Most people think of acne as a problem faced only by adolescents and teens. However, plenty of adults in there 20’s through there 50’s are affected with the occurrence of acne either occasionally or on a regular basis.
Hormones are the most common link to the causes of adult acne. Increased levels of testosterone and the adrenal hormone, DHEA, have been link to the exacerbation of severe acne. Testosterone is the male hormone responsible for hair loss in both men and women.
Women in there 20’s and 30’s, sometimes experience premenstrual adult acne. It is believed this is due to the over-stimulated androgens (hormones that stimulate sebaceous glands and hair follicles in the skin), which cause women’s oil-producing glands to go into overdrive.
Women who are pregnant or going through menopause or post-menopause may also experience an onset of adult acne. If adult acne coincides with pregnancy, it is crucial that the expectant mother work closely with her physician to obtain appropriate acne treatment.
Another hormonal link to adult acne is estrogen. Estrogen dominance is a condition where a woman can have deficient, normal, or excessive estrogen, but little or no progesterone to balance its effects in the body. Progesterone is a steroid hormone involved in the female menstrual cycle and pregnancy. Symptoms of estrogen dominance include breast pain and headaches that might be accompanied by other skin complaints. The use of progesterone cream in some patients has been found to improve acne caused by estrogen dominance.
Many women diagnosed with adult acne, also have a condition known as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, or POS. This is a condition that involves the overproduction of male hormones, such as testosterone.
If adult acne is accompanied by changes in the menstrual cycle, fertility complications or weight gain, the acne might be linked to a hormonal imbalance. Oftentimes, dietary changes which include more vegetables and fewer carbohydrates help control this type of adult acne. Another factor that can cause adult acne are cosmetics. Whiteheads, blackheads and pimples can actually be caused by cosmetics. This includes the application of foundation make-up, night creams, and moisturizers composed of vegetable oils or oleic acid.