Around an average of 70-80% of all young people show signs of varying degrees of severe acne vulgaris. And 40% of this prevails in females over the age of 25. Acne vulgaris is caused by many factors, but it is mainly an interaction between genetics and hormonal influence or imbalance. We’re taking a look at the differences in the cause and treatment of adult- and teenage acne.
Hormonal imbalances can cause or worsen acne. These are expected to occur in mainly two phases in life:
> Youth/ teenage years. According to studies, males are affected more than females in this case by teenage acne, due to an increase in androgen, a natural steroid hormone.
> Adulthood, where females are more affected by acne outbreaks than males, because of a complex shift in the androgen–estrogen balance. The estrogen level decreases in certain life periods, e.g. menstrual periods, pregnancy and postpartum, breastfeeding, menopause, etc. but it could also be caused by an underlying condition at any age.
Why does acne often still stay even when we become adults?
While some outgrow their acne, others have it persistently or recurringly in their adulthood. It might be caused by genetics or, in females, particularly by hormonal imbalance in specific situations like
- intake of oral contraceptives and medication,
- having conditions like PCOS,
- menstrual periods, etc.
Most people who are affected by acne have acne-prone skin since when they were teenagers, but some might develop it for the first time in their adulthood (also known adult-onset acne).
Besides hormonal imbalances, other factors can play a role especially in adult acne. These can be stress, lifestyle, or even bad (inappropriate) skincare routine.
Does teenage acne and adult acne have to be treated differently?
Mild acne at any age often responds to OTC Products (over the counter-products), and you manage it the same way. But if acne is severe or persistent, you may need a dermatologist to evaluate and assess treatment response and prescription medication. The dermatologist may also determine other underlying causes before finding the best treatment that would be suitable for your phase of life e.g.
Are you planning to have children? What are your preferences? Do you have cost-constraints?
Some might have to undergo tests for endocrine disorders to rule out any hyperandrogenemia or insulin resistance, especially in adult acne.
As you can see, acne can be caused by various lifestyle- and health-factors. A holistic approach that addresses all these possible factors is the most effective way for long-lasting and natural skin health.