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Dermatology 101

Adult Acne

You may have thought you’d finally outgrown it, but acne can return at any time in your adult years. It’s true that acne is most common in teenagers and young adults, but you can experience breakouts even in your 50s. And here’s the kicker: the acne you experience as an adult may not be the same as the acne you experienced as a teenager.
There are many reasons for adult acne breakouts, including:
  • Rising and falling hormone levels
  • Certain hair and skin products
  • Family history of acne
  • Some medications
  • Stress (ugh!)

The balance of estrogens and testosterone plays a big role in your acne. Estrogens help lower testosterone levels. Too much testosterone can increase sebum (oil) production in your skin. And too much sebum can mean clogged pores and acne breakouts, including blackheads, whiteheads, and blemishes. The levels of your estrogens are lowest right before your period and during menopause.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the percentage of women who experience acne by age range?
  • 45% aged 21-30
  • 26% aged 31-40
  • 12% aged 41-50
Retinols, retinoids, what’s the difference?
  • Retinols are found in some cosmetics and beauty products and are not FDA approved to fight acne.
  • Retinoids are clinically proven and FDA approved to treat acne. It is typically available by prescription. Tretinoin is a retinoid and is available by prescription only.
Tretinoin can improve acne and reduces breakouts how?
  • It unclogs pores by increasing the rate at which new skin cells are produced and shed.
  • It prevents dead skin cells from clumping together and clogging pores in the first place.

Posted in: Dermatology 101

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