If you associate acne with teenagers, you’re not wrong. Adolescence creates the perfect storm for acne breakouts — hormone imbalance, stress, poor hygiene, and processed foods.
But if you thought you could cross acne off your list of things to deal with in adulthood, you’re wrong. Many adults have acne, and if you’re one of them, we have good news.
At Southwest Family Medicine Associates (SFMA) in Dallas, Texas, our extensive team of holistic physicians understands the myriad causes of adult acne and the physical and emotional damage it can create. Here, we take a closer look at the reasons acne continues into adulthood — or shows up for the first time — and how you can get rid of it without resorting to medication.
All about acne
All acne breakouts begin as clogged pores. When dirt, oil, and dead skin cells get stuck in your hair follicles, your skin mounts a defense and sends reinforcements to attack the debris. This results in different types of acne:
- If your skin closes over the pore, you get a whitehead
- If the dirt-filled pore stays open, it’s called a blackhead
- Small pink or red inflamed bumps are called papules
- Pus-filled pimples are called pustules
- Cysts are large, pus-filled pimples
- Nodules are deep and painful solid lumps
Some acne stems from fungus rather than bacteria. In this case, the hair follicles develop yeast, leading to itchy, inflamed bumps.
Why adults get acne
Because all acne stems from clogged pores, which can occur at any age, adults can get acne, too. Here are a few of the many culprits that can clog your pores:
Keeping your skin clean is critical in the fight against acne. But there are right and wrong ways to cleanse. For example, scrubbing too hard can damage your skin, and not exfoliating often enough can lead to breakouts.
Products matter, too. Our team can help you develop an appropriate skin care routine that’s suited to your skin type and your acne.
Just like when you were a teenager with new hormones flooding your system, hormones fluctuate in adulthood, too. And when they do, they amp up your skin’s oil production, which clogs pores. Women are especially vulnerable to hormone-induced acne as they menstruate, get pregnant, breastfeed their babies, and go through menopause.
Some medications list acne as a possible side effect. For example, if you take lithium, androgenic steroids, barbiturates, DHEA, anticonvulsants, or any medication that contains iodides or bromides, it may be the underlying cause of your adult acne.
Whatever’s in the air ends up on your skin. Unfortunately, Dallas is one of the most polluted cities in the United States, and our air has unhealthy levels of particles, such as dirt, soot, dust, chemicals, metals, and smoke, floating around in the air we breathe. That’s not only bad news for our lungs and overall health, it also contributes to clogged pores and acne.
Humid weather can also clog your pores, so living in Texas means you sweat a lot, your skin stays moist, and you’re at risk for adult acne.
Certain foods or ways of eating may lead to acne breakouts. For example, some scientists believe certain foods may trigger acne by causing spikes in blood sugar, which, in turn, leads to overall inflammation. Some studies show that certain foods may increase the risk for acne in some people, so it may be worth modifying your diet to find out if it affects your skin health.
How to get rid of adult acne
At SFMA, we treat your acne with an individual approach. We start with a complete examination of your skin, a discussion about your symptoms, a dive into your personal and family health history, an assessment of all medications and supplements you take, and a list of what you’ve tried, what works, and what doesn’t.
Armed with this information, we can diagnose the type of acne you have and develop a treatment plan. This may include some lifestyle changes and a new skin care routine.
It may also include Fotona laser treatments. This safe and effective treatment uses Nd:YAG laser light to penetrate your skin’s outer layers and target the oil glands below. By reducing the oil production, Fotona can help prevent future acne breakouts.
Fotona laser therapy also treats acne scarring by vaporizing ultra-thin layers of your acne-scarred skin, allowing fresher, clearer skin to emerge. This treatment also triggers production of new collagen,which is one of the proteins that gives your skin its structure and resilience, so your skin heals and remodels.
To find out if you’re a good candidate for Fotona laser treatments for your adult acne, call our friendly staff or book online today.