The Ins and Outs of Adult Acne

Written by Courtney La Marine, L.E., owner of Clove Studios

Acne is one of those pesky problems people like to leave in their teenage years. Adult acne is prevalent now more than ever. Some people experience acne throughout their life; products or treatments may temporarily alleviate it, but it is always there, rearing its ugly head. Others experience adult on-set acne. While there are many factors that can contribute to breakouts, whether in adolescence or as an adult, there are many ways to treat acne at all ages.

There are numerous possible causes for adult acne and the cause varies from person to person. The fluctuation of hormones can trigger outbreaks very easily. In women, monthly breakouts can be attributed to menstruation, but can become worse as the hormones change during menopause. Pregnancy affects women's hormones in many ways, so acne can be a major issue during this time.

Stress is also a major contributor to adult acne. During heavy times of stress, the body produces more androgens, which stimulate oil glands and hair follicles in the skin, which, in turn, can cause acne. Constant and consistent stress can lead to problematic skin. Family history can also cause adult acne or acne in general.

Skin and hair products can contribute to breakouts more so than people think. Looking carefully at labels can help prevent this type of acne. The obvious terms skin care professionals need to educate clients to look for are "non-comedogenic," "non-acnegenic," "oil-free," and "won't clog pores."

Certain medications can also have side effects that can cause acne. If so, clients should discuss alternatives with their physician. If a client thinks a medication is causing a breakout, he or she should consult a doctor before discontinuing the medication.

Another major cause of adult acne is digestive acne. What people ingest can often affect whether or not a breakout will occur. Diets high in trans, or "bad", fats and highly processed foods do not fuel the body in a healthy way. An imbalanced diet can cause an imbalance within the body. This disparity can cause many different issues, but with the skin being the body's largest organ, it is often where the body reacts, thus signaling something deeper.

While there are many ways to treat adult acne, finding the treatment that best suits the client will be done on a case-by-case basis. When dealing with hormones, skin care professionals need consider what may be going on in the client's body and how they can control it. Whether it be a monthly occurrence or pregnancy, they will need to analyze what will work best for the client's specific situation. Having the client consult their doctor is the best way to determine how to control the acne if hormones are the cause.

Balancing stress is a major factor. People grow and change as adults, but finding the perfect flow is the challenge in itself. A balanced life means a balanced mind, which translates to a healthy body and skin to match.

Digestive acne can be tricky to pinpoint, but wheat, soy, gluten, and dairy can be common triggers for adult acne. Having a healthy diet will ensure clear skin, as well as a healthy body. Taking note of a breakout and what may have been consumed around that time can be an indication to food sensitivity.

Professionals have many treatments in their arsenal to help with adult acne such as customized deep pore facials, chemical peels, charcoal masks, and blue light therapy. Having clients visit their dermatologist to discuss advanced technology to treat more severe breakouts allows clients to explore different options. It is not ideal for anyone to wake up with a pimple staring at them in the mirror, but gaining knowledge and finding the right treatment will get their skin back on track and glowing like they deserve!

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