Acne is a distressing skin problem which dents your confidence and is hard to hide. As it can go on for a long time - it can feel as if there’s no end in sight. However, with the right treatment plan it can be manageable, helping you prolong those clear, smooth skin periods until they become the norm.
What is difference between teenage and adult acne?
Just like teen acne, adult acne can result from clogged pores, over stimulated oil glands, an overgrowth of bacteria, hormonal changes or inflammation.
Most of teenage acne tends to show as tiny bumps, blackheads or whiteheads on the face, especially the forehead, along with occasional cysts on the chest and back.
Adult acne is more likely to appear on the lower part of the face, especially around the mouth and jawline, and consists of deeper nodules or red papules which are more likely to leave scars.
Who is affected with adult acne?
Up to 40% of adults experience acne into their 30s, 40s and 50s, and it’s just as upsetting when you’re 40 as it is when you’re 14.
Female adult acne
Adult acne is more common in women than men and usually occurs between the ages of 20-54. It often consists of a few large, tender, bumps that last for weeks and never come to a head, so many women don’t realise they are experiencing adult acne.
Women often mistake these skin blemishes for an allergic response to their skin care, but this is rarely the cause. Most cases are triggered by hormones levels.
Women’s hormone levels fluctuate every month and throughout their lifetime. Monthly cycles, pregnancy, starting or stopping birth control pills, and perimenopause all cause hormonal shifts that can lead to adult acne. Stress can also cause hormonal changes because it releases cortisol and androgen hormones.
Male adult acne
For most men, after puberty, hormone levels remain constant, so they tend to outgrow acne by their mid to late 20s.
However, it is estimated that up to 25% of men suffer adult male acne which is often a response to stress, medication, steroids, friction from clothing or exposure to heat and humidity.
Although different from adult acne – shaving bumps can result in similar visible symptoms. Men with curly hair are predisposed to shaving bumps, which are caused by ingrown hairs that barb back into the hair follicle. Shaving bumps can become infected with bacteria resulting in redness and inflammation. Men can reduce these occurrences by switching to an electric razor or having laser hair removal to remove their beard in problem areas.
How can you help manage active acne?
If you’re troubled with breakouts then we can support you with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide skin care products, which are good for clearing whiteheads and pustules, and an oral supplement called Accumax, which when used with a recommended healthy eating plan, helps promote healthy skin. We would also recommend that smokers should stop - as smoking has been linked to increased adult acne breakouts.
If you have chronic acne you should always consult your GP first, who can check for underlying health issues. GPs often provide Roaccutane as an acne treatment which has many negative side effects. So, if you wish to avoid Roaccutane - then we can help manage your acne symptoms.
Our help would be a combination of skin care, supplements and professional chemical peels combined with Dermalux. For women experiencing adult acne caused by hormonal changes associated with perimenopause we can provide Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) to reduce the effects of hormonal imbalances.
What about acne scarring?
The most important aspect of managing active acne is to reduce the formation of acne scars. Once you have clear skin - the last thing you want are scars as a constant reminder of past problems, particularly as acne scars are very hard to conceal with makeup.
For clients who do have acne scars we can help significantly reduce the scarring with microneedling treatments.