Grown-Ups Get Acne, Too! You’re frustrated because you had a great complexion as a teenager and young adult. Now you’re 35-ish, 40-ish or 45-ish, and you’ve got all kinds of stuff popping up on your face!
There’s that little white thing you thought was a whitehead, but it won’t pop (naughty you for trying). Your forehead is oily and bumpy, you’re trying to pass the blackheads off as freckles, and then there’s the “watchamacallit” – the red bump that won’t come to a head and hurts to the touch. And those are on your neck, too.
You may have what is classified as “adult acne”.
But you’re not alone. Approximately 50% of women and about half as many men have adult acne.
Some adult acne and other middle-aged skin breakouts don’t become the same acne that you saw on those poor guys in school – with large red, pus-filled boils and pimples. However, it can manifest itself in:
Sebaceous cysts – tiny lumps with black or brown surface appearance like blackheads; when drained they exude white or yellow sebum, an oily secretion that clogs pores and sometimes carries a foul odor.
Pustules (that’s the little white thing, with or without redness around it), also secreting white pus when drained.
The blackheads, red nodules and whiteheads (yes, some of them will be whiteheads)
What causes adult acne?
So many factors can cause adult acne. Remember, you’ve lived a lot longer than a teenager. You’ve likely had more illnesses and taken more medications. If you’re a man, you’ve shaved longer. If you’re a woman, you’ve been wearing makeup longer!
Here are some major contributing factors to adult acne:
-Lost nutrients from poor diet (eating on the run, too many chocolate lattés?)
-Stress (job or financial pressures, taking care of baby or playing chauffeur to the kids’ rigorous schedule?)
-Hormone imbalance (starting menopause, entering middle-age?)
-Hormonal imbalances lead to overproduction of sebum.
-Not enough sleep (working overtime?)
-Clogged pores or hair follicles
-Sweating from exercise or hard work
-Bacterial, yeast and fungal infections
-Medication for an illness – antibiotics, steroids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories
-Just plain aging and a change in complexion (oily to dry or vice versa)