All About Adult Acne

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You may think that by the time you’ve hit your 30s, you’ve completely outgrown the pimply skin you had a s a teenager. Turns out that for 1 in 5 women from age 25-40, that simply isn’t the case. If you suffer from adult acne, you are not alone and here are a few facts to help you better understand your condition and treat it effectively.


1. Do you have adult acne or rosacea?
Woman with adult acne
The first step in treating adult acne is actually determining whether or not it is adult acne. There are many skin conditions that strongly resemble pimple outbreaks, like rosacea. If you suddenly develop a pimple like rash, especially if you’ve never suffered from acne before, go and see a doctor or dermatologist immediately. Getting the correct diagnosis is an important first step in successfully treating your skin.

2. Adult acne comes from clogged pores or blackheads
Clogged Pores
Essentially, acne is just clogged pores that have become infected and inflamed. Excess skin cells and oils become trapped inside your pores, blocking the duct and mixing with bacteria. They then turn black when exposed to air, turning into pimples once they become infected. The infection is spread by touching your face with dirty hands, so always make sure your hands are clean before you touch your face.

3. Blame it on your hormones

Your hormones are what cause your sebaceous glands to go into oil-producing overdrive, which explains why your acne probably flares up just before your period. Hormones are triggered by a multitude of factors like stress levels, hormone enriched diet and lack of exercise. You might want to consider switching to organic milk, meats and produce, taking up yoga or going on birth control to begin to manage your acne.

4.  Adult acne and teen acne are very, very different.
When we’re teenagers, our skin is far thicker than it is when we’re an adult. As we age, our skin thins out and becomes very sensitive to products. Most of the face washes on the market are geared towards a teenager’s more resilient skin. They’re packed with things like 0% benzoyl peroxide or 2% salicylic acid, and will be much too harsh on an  adult’s skin. The good news is that these products are available in various strengths. Try using  benzoyl peroxide products in the 2% range and salicylic acid gels, pads and cleansers in the .5% range.

5.  Don’t over-exfoliate
Girl with exfoliated skin

A lot of people tend to think that the more products they use, the faster their skin will get better. Unfortunately, that’s not the case at all. Over-stimulating your skin with too many products will speed up sebaceous oil production, which leads to clogged pores, which leads to even more acne. Rather stick to one product or product range and follow the instructions to the letter. It’s also a good idea to stay away from facial scrubs. Even the most mild and gentle ones made from brown sugar can damage your skin. Choose exfoliators that come in cream, pads and gel form (hello salicylic acid!), they’re much better for your pustules and pimples.

If you can’t solve your acne yourself, book an appointment with a dermatologist. He or she will clear your skin up fast. Retinoids, antibiotics, azelaic acid and laser treatments are just some of your options.

Oregon Derma Center specializes in a variety of these different adult acne treatments, including injectables like Juvederm and Restylane, laser treatments and specialty skincare products. Many of our customers come from all over Portland, from Happy Valley to the Pearl District. Make an appointment with us to discuss what might work best for you and your lifestyle. Clear skin is just a phone call away.

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