You may be thinking that acne isn’t something you have to deal with now that you’re an adult, and if you’re already experiencing signs of aging skin, you may be completely floored to find out that you’ve got acne to go along with it. Whether you’re still in your 20s or you’ve already hit your 50s or more, acne is a problem you have a good chance of encountering when it comes to potential skin issues. Everyone can have acne at any point throughout life, but it’s more common in women because it is often related to hormonal changes.

What causes adult acne?

When you were a kid, you probably heard all the same old adages about what could cause acne. You probably had a lot of adults telling you not to eat so much pizza, not to rest your chin in your hands, and to always make sure to wash your face with medicated scrubs. But what about when you’re an adult? Is it really true that treating yourself to a greasy meal every now and then could be making you break out with acne in your 30s?

  • Hormonal changes, especially in women: Men don’t have to deal with this potential problem after puberty nearly as often as women do. Although it’s still possible for men to have to deal with adult acne, hormonal changes usually aren’t the cause. If you’re a woman who has started or stopped birth control pills recently, if you change your method of birth control, if you get pregnant, if you begin menopause, or even just when you get your period, you may have an acne outbreak.
  • Oily skin care products: If you’re using a lot of skin and hair products regularly, be sure you’re choosing ones that don’t have a lot of oil in them. This could potentially clog your pores and bring on an acne breakout.
  • Medication: Some medications can cause your skin to become damaged in a variety of different ways. Acne is one possible way medications could affect your skin.

How can adult acne be treated?

So maybe you’re thinking that it doesn’t really matter what caused your acne, or you’re wondering what you can do about it once you figure out the underlying cause. You may have tried something that worked well on your face when you were a teen, but now that you’re an adult, it’s not helping at all or is even making matters worse. What are your options if you’re struggling with adult acne that just won’t go away?

  • Understand that adult acne is usually deeper than teen acne, so products that contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, like the usual over-the-counter teen acne treatments, probably aren’t going to help much. Also take care, because some adults may develop allergies to these products.
  • Your dermatologist or doctor may prescribe a prescription steroid cream for you to use over a shorter period of time instead. You may also be given a gel or an antibiotic cream depending on your individual situation.
  • Facial peels and scrubs can work wonders as long as you choose ones with the right ingredients. An esthetician should be able to make good recommendations based on your specific acne situation.