Adult Acne in Women – Why Breakouts Are Not Just a Teen Problem

Monday, January 11, 2016

It seems to be accepted that teenagers who don't suffer through the embarrassment and discomfort of acne are the lucky exceptions, rather than the norm, however for a surprisingly large number of adults, this 'teen' problem continues to have a big impact on their lives.

Adult acne affects both men and women, though is more common in women due to the significant effect hormones have on acne, and the fact women’s hormonal balances change a lot more regularly in adult life than men’s. It can have knock on effects on confidence and self esteem, and can also be quite painful. 

Here, we take a deeper look at the causes of adult acne in women, and what your options are if you are a sufferer.


What Is Acne?

While we all know what acne looks like, many people don't understand what it actually is and how it forms. Essentially, acne is the result of hair follicles in the skin producing too much of an oily substance called sebum. Sebum is important for healthy skin, however when there is too much of it, it blocks the pores of the skin and can cause pimples. If the top of a pore blockage oxidizes and turns black, it becomes what we know of as a blackhead. If it remains under the surface of the skin, it can appear white – a typical 'zit'. Sometimes very large blockages form deep under the skin, which causes those very large, painful acne cysts. Most people get the odd one or two of all of these different kinds of spots and pimples, but when there is an outbreak of lots of them or the problem is chronic, it is acne.

What Are The Main Causes of Adult Acne in Females?

As we've discussed above, hormones are the most significant cause of acne. This is why it is so common in teenagers, as their hormone levels are all over the place during puberty, and also why when it affects adult women, it tends to worsen or only occur at certain points in the menstrual cycle, or during and just after pregnancy. There can be other causes, or causes that can lead to hormonal changes that may trigger acne (such as certain medications, diet, or stress), but it is rare for acne to be caused by poor skin hygiene. However, many of the ways of treating acne do involve using specialist skincare acne products to remove and dry out the excess sebum, often as part of your usual cleansing routine.

What Can You Do If You Have Acne?

The first approach you should take if you are a woman with occasional or regular acne outbreaks is to use skin products designed to treat it which can be bought and added to your normal skincare regimen without medical supervision, like the expert formulated range for acne by Sonya Dakar Skin Clinic. It may take some trial and error to find a regime that works because acne varies a lot from person to person, however off the shelf treatments do work for the majority of people. If you can't find a solution this way, then it is time to talk to your doctor, who may be able to recommend a different course of treatment.

While some women simply put up with acne at times like during pregnancy or for a couple of days a month, if you are suffering with your acne there is almost always something you can try to help with it.

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