Widespread beauty myths are what most of us have been fed while growing up and one such myth that we all literally and blindly were taught for years was that acne is a teenage skincare woe until we ourselves battle with it well past the age of 21. There have been days where we wake up to an acne spot on the face. Staring perplexed at the mirror, all we can think of is what could have been the cause; leading us to start ticking off the things that could have evoked it. Despite having a skincare regimen which we adhere to religiously, sudden acne triggers us and it certainly is not the addition that we want. Frustrating but relatively common, adult acne is real and is highly experienced by most of us between our twenties to forties. Clear cut, expert information is what we need to tackle it so we got in touch with two renowned dermatologists to break it down for us.
What Is Adult Acne?
The urge to relive youth is real - the years where decisions seem irrelevant, emotions were vigorous and acne; well, it still exists. We might have been living under the myth that active acne is because of incensed hormones during the teenage years. That is not the case as most people between their early twenties to forties face adult acne.
"Although acne most often occurs during puberty, some adults tend to get acne and continue to get it during their 30s, 40s or even 50s. This is known as adult acne. It is even possible to get acne for the first time as an adult. This is known as "adult-onset acne." It is most common among women going through menopause," explains Dr. Manasi Shirolikar, Consultant Dermatologist, MBBS, DDVL.
The texture differs as well. "The acne is more nodular in nature; it's bumpy under the skin and firm on touch, it keeps recurring in the same place and tends to be on jawline and chin areas. This can be accompanied with whiteheads and blackheads in the T-zone," elaborates celebrity dermatologist Dr Chytra Anand.
Causes Of Adult Acne
While acne has been always thought of as a teenage problem, the causes and treatment for adult acne vary. Understanding the causes which lead to the same result is one way of knowing your skin better and it is more than one.
"Common causes of adult acne include fluctuating hormone levels or hormonal imbalance (especially in women), stress, family history (like having a genetic predisposition for acne), side effects of certain medicines and medical conditions (like PCOS)," states Dr Mansi. She further adds that hair and skincare products that can clog your pores could also contribute to adult acne.
An Ideal Skin Care Routine
"You can follow the same routine that you would for regular acne to treat adult acne. An ideal OTC routine would include a gel or foaming BHA face wash, pimple patches as needed, salicylic acid serum once a week, salicylic acid spot treatments, moisturiser and a sunscreen," tells us Dr Mansi. "However, if your acne does not resolve with OTC products or is due to medications or underlying illnesses, please visit a dermatologist for a targeted treatment," she adds.
Treatment And Ingredients To Lookout For
Ingredients matter the most. Hence choosing one as per your need is necessary. "Salicylic acid is essential as it helps to clear out clogged pores, which can later form bigger pimples. Another to the list is niacinamide, which regulates oil production and then comes azelaic acid, which helps in treating acne marks and reduces acne," tells us Dr Mansi.
Treating any type of acne could be a hassle and knowing the right treatment helps in tackling it well. "A procedural chemical peel with intense pulse light is often used to help reduce the scarring from adult acne and the intensity of the breakout. Chemical peel salon may not help unless it is acidic acid-based hence adding intensifies light helps to work on the deeper skin levels," states Dr Chytra.
"Being consistent with your skincare routine and not picking your acne are most important," explains Dr Mansi. There are certain things to be taken into consideration including the foods that we consume. "If there are any food items that trigger acne, avoid them at all costs. Keep your stress levels under check, as stress levels can increase the production of the androgen hormone, which causes acne," she says.Comments
The solutions and suggestions for acne can feel overwhelming to begin with, hence it is best to navigate the best for your skin with expert advice. "It would be ideal to get a dermatologist to build a personalised routine for you, as acne can be of various types, and a dermatologist can take into account your medical history, and provide a treatment specific to adult acne," adds Dr Mansi.