, unless you’ve been diagnosed by a doctor, what you have isn’t even acne.
Several types of skin problems can appear as acne to a layperson. So first get a formal diagnosis that you indeed have adult-onset acne.
Your dermatologist will then determine what the best treatment options are (based on suspected causes or triggers) for your condition and how to manage them over time.