Adult Acne – Why It Happens and What To Do About It

A woman with adult acne on her face

Acne is one of those things teens look forward to leaving behind as they age. But for many people, this isn’t the case. In fact, it’s been reported that over 25% of adult men and over 50% of adult women suffer from adult acne at some point. If you’re one of these people, you’re not alone.

Adult acne usually occurs after a person is 25 years of age. It includes the presence of blackheads and whiteheads, pimples, and pustules. More severe acne causes lumps under the skin and red bumps.

If you have adult acne, wonder why it happens, and want to know what to do about it, please read on.

Causes of Adult Acne Breakouts

There isn’t only one cause for adult acne. The reasons are many and varied.

Some common reasons that adult acne may develop include:

  • Stress
  • Using the wrong skin care products for your skin type
  • Diet—including eating too much sugar
  • Cleansing your skin too often
  • Not cleansing your skin often enough
  • Excess oil production in skin
  • Skin cells or bacteria clog skin pores
A woman taking a birth control pill out of its wrapping

Women are more likely to develop adult acne. This is often related to fluctuating hormone levels.  Some causes of these fluctuations are:

  • Switching or stopping birth control pills
  • Pregnancy and menopause
  • Monthly cycles

Some medications also promote adult acne. They include:

  • Lithium
  • Corticosteroids
  • Antiseizure medications

If there isn’t an obvious reason for your adult acne, you can see a dermatologist to help determine the cause.

Can A Facial Help Adult Acne?

A skin facial may help clear your adult acne – or it may not. The answer depends on the reason you have acne in the first place, and what type of acne you have.

If you have mild-to-moderate acne, facials are often a good treatment. When clogged pores with trapped dirt and oil cause acne, facials often minimize breakouts.

Mild inflammatory acne causes small areas of redness and swelling. An acne facial might help this, too.

If you have severe inflammatory acne that causes red, painful sores, it may be best to avoid a facial.

Other factors which can affect the effectiveness or reaction to a facial include:

  • Skin type
  • The harshness of the facial
  • Current medications the person is using
  • Other medical conditions or allergies
  • Other products the person is using
  • The quality of the facial ingredients
  • A person’s age

A skin facial will:

  • Cleanse the skin and pores
  • Exfoliate dead skin cells
  • Rejuvenate your skin

Afterwards, your skin appears healthier and more youthful.

Different facials can incorporate:

  • Massaging the skin
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Removal of whiteheads and blackheads
  • Using scrubs
  • Using chemical peels
  • Applying serums, moisturizers, antioxidants
  • Applying facial masks
  • Laser treatment

A licensed and experienced aesthetician can evaluate which procedures to incorporate into your treatment.

Sometimes, a facial ingredient or a specific procedure can make your symptoms worse. In these cases, adjust subsequent facials so there’s no additional skin irritation.

It’s important that your facials are provided by trained and licensed aestheticians or dermatologists. You also want your provider to be experienced in the process of acne facials and have a track record of successfully treating patients.

Acne facials cannot cure your acne. However, they will offer temporary relief from this skin issue.

Will A Skin Peel Help Adult Acne?

During a chemical peel treatment, they apply an acid solution to your face. The peel exfoliates and eventually removes the top layer of skin. The results reveal healthier and smoother skin.

As with skin facials, chemical peels help some adult acne conditions.

A chemical peel helps lessen adult acne by:

  • Decreasing pore size
  • Possibly reducing oil production by skin
  • Killing bacteria
  • Cleansing the skin
  • Reducing irritation

Not everyone is right for a chemical peel. People who see the best results from this procedure usually have light hair and fair skin.

People who should avoid getting chemical peels for acne are those who:

  • Have dark skin
  • Have infections or skin disease
  • Are nursing or pregnant
  • Have skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea
  • Have sunburned skin

Other skin conditions treated with chemical peels include:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Dark spots, age spots, sun spots, freckles
  • Dull complexion
  • Scars
  • Pre-cancerous areas

Chemical peels have different strengths. They are performed at varying intervals and each peel calls for a different recovery period.

A graphic showing normal human skin layers
  • Mild peels (“Lunchtime peels”) take a short time and treat minor skin issues like clogged and enlarged pores and oily skin—mild-to-moderate acne is treated with recurring peels as often as every 5 weeks
  • Medium-depth peels are deeper peels that reach part of the dermis—often used for wrinkles and scars and can be repeated every 4 months
  • Deep peels have a longer healing time and are applied only once—often used for scars, sun damage, and pre-cancerous growths

How To Treat and Care for Adult Acne

There are other treatment options for people who suffer from adult acne.

If your acne falls into the moderate-to-severe category—with many inflamed bumps, or lesions—it’s best that you see a dermatologist. The doctor can prescribe certain medications known to treat acne successfully.

Birth control pills are often an effective way to control acne. Antibiotics and other prescription medicines often work well, too.

A knowledgeable aesthetician can recommend other products you can use at home that will not worsen your acne. This includes skin cleansers and moisturizers.

A good cleanser will gently remove grime, makeup, and pollution—all of which can make your acne worse. Retinoid creams can help clean and exfoliate your skin as they work to reduce fine lines and help the skin heal faster.

Look for skin care products and makeup that are “noncomedogenic.” This name simply means they won’t clog your pores.

Here are some additional things you can do to help prevent acne—or minimize the acne breakouts that you do experience:

  • Wash your face twice a day
  • Use cool or warm—but not hot—water when cleansing
  • Use a gentle face cleanser
  • Wash your face gently using your hands or soft washcloth
  • Don’t wash your face for more than 30 seconds
  • Gently pat your skin dry

At Vibrance MedSpa we offer facial treatments that use only the highest quality pharmaceutical grade products. Our certified aestheticians will perform a thorough analysis of your skin to determine your best treatment options.

Our licensed physicians administer all laser and injectable services. Contact us today for more information.

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