Why Do I Still Get Acne?

You thought once you reached adulthood, you wouldn’t have to worry so much about acne, didn’t you? If you’re an adult still dealing with acne outbreaks, you’re not alone -- you’re one of about 12 million people with the same problem.

Women have adult acne more often than men, and women going through menopause are the most likely to have adult acne.

There are several possible reasons for adult acne, and it may be helpful to consider how acne forms. When pores get clogged, pimples or cysts form. When a clogged pore closes and bulges, you end up with a comedone, which most people call a whitehead, or if the top darkens, a blackhead.

Pimples are caused by bacteria -- Propionibacterium acnes -- and dead skin in your pores. A pimple is a small infection. Deeper infections that are a bit larger cause cysts.

Pores become clogged by oil, called sebum, and under certain conditions your body is likely to produce more sebum than necessary, increasing the possibility of acne outbreaks.

Fluctuating hormones may contribute to acne

When your hormones vary or become imbalanced, you might develop acne. This is a possible reason why women have adult acne more often than men. Many women have fluctuating hormones:

There are many products designed to help women with hormone-related adult acne. Discuss your particular situation with Dr. McIntosh here at the Integrative Laser Center of Washington and we can give you specific recommendations.

Some possible solutions for adult acne could include one or more of the following:

Stress could be the culprit

There’s a relationship between stress and adult acne. Stress causes increased production of the hormones that cause an increase in sebum production, leading to clogged pores and acne. If you’re under stress and you’re dealing with adult acne, stress reduction could help.

Reducing stress is an individual thing. Many people find the following methods helpful:

What works for one person may not work for another, but reducing stress could have far-reaching benefits for your health as well as your appearance.

Medications or underlying health issues can lead to acne

Some medications cause acne. If you’re taking medicines you think could be affecting your skin, talk with Dr. McIntosh about it, so he can help you find a solution.

There are medical conditions that contribute to acne, and thyroid disease is one example. One of the most important reasons to discuss your acne with a qualified professional before treating it yourself is to rule out the possibility of an underlying medical condition.

Be careful in selecting products

You probably use sunscreen, shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, cosmetic products, and various other products on your hair and skin regularly. If you have adult acne, selecting which products to use can be tricky.

Choose skincare products that are oil-free, noncomedogenic, and that won’t clog your pores. Discussing your skin and product needs with a qualified professional is the best way to identify what will -- and won’t -- work for you.

If you live in Kirkland, Washington, or the surrounding communities, and you’d like to explore the treatments we have available for acne, call or click to make an appointment.

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