I'm Not a Teenager. How Am I Still Getting Acne?

 I'm Not a Teenager. How Am I Still Getting Acne?

Acne is difficult, and while it’s often associated with teenagers, it can last a lifetime. Don’t let persistent adult acne run your life. Here’s why you’re still getting acne.


Acne occurs for a variety of reasons, but the reason most people wrongly think that it’s only a problem for teenagers is that teens do get acne worse than anybody else. The reason for teens developing acne far more readily than adults is because puberty results in massive hormonal rushes. Hormones cause your skin to produce more sebum or oil. Oil is necessary for your skin in part to provide a water barrier to protect itself. In high quantities, sebum can clog the pores that produce it, causing acne to form.

Your teenage years aren’t the only time when hormones are surging. There are many periods in our lives where our hormonal shifts can trigger acne. Unfortunately, women deal with most of them. Many women experience acne flare-ups around their periods as if this time weren’t enough of a struggle. Additionally, many pregnant women notice that acne is rearing its ugly head throughout their pregnancy. Finally, women going through menopause may experience acne, as these hormonal shifts are rather significant.


Your genetics play a major role in whether or not you’re going to develop acne as an adult. If one or both of your parents dealt with adult acne, you’re a lot more likely to develop it yourself. There is no concrete study that shows how much of a role inherited traits play in acne or most other skin conditions, but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to support the theory. There isn’t an “acne gene,” but it’s obvious that you can “inherit” adult acne.

Makeup and Skincare Mistakes

If you have naturally oily skin (another inheritable trait that definitely can make you more likely to develop acne), you’re probably already used to caring for your skin a bit differently than others. You’re probably also keenly aware of how difficult it can sometimes be to balance the oil levels of your skin. You want to avoid acne and an unsightly sheen but also keep your skin from drying out. If you don’t have your oily skin under control, there’s your main culprit for adult acne.

If you do know the ins and outs of good acne skincare, you might be missing something a bit harder to spot. Some makeup products may cause your pores to become clogged. Opt only for cosmetics that are non-comedogenic—a big phrase that essentially means it won’t fill your pores with junk. Some hair products contain oils that are beneficial for your hair but can wreak havoc on your skin. Pay attention to labels and follow their instructions to ensure that your skin isn’t suffering from your haircare.

What Do I Do About Adult Acne?

There are many ways to tackle adult acne. Treating or preventing mild adult acne can be as simple as basic lifestyle changes. Severe or cystic acne will require professional help. There are many topical and oral medications that can greatly reduce the appearance of adult acne. Other treatments, like laser therapies and facials, can also help you maintain an acne-free complexion.

Adult acne is awful to contend with, but it doesn’t need to dominate your every waking moment. If you’re ready to take the next steps in treating your adult acne, call us at Northeast Dermatology Associates today. We can help!

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