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Decoding Adult Acne: Here’s What Might Be Causing Your Breakouts

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We tend to think of acne as being synonymous with “teenager” – but as many adults know, acne doesn’t disappear the day you turn 20. It’s not uncommon for acne to persist through your 20s and 30s, and sometimes, beyond.

Like many skin concerns, acne is often caused by a variety of factors, the combination of which varies from person to person. We always recommend making an appointment with your dermatologist to get a personalized, professional opinion on your adult acne. In honor of June being Acne Awareness Month, we’re listing a few key culprits which could be to blame for your breakouts.

Hormones
Hormone fluctuations are one of the main reasons why it’s more common for women to experience adult acne than men. Not only do women’s hormones tend to peak during their 20s and 30s, but the hormonal fluctuations that happen in conjunction with the menstrual cycle can be hard on the skin. If you suspect that you have hormonal acne, try tracking your breakouts over the course of the month. That way you’ll be able to anticipate – and better prevent – breakouts before they occur.

Stress
Research shows that there is a relationship between stress and acne. When we experience stress, the level of acne-causing hormones called androgens increases, stimulating oil glands and hair follicles that contribute to acne.

Medications
Some medications have acne side effects that either cause breakouts or make them worse. A dermatologist will be able to determine if one (or more) of your medications is behind your breakouts. Be extra mindful of your skin if you recently started or changed medications, especially contraception.

Makeup or Skincare
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: good things happen to those who wash their face before bed. Makeup can easily clog your pores if worn for a long period of time, especially overnight. Be careful about what you cleanse, treat, and moisturize your face with. Some skincare ingredients are known to cause or worsen breakouts, so work with your dermatologist to create an updated skincare routine that’s gentle on your skin.

Dr. Elise Barnett has years of experience treating all forms of acne and will work with you to create a customized skincare plan that clears up your complexion and gives lasting results. Call (404) 446-4840 to make an appointment.

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