What causes Adult Acne & how to treat it?

What causes Adult Acne & how to treat it?
Dr. Keerthana Kalva May 06 2022

Acne is the eighth most common inflammatory dermatological concern worldwide. It occurs especially in teenagers due to hormonal fluctuations resulting in clogging of the skin pores by excessive skin oil or sebum, dead skin cells, dirt, and bacteria. Dr. Keerthana Kalva is a renowned skin specialist who provides the best acne treatment in Hyderabad at Inform Clinics. 
Although people associate acne with adolescence, the fact is that it can even be seen in adults who are aged above 25 years. There is also a possibility that adults get acne for the first time beyond their teenage years. This is known as adult-onset acne which is most commonly seen in women having hormonal shifts during their menopause and due to PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) condition. The chances of women getting adult onset acne is more as compared to men.

Adult acne can vary in its severity and are of different types

  • Mild Adult Acne
    This may include non-inflammatory kinds of acne such as open and closed comedones like blackheads and whiteheads, or inflammatory small pustules.
  • Moderate Adult  Acne
    It may consist of papules (pimples) that cover about 1-3 quarters of the face or body. 
  • Severe Adult Acne
    This often involves the nodules and deep cysts, and this skin condition is characterized by extreme discoloration, erythema, swelling, and irritation.

Different types of acne can occur all over the body but mostly they affect the face. However, they can even be present on the chest, back, and shoulders as well.

Now, let's discuss in detail what causes adult acne and its symptoms.

So, what causes adult acne?
If you are having acne as an adult, one or more possible reasons behind their presence can be

  • Bacteria
    A bacterium called Propionibacterium Acnes or P. Acnes that is naturally present on the skin surface starts to build up under the skin due to poor skin hygiene. This ultimately results in acne breakouts.
  • Clogged skin pores
    Acne can commonly occur in people having oily skin type which means there is excessive release of sebum by the sebaceous glands that clogs the pores along with the rapid turnover of skin cells that can lead to blocked-up hair follicles.
  • Family history
    According to scientific evidence, people can also have a genetic predisposition for acne. So, if one of your close blood relatives like a parent or siblings has acne you are more likely to have the same skin condition.
  • Changes in hormonal levels
    Adults can also experience hormonal imbalances that lead to acne breakouts which are often tender or painful deep cysts. The release of excess sex hormones or its rapid fluctuations can cause changes in the skin as well as the body, including the pH imbalance, differences in blood circulation, skin inflammation, and excessive sebum production. All of these changes can play a part in the development of adult acne. Most women come across fluctuating hormones around their menstruation; during childbirth, peri-menopause (time before and after menopause), menopause; and after starting or stopping the intake of hormonal contraception or birth control pills.
  • Contact skin irritation
    Anything which irritates the skin ranging from harsh cleansers to the use of razors on dry skin can affect the skin's defenses and lead to inflammation of the skin as a positive reaction. Thus, causing acne.
  • Emotional stress
    Researchers have found out that there is a link between stress and acne flare-ups. When you constantly feel anxious, scared, or are loaded with mental pressure, then the adrenal glands release an increased amount of cortisol hormone which is responsible for more sebum production and worsening of acne.
  • Physical stress
    A physical strain on your body potentially caused due to lack of sleep, extreme weather, dehydration, certain illness, and exposure to environmental factors like air pollution can trigger hormonal fluctuations, skin inflammation, and weakened immunity. Any one of these factors can cause adult acne.
  • Use of wrong hair and skin products
    Some oil-based beauty products used on the skin or for hair can trigger acne breakouts. These include greasy makeup, face moisturizers, sunscreens, cleansers and creams, styling products, shampoo and conditioner, especially leave-in conditioners. Hence, one must look for products labeled as 'non-comedogenic', 'oil-free', 'non-acnegenic', or 'won't clog pores'.
  • Side effects of some medications
    Certain formulations of oral hormonal contraceptives, antidepressants, corticosteroids, B-vitamins, halogens, and epilepsy medications are found to be associated with acne flare-ups. If the current intake of medications is triggering acne, then one must consult with the doctor about another alternative drug.
  • Undiagnosed medical conditions
    There are many skin issues or other health conditions having symptoms similar to that of acne or leading to acne breakouts, so treating the underlying medical concern can help steer clear the acne. Some examples include polycystic ovarian syndrome (a hormonal condition), Cushing syndrome, rosacea, perioral ermatitis, and keratosis pilaris.
  • Foods
    Adult acne can be caused because of a diet rich in sweets, dairy, white flour, and oily fast foods.
    Individuals who are smokers and have allergies and migraines are at greater risk of having adult acne.

Best acne treatment in Hyderabad
Every patient is unique and so the treatment results vary for them and not all treatments work for everyone. Some of the best acne treatments suggested by Dr. Keerthana Kalva, an acne treatment specialist in Hyderabad, are as mentioned below

  • Antibiotics
    In many cases prescribed systemic antibiotics can help reduce the bacteria accumulation under the skin and treat moderate to severe acne. Usually, the first choice of antibiotics for treating acne is tetracycline or a macrolide.
  • Laser or light-based therapies
    Lasers or pulsed lights are used to reduce mostly severe acne breakouts. Two types of lasers can be used: ablative that works by exfoliating the skin and non-ablative that only heats the skin dermis to encourage collagen synthesis. The heat generated from lasers can kill the acne-causing bacteria, shrink the sebaceous glands to reduce sebum production, and remove dead skin cells, thereby unclogging the pores that lead to acne.
  • Carbon laser peel
    This is one of the innovative cosmetic treatments that involves the application of activated liquid carbon or charcoal, its drying, and then the focussing of laser light over it. The carbon can penetrate deep into the skin pores to absorb the skin debris and any impurities that block the pores. After the laser energy is absorbed by the carbon, it gets thermally destroyed into small fragments and gets flushed away from the body along with their absorbed substances. This works well for oily skin, acne, enlarged or deep pores, and blackheads or whiteheads.
  • Chemical peel
    The treatment involves the use of an acidic solution of varying strengths like mild, medium, and deep skin penetration abilities that are chosen based on the type of acne being treated. For mild to moderate types of acne, superficial and medium strength chemical peels are generally used and for severe acne, deep peels are the effective treatment options. The acids are abrasive on the skin and work by removing the affected skin layers. Examples include alpha-hydroxy acids like glycolic acid or lactic acid; beta hydroxy acids such as salicylic acid, and trichloro-acetic acid or phenol. At Inform Clinics, we offer best and advanced peels suitable to your unique needs to make skin acne free. Avail the best acne treatment in Hyderabad at Inform Clinics.

Quick tips to prevent acne

  • Be diligent about your skincare regimen.
  • Be patient with every solution as no change can be seen overnight. 
  • Avoid excessive skin dryness that can exacerbate acne and propel a continuous acne flare-up cycle by keeping the skin well-moisturized. 
  • Take proper care of your general health by reducing stress, drinking plenty of water, having a balanced diet, having proper rest, and doing regular exercise as all of these can impact skin health.

At Inform Clinics we offer the best acne treatment in Hyderabad for all your skin concerns including acne & acne scars. So, if you have any questions regarding skin problems or are looking to treat your skin problems you can visit us or connect with us.

Also, to know about acne treatment cost in Hyderabad, please feel free to contact us at +91 7569987471.

For enquiries you can get in touch with us at info@drkeerthanakalva.com