While it is true that this skin condition is typically seen in adolescents, adults can develop this skin condition as well. It can present on adults in much the same way as adolescents, but there are usually some noteworthy differences with regards to what causes it and the treatment methods that should be used. Although adults are less prone to developing pimples than adolescents, it is still very possible.
Who gets adult acne?
Adults in their 30s, 40s, and 50s can develop different pimples, in some cases for the first time ever, which is referred to by dermatologists as adult-onset acne. Regardless of age or gender, this skin condition can develop at any time during adulthood for a number of reasons.
Adult vs. adolescent acne
It is a problem for 85% of adolescents and usually starts around age 11, occurring when the microscopic glands around hair follicles become filled with oily sebum. The excessive production of these oils which clog the pores is the result of the hormonal changes that all adolescents experience. While it is true that adult and adolescent acne can both be caused by hormonal fluctuations, it can also be due to stress, using certain hair and skin care products, and genetic reasons. It can be even more difficult to treat and get rid of than adolescent acne, and it is often associated with both dehydration and sensitivity.
Adult acne causes
There are many different causes of pimples, including stress. While acute stress has been known to cause occasional breakouts, chronic, prolonged stress can significantly increase hormone levels, which in turn increases sebum oil production. Pregnant women are at a high risk for developing pimples because of the fluctuating hormone levels they experience while carrying a child. Despite what many people believe, greasy foods cannot cause it.
Certain medications, such as lithium, corticosteroids, and anti-seizure drugs, can also be responsible for causing this skin condition in adults. Genetics can also cause pimples by affecting the size and activity of the sebaceous glands. As these glands grow larger, they produce more oils, which in turn clog the pores and cause pimples to form on the skin. Bacteria can have an effect on sebum, leading to the production of certain substances that irritate and inflame the skin. Certain medications, including steroids and others that contain iodine, can have an adverse effect on pimples.
Adult acne treatment
Adults with acne have a number of treatment options available, some of which are more effective than others. The effectiveness of a particular treatment depends on numerous factors, including the severity of the condition of the skin and the cause. Adults with mild forms can use a topical cream or lotion with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid to reduce the buildup of oils produced by the gland. These topical treatment medications are typically prescribed by a dermatologist.
For cases of moderate to severe forms, antibiotics may be prescribed to minimize bacteria and inflammation. Some of the most common antibiotics that are prescribed for forms caused by bacterial infection include minocycline as well as doxycycline. Hormone therapy is yet another option that can be effective for female patients who have late-onset acne, otherwise known as acne tarda. The primary purpose of hormone therapy in female patients is to prevent the effects that result from androgens on the sebaceous gland.