Possible causes of acne among adults in 30s, 40s, and even 50s

While many people said goodbye to acne when they hit 20, some still get break outs well into their 30s, 40s and 50s. Usually it is a cause of frustration and confusion for the sufferers who don't know how on earth they could be competing with their teenage children in a game of who has more acne.

Adult acne

According to experts, adult acne can be of three types:

  • Mild Adult Acne: Consists of whiteheads, blackheads, and small pustules.
  • Moderate Adult Acne: Consists of papules that can cover anywhere between 1/4th to 3/4th of your face and body.
  • Severe Adult Acne: If there is intense redness, discolouration, swelling, irritation, and deep cysts, you have severe adult acne.

According to dermatologists, your acne could be caused by:

Fluctuating Hormone Levels

This is mostly a female problem. Fluctuating hormone levels play an important role when it comes to acne breakouts. Women mainly see the pimples arise either around their menstrual cycle, if they are going through menopause (or pre and post-menopause), or before they start or stop their birth control pills.

Stress

Stress causes your body to produce more androgens (a type of sex hormone that maintains and regulates male characteristics and regulates the functioning of many organs). Androgens stimulate the oil glands and hair follicles in the skin, thus causing more oiliness, which ultimately leads to acne breakouts.

Medication Side Effects

Certain medicines such as birth control pills, corticosteroids, lithium, anti-convulsants, barbiturates, androgenic steroids, DHEA, steroid inhalers, testosterone, and medicines that contain bromides or iodines can cause acne flare-ups, as a side effect.

Undiagnosed medical conditions

Underlying conditions, left undiagnosed, such as PCOS, Cushing Syndrome, CAH, Androgen Secreting Tumours, Acromegaly, Apert Syndrome, SAPHO syndrome, Beh et syndrome, and PAPA syndrome can cause adult acne.

Lifestyle

Excessive drinking, smoking, binge eating, irregular diet patterns and erratic sleep schedules can cause a havoc on your system and show up as adult acne!

Family history and genetics

If your close, blood relatives, like your parents or siblings, have had adult acne, the chances of you getting adult acne are higher, as sometimes adult acne can be genetic.

Skincare and haircare products

If your skincare and haircare products are comedogenic, chances are they can clog the pores on your skin, and cause acne. Products that are acnegenic and contain oil, can also lead to acne showing up, not just on your face, but also on your chest and your back.

Contact Irritation

Sometimes, if your skin comes in contact with harsh cleansers or if you shave dry skin, you can irritate your skin, which can flare up into acne.

Irritants

Change in weather, exposure to irritants in the air due to air pollution, illness, migraines, and dehydration are also some causes that can affect the body and lead to adult acne.

Experts advise that you can use OTC treatments such as Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid to treat your adult acne, but if it persists, it is advisable to visit a dermatologist who can put you on stronger, prescription-based pills and topical medications.

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