What Causes Adult Acne and How to Get Rid of It

As we age, there are times when we may look in the mirror and wish for our youthful skin back. Unfortunately, when our wish is granted, it comes not in the form of toned, wrinkle-free skin, but rather the acne we thought we left behind along with our roller skates and high school jacket.

As it turns out, acne can be a long-term skin problem that travels with you well into adulthood. At Lasercare Skin Clinic in Little Rock, Arkansas, patients who come see us to get their acne treated range in age from 14 to 40, and older.

Luckily, while it may seem as if time has stood still when it comes to your acne, the methods for treating it have advanced considerably. The following is a look at what causes adult acne and how you can effectively get rid of it.

What is it?

In order to better understand why you’re all of a sudden waking up with a faceful of reminders of your youth, let’s take a look a look at what exactly is happening in your skin.

Most acne is caused when oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria clog the hair follicles on your skin, namely your face, chest, and back, creating inflammation. The reason this happens has to do with how active your oil glands, or sebaceous glands, are.

Everyone has sebaceous glands in their skin, which produce a substance called sebum to  protect and nourish our skin and hair. While evolution has largely dispensed with our body hair, these glands still exist in our skin and they’re mostly controlled by androgen, which is the hormone responsible for more masculine traits, even though both sexes have it.

Why now?

During puberty, when your hormone levels are fluctuating wildly in preparation for your reproductive phase, an increase in androgen sparks your glands to produce more sebum, which can cause acne outbreaks.

Once you’ve passed through puberty, you’re not in the clear when it comes to metabolic changes. For example, women’s hormone levels fluctuate as they go through their menstrual cycles, have children, or transition through menopause. Stress plays a large role in adult acne in both sexes (and there’s plenty of that as we grow older!) because it causes your body to produce more androgen.

Certain medications, such as corticosteroids and lithium, can also stimulate the oil glands. Adding insult to injury, as we age, our pores get larger, which means they can trap more oil and bacteria.

In other words, there are a number of reasons why you may have acne as an adult, and they’re largely tied back to overactive sebaceous glands.

What next?

Now, here’s where we get to the good news when it comes to adult acne. Gone are the days of harsh cleansers, messy topical creams, and oral antibiotics thanks to new laser technology. Here at Lasercare Skin Clinic, we have cutting-edge equipment that sends harmless energy pulses into the layers of your skin to destroy acne-causing bacteria below the surface.

Not only does our laser technology work to destroy the bacteria, it also does double duty by shrinking your oil glands, preventing them from overproducing sebum.

Finally, the laser treatments also reduce previous acne scarring by spurring new collagen production, which paves the way for healthy new skin growth.

The treatments are fast and there’s no downtime after each procedure. In general, most of our patients require anywhere from 4-8 sessions to fully eliminate their acne.

If you’d like to find out more about putting acne firmly in your past, call Lasercare Skin Clinic or use our online booking tool on this website to schedule an appointment.

While you wait for your appointment, we’d like to remind you that some things don’t change when it comes to acne: don’t pick at your acne and make sure you wash your face regularly.

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