Adult acne & breakouts

Stop thinking acne is only a problem in adolescence. People in their 20s, 30s, and 40s can suffer from this skin condition. In fact, acne in adulthood is very common, but if you have always had clear skin this can be perplexing and confusing to deal with. 

What exactly is acne?

Acne is a common condition where dead skin cells and oil plug the hair follicles in your skin. This can result in a range of types of acne, including blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples.   

Symptoms may vary depending on the severity of your condition.

Types of acne include:

  • Whiteheads: closed plugged pores
  • Blackheads: open plugged pores
  • Papules: small red, tender bumps
  • Pimples (pustules): papules with pus at their tips
  • Painful nodules: Large, solid, lumps under the skin
  • Cystic lesions: pus-filled lumps/pain under the skin
Adult acne & breakouts

What causes acne and breakouts?

People affected by acne have sebaceous glands that produce too much oil and too many skin cells, creating oil and skin plugs, which trigger the acne cycle.

Acne-causing bacteria that lives on the skin flourishes in this environment, causing irritation, inflammation, and acne eruptions.  This leads to an acne cycle and can cause scarring.

Acne in adulthood is thought to be due to a combination of hormonal fluctuations, diet, and environmental stress (this includes pollution) and wearing face masks.  Often, there is no one answer.  We recommend a multi-pronged approach when treating and addressing this condition.

  • Hormones – as women age, their estrogen hormone levels go down and progesterone increases. This may cause outbreaks, in an area commonly called the hormone belt, along the jawline, chin, and mouth. Increased progesterone may also cause oilier skin.
  • Diet  – acne may be related to high amounts of sugar, soy, and dairy.
  • Environmental stressors: each identified stress should be identified and addressed.
    • Bacteria and acne go hand and hand. Regular face washing is a must.
    • Remove makeup and hair products every day.
    • Consider your skincare routine, makeup, and hair products. Products that contain silicone may clog pores. Small white bumps under the skin can be a sign that your acne is caused by these products.
    • Wearing a face mask: mask wearing is causing some people to break out, a term called maskne. Visit your GP or dermatologist if you need a firm diagnosis on whether your mask usage is causing your skin irritation, or whether it is dermatitis or rosacea.

We offer a free 15 minute consultation with one of our therapists. During this time you can discuss which of the treatment options are best suited to your skin concerns and budget. Book now

What at-home products do you recommend?

In-clinic treatments are only part of the acne treatment puzzle. We recommend the following products in conjunction with in-clinic treatments:

We stock other specific products to combat acne. Make use of our free 15 minute consultations with a therapist to discuss a bespoke treatment plan and products that are right for you.

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