Whether you are young or old, acne has a way of making life stressful. Many people believe that acne outbreaks are reserved for those dreadful teenage years, but that’s not quite the case. In actuality, acne can follow us well into adulthood. But what’s the difference between adolescent acne and adult acne?
Before we can break down the differences between the two, let’s take a minute to understand what acne is in general.
Acne is a skin condition resulting from hair follicles (pores)that become clogged with dirt, oil, dead skin cells. Acne can appear in many different forms, including whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, and even cysts. The cause of acne varies widely, and that’s where age comes into play.
Our teen years are riddled with milestones and life-changing moments. But unfortunately, all of the good falls to the wayside when we are forced to deal with daily outbreaks. It’s safe to blame teen acne on puberty. As a matter of fact, it’s during this time that our bodies run rampant with androgens. Androgens are the hormones known as “male” hormones and responsible for the overproduction of sebum.
Sebum is the natural oil found in our skin and hair. While sebum is imperative, the oil can easily clog pores whenever it goes into overdrive, resulting in an acne outbreak, including acne of the face and body.
Beyond overactive hormones, stress also plays a role in acne. No matter how much we like to downplay it, teenagers are often excessively stressed out. Ironically, seeing an outbreak creates stress, which leads to even more pimples. Needless to say, adolescent acne is no walk in the park.
Teen stress is one thing. The stress of living an adult life is a whole other ballgame. But stress is just the beginning. We also deal with hormonal changes and the effects of aging, both of which contribute to adult acne.
As we get older, we heal much slower than we did when we were teens. Therefore, our cell turnover happens at a much slower rate, meaning our skin cannot heal from inflammation, causing breakouts to linger quickly.
Hormones are another factor. Despite what many people think, it isn’t just teens that deal with hormonal imbalance. Adults, women especially, commonly deal with hormonal changes. From menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and breastfeeding, a woman’s hormones can be out of control, thus leading to frequent outbreaks.
While acne’s circumstances may be different depending on our age, it does not change the fact that acne can be burdensome and should be treated as quickly and as efficiently as possible.
In dermatology, there have been multiple advancements in acne treatment methods, including light therapies, acne facials, chemical peels, and more. To help you or your teen achieve clear skin, we recommend seeking out a licensed dermatologist for acne treatment.