Why Adult Acne is On the Rise
The battle with adult acne isn’t necessarily over just because you’ve exited your teen years. While adolescents are famously the most affected age group, some people deal with acne for decades. It’s even possible to face the condition—the plugging of pores with oil, dead skin and bacteria—for the first time as an adult. (Here are five everyday things that treat acne.)
Adult acne is often caused by multiple factors working in tandem. For women, these can include hormone fluctuations related to menstrual periods, pregnancy or going through menopause. For both sexes, genetic predisposition plays a role: two thirds of adult acne sufferers have at least one close biological relative with the same problem.
Certain hair or skin products can clog the pores, so if you’re prone, look for labels such as “non-comedogenic” or “non-acnegenic.” Despite popular claims, the link between diet and acne isn’t well established. There are plenty of reasons to eat well, but avoiding pimples isn’t proven to be one of them. However, outbreaks can be triggered by certain drugs (e.g., corticosteroids, lithium) or by stress-related inflammation.
“There’s more acne among adults than there used to be,” says Dr. Françoise Poot, a member of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology. “We aren’t certain why, but we attribute the increase mainly to more stress and fatigue.”