Unfortunately, acne isn’t just something you experience as a teenager. For many adults, breakouts are common, sometimes even more so than when they were in their teenage years. Adult acne occurs more often than many people realize and affects more than 70 percent of adults between the ages of 20 and 50. But for as common as adult acne has become, this condition is rarely talked about. There are numerous factors that can cause or exacerbate adult acne, but there are treatments out there. Here we break down a little more behind the truth about adult acne.

Adult Acne is a Chronic Skin Condition

As an adult, the effects of common breakouts can have almost as much impact on your life as it did when you were in your teens. It’s embarrassing and frustrating to deal with and goes beyond a simple cosmetic problem. It’s actually a chronic skin condition that involves intermittent flare-ups when you experience a breakout.

For many adults, rosacea or even reactions to medications can also be attributing factors to your breakouts. Even makeup, moisturizer, or sweat can clogged pores.

Acne is distinguished by comedones (whiteheads and blackheads), when pores get clogged and inflamed. Talk to your skin care physician to determine if you do have acne.

What Causes Adult Acne

There are various culprits involved when it comes to adult acne. Factors include hormones, stress, family history, hair and skin products, diet, and medication side effects.

Hormones may play a major role in all breakouts. Women experiencing menopause are most commonly susceptible to adult acne with the fluctuations of hormone levels. And a high presence of male-type androgen hormones is commonly associated with this as well. Androgens stimulate the sebaceous glands as well, leading to acne.

Cortisol, which is our stress hormone, also comes into play here. It doesn’t directly cause acne, but it has been shown to aggravate and contribute to it. So when stress levels are high, this can trigger your breakouts.

Eating foods with a high glycemic index can contribute to breakouts. Processed foods like bread and other refined carbs cause insulin levels to spike, which influences sebum production. Sebum from sebaceous glands then clogs pores, causing an acneic breakout.

Acne has many causes, so speak with your skin care physician to identify possible factors and come up with a treatment plan.

How to Treat or Prevent Adult Acne

Even though there are hormonal and genetic factors involved, there are some ways that you can reduce the occurrence of breakouts and even prevent them from happening. For instance, only use non-comedogenic and non-acnegenic skin care products and refine your diet to avoid unhealthy foods that may contribute to acne breakouts.

The Ottawa Skin Clinic has a range of acne treatments that may be the right fit. Book a consultation to learn more about our specialized chemical peels, advanced medical grade facials, HydraFacial treatments, and AFT treatments.

We are also excited to announce we have introduced SilkPeel™ Dermalinfusion™, a non-invasive, non-surgical procedure designed to rejuvenate and clarify the appearance of skin. The Clarifying Formula combines salicylic acid and aloe to unclog, calm, and gently exfoliate sensitive, oily skin prone to acne breakouts.