More people are suffering from breakouts than ever before, according to a study presented at the American Academy of Dermatology’s annual meeting this March. Even though over 50% of adults continue to get acne well into adulthood, if you are over 18 and have acne, it’s easy to feel like you’re the only one. It’s mortifying enough to have acne as a teenager, but to have it as an adult is downright humiliating. People find themselves hiding from the public or unable to compete for jobs or promotions with clear-faced peers.
Professionals with acne are not taken seriously – a big problem for those who really need credibility not only with their peers but with their own clients. It is tough not to feel like a failure when you have adult acne. And it’s not just women who suffer – there are many adult men who come into our clinic looking for the answer to their supposedly teenage skin care woes.
For most people who suffer from acne, they get to blame their family. It is an inherited tendency of the pores to clog up with dead skin cells too quickly which causes a cascade or acne-forming events to happen. So, some people, author included, never “grow out” of their acne until much older. (I was in my forties). Other people don’t have acne in their teenage years, but start breaking out in their twenties and/or thirties. Why their acne laid “dormant” for their teenage years is a mystery, but as adults, many things can contribute to the onset of acne problems. Stress, medications, comedogenic (pore-clogging) makeup, skin and hair products, pregnancy, birth control pills and smoking are just some of the contributors to chronic breakouts.
One of the challenges of adult acne is that skin generally becomes less oily and more sensitive. Acne products and treatments that worked well in your teen years may dry you out or cause severe irritation. If you had acne as a teen, you may have noticed that acne seems to travel down and across your face as you age. You used to break out on your forehead, and now you break out on your cheeks. Then it goes to the jawline and sometimes the neck. This is because the sebaceous follicles mature in stages. For this reason, adult acne is most commonly concentrated around the cheeks, chin, and/or jawline. It is imperative to use the right strength of acne-clearing products on older skin. Also, starting slowly with a routine allowing the skin to adapt to strong products is an important strategy.
People who have had acne since adolescence may be under the impression that their pimples are unstoppable. Adult acne sufferers have usually tried various prescription medications, over-the-counter acne systems and every spa treatment and facial under the sun. The reality is that effective acne treatments and products do exist.
By virtue of their exfoliating properties, some acne products and treatments can be beneficial for anti-aging and/or lightening dark spots and acne scars. We advise adult acne sufferers to work closely with our acne specialists for a period of three to four months to achieve a lifetime of clear skin. There is no need for anyone, teen or adult, to be embarrassed and inconvenienced by the ravages of acne and the scars it can leave behind.
“I never had acne growing up but when I turned 37 I started getting hormonal cystic acne along with whiteheads and blackheads. I tried everything. Nothing worked. This went on for five years. I was at my wits end. I went online and stumbled upon Face Reality. It’s been four years and my skin has NEVER broken out like that again. This place is a Godsend.”
So, even if you have had acne all of your life or just started breaking out as an adult, there is hope for your skin. And maybe even some skin rejuvenation to go along with your adult acne medications! Let us help you find your way out of your acne problem to get rid of your acne.
Content provided courtesy of Face Reality Acne Clinic, San Leandra CA. Wendy Christman is an Acne Specialist certified through Face Reality Acne Clinic and follows their protocols.