How to Handle Acne As an Adult


Acne affects not just teenagers, but also people in the later stages of life. Studies indicate that as much as 50 percent of individuals between the ages of 20 and 40 years of age have oily skin and experience breakouts.

As with teens, acne can affect adults psychologically and emotionally. Individuals who suffer from recurring breakouts feel less confident about themselves to the point that they may avoid going out and socializing with other people.

What Causes Acne in Adults?

There are several reasons why a breakout still occurs in adults. Here are some of the potential culprits:

● Hormones

One of the main reasons causes of acne breakouts in teenagers involves hormonal fluctuations. Fluctuations affecting testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen are common in teens as they go through puberty and girls get their periods. However, for some individuals, the fluctuations don’t stop once they get older.

Hormonal changes become a regular part of life as women experience their monthly periods, take birth control medication, and go through a pregnancy, and this can go on even after menopause. Some individuals also have an influx of androgens in their bodies. The male sex hormones encourage the production of excess sebum on the skin, which results in breakouts.

● Unhealthy Diet

Foods rich in sugar, carbohydrates, and saturated fats can raise insulin levels in your body. When a spike occurs, the skin produces more oil which clogs the pores in the process. Insulin spikes have also been known to increase levels of androgen in the body, which can aggravate the situation further.

● High-stress levels

When you get stressed, your body releases cortisol and produces more testosterone. The increase of testosterone in the body causes the skin’s glands to produce oil.

With the excess oil on the surface, there is also a higher chance of developing a skin infection. This, in turn, causes more pimples to form.

Stress and acne have an unwelcome relationship. Higher stress levels increase the production of sebum which leads to the formation of pimples. At the same time, breakouts can affect the person’s self-esteem and confidence, heightening stress levels in the process.

● External Factors

Any activity that negatively affects your complexion can cause a breakout. It could be as simple as talking on the phone for long periods of time or traveling to an area where there is a lot of dust or dirt around the area. Any situation that exposes your skin to high levels of dirt can irritate your skin and increase your chances of experiencing a breakout.

Tips to Avoid Breakouts

Finding a treatment that works for adults is trickier as compared to finding solutions for teens. As people age, the skin becomes more sensitive to hormonal changes, yet less resilient. Older people are also less responsive to acne treatment.

Still, there are ways of treating acne and reducing those irritating blemishes on the skin. If you suffer from pimples as a young or middle-aged adult, here are a few options you can consider:

● Eat healthier meals

What you put into your body will eventually come out in one way or another. Eating dairy or carb-rich foods is a sure way of developing gut inflammation and pimples. Other than carbs and dairy, other foods that skin experts recommend avoiding include items containing gluten and lentils, to help improve your gut health.

Fruits and leafy vegetables are essential for a well-balanced diet, but there are more specific foods that can help give your skin a more youthful glow. Holy basil, aloe vera, turmeric, and some medicinal mushrooms have long been praised for their abilities to help the body cope with daily stress.

● Scrutinize Your Skin Products

Watch what you apply on your skin as some products can inadvertently block the pores. Heavy makeup and some skin creams are notorious for these reasons. If you are prone to breakouts, be careful with choosing these types of products.

Avoiding makeup and skincare products is more difficult for women. If options are limited and going without makeup or skincare products is not possible, you will need to pay close attention to keeping your skin pores clean.

Always carry wet wipes or cleansing washes with you. Wipes can help cleanse your skin of impurities, especially if you regularly travel.

It is also important not to skip your daily cleansing regimen at the end of the day. Regardless of how exhausted you feel, leaving makeup on your skin or not washing up can clog the pores, increasing your chances of experiencing a breakout within a few days.

● See a skin specialist

Breakouts can occur for many reasons or a combination of several. Because of this, finding a cure or a course of treatment that works for all individuals is impossible. However, this does not mean that there is no hope for adults with acne. If you have tried the tips above but have seen little improvement, you can always consult a trusted skin specialist or dermatologist. Through initial consultations, the skin specialist can determine the type of skin that you have and better identify the cause. With this information, your specialist can recommend a course of acne treatment and provide you with preventative measures to keep your skin soft and healthy.

Photo by Ayo Ogunseinde on Unsplash

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