I am way past my teens, yet I still have acne?

Yup. Acne can continue well into adulthood (the '40s and beyond) and have severe consequences, especially for women.

A recent U.S. study examined "the lived experience" of acne and its treatment among a cohort of adult women with moderate to severe acne. Women consistently described acne-related concerns about their appearance, which affected their social, personal and professional lives (e.g., feeling less confident at work or dating because of their acne). Depression, anxiety, low self-worth and social isolation were commonly reported. From a young age, those who had endured acne expressed feelings of fatigue with managing acne, as they expected their acne would resolve in late adolescence. Many women altered their behaviour because of their acne. 

(e.g., cancelling or postponing social events) and expressed frustration with finding effective treatments for their acne.

At its root, adult acne is caused by the same things that cause teen acne: excess skin oil and bacteria. Any changes in hormones, including those brought on by pregnancy and menstruation, can trigger excess oil. Women who smoke also seem to be more prone to acne.

Washing your skin can't get rid of blackheads or acne. Blackheads form below the skin's surface when oil, also called sebum, reacts with air in a partially clogged pore. When the pore is blocked, you get a whitehead. Washing your face twice a day and after sweating, using a mild cleanser and warm water will help manage the oils that can lead to acne.

While many women are tempted to "cover" their acne with makeup, one has to keep in mind that makeup can contribute to acne. Anything you put on your face has the potential to clog pores and lead to acne. One may want to use powder cosmetics instead of cream foundations, but if sticking with a liquid product, dermatologists recommend oil-free liquid silicone matte foundations (dimethicone or Cyclomethicone

How about Stress and Chocolate?

Stress is not considered a leading cause of acne but often may increase someone's stress levels. Effective acne treatment may help reduce your stress.

It is unclear precisely what foods may or may not affect how your skin develops acne. There is no definitive connection between sugar and fat foods and acne. However, it is best to stay away from sugary and high-fat foods and drinks. However, sugary or greasy foods hinder your health in many other ways, contributing to diabetes and heart disease. Reach for fresh food for the better overall health of your skin.

What are the treatment options for adult acne?

Medicated creams with benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or alpha-hydroxy acid are the first treatments to try available as over-the-counter or prescription strength. Depending on the severity of the acne, you may be prescribed other medications that help, such as antibiotics, oral retinoids, androgen blockers, and low-dose birth control pills.

But for many adults, these have limited effect. That's where a compounding pharmacy can help. We have played a large part in the dermatology world and use the highest quality ingredients and bases, such as ClarifyingTM Base, which gives patients new options for personalized formulations for your acne. Clarifying Base decreases oil formation, is highly moisturizing and uses natural ingredients to improve the appearance of red, blotchy skin and reduce irritation.

If you have questions about compounded treatment options for adult acne, call one of our locations. We are happy to help.