Blackheads, whiteheads, blemishes, cystic acne, and pimples are all a part of life. Most people experience some type of acne at least once in their lives; however, some people deal with chronic acne for a good portion of their lives. You may think acne is only for 13- to 17-year-olds, but it isn’t limited to the teenage years. Follow along to learn the five most common reasons acne may follow you into adulthood.
Excessive stress isn’t healthy for anyone, but it’s especially harmful to those with acne-prone skin. When you experience stress, cortisol—a stress hormone—rises in your body. As a result, androgens like testosterone also increase. Excess androgens may lead to acne because these hormones increase oil production, which can clog your pores.
With that said, experiencing excessive stress may wreak havoc on your physical and mental health. Consider meditation, yoga, or another stress-relieving exercise to keep your cortisol levels under control and within a healthy range. Whether your stress comes from your job, family matters, relationship issues, or something else, you can expect to see pimples as a result.
Hormonal imbalances are some of the most common causes of adult acne, and this is more common in females. Because hormones fluctuate around the female menstrual cycle, acne can often be a result of these changes. Additionally, you may experience breakouts if you switch birth control, stop taking any hormonal birth control, or get pregnant.
Aside from the more common hormonal fluctuations, some women suffer from chronic acne due to a hormonal imbalance condition known as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Women with PCOS generally have elevated cortisol, insulin, and testosterone levels, leading to many bodily disruptions, including chronic hormonal acne.
Medication Side Effects
Although you take medication to feel better or prevent illness, some medicines can cause acne as a side effect. Fortunately, a dermatologist should be able to determine whether or not your medication is causing your breakouts. Some drugs that may cause acne include hormonal birth control, steroid inhalers, testosterone, and lithium.
As with any medical condition, acne can be genetic. If your parents or another close relative experience chronic acne, you may also be more likely to develop the condition. While constant breakouts and blemishes are no fun, you might be able to determine whether it is based on your genetics. Even if you have a predisposition to acne, you can still seek treatment that could help clear your skin.
Hair and Skin Care Products
Unfortunately, not all beauty products are beneficial. Many products for your hair and skin should make you feel clean and healthy, but they could contribute to your unwanted breakouts. To ensure your products won’t cause acne, read all labels and look for oil-free, non-comedogenic, or non-acnegenic items. These terms mean the products won’t clog your pores or increase your oil production.
After learning the common reasons acne may follow you into adulthood, it may be worth looking into how adult acne impacts mental health, as blemishes can be both physically and mentally painful. Whether or not you suffer from acne, knowing the various reasons others around you may have breakouts, even as adults, will help you be a more kind and understanding individual.