Adult Acne Myths: Does Acne Go Away On Its Own?

Adult Acne Myths:   Does Acne Go Away On Its Own?

We understand that skin problems effect almost everyone growing up, but the fact that some of us experience acne in our mid-to-late 20's, 30's, 40's and even 50's or perhaps never fully outgrow acne breakouts, is hard to accept. It is estimated that over 30% of women and more than 20% of men ages 20 to 60 (and beyond) are troubled by acne. Over 60 million people suffer from acne in the USA alone, and another 70 million experience acne related breakouts in Canada and Europe. 

What Causes Adult Acne?

Adult acne is caused by an over production of sebum, an oily substance produced by the skin's sebaceous glands. Sebum clogs pores, which can support bacterial growth and inflammation. For some adults, acne breakouts are a result of a hypersensitivity to or over production of androgens (male hormones). This is a prevailing cause of acne in men and athletes of both genders as androgens are powerful stimulators of sebaceous glands. Both women and men produce testosterone, estrogen and progesterone; the difference is how much and what really is needed for different genders. It should be noted that an imbalance in both male and female hormones (estrogen) can also cause breakouts. For women, this can happen during pregnancy, perimenopause and menopause. Some medications, such as corticosteroids, and cosmetics can also contribute to the development of acne.

Myths Regarding Adult Acne

Adults don't have acne. The skin issues are related to allergies.


False. Adults have acne and acne is not an allergy. Skin allergies usually manifest as hives (they will look like insects bites) or welts (red patches) related to a histamine release in the skin, whereas acne takes the form of pimples, comedones, zits, cysts, blackheads and whiteheads, which are related to an inflammatory response around the hair follicle.
Adult acne cannot be treated.

False. Adult acne can and should be treated. Acne can affect many aspects of a person's life, not just their skin. Before choosing an acne treatment, READ THE LABELS and carefully measure potential side effects against the expected results. Beware of the serious adverse effects associated with Isotretinoin (Accutane and its generic forms), long term and short term negative impact of broad spectrum antibiotics and warnings associated with Retinoids. Also, beware of promises that are to good to be true - don't waste your money. Acne doesn't occur overnight, so it won't go away overnight. Look for natural ingredients, clinical safety documentation and real consumer testimonials.
My acne has been "on-and-off" for years. It will go away eventually.
False. Acne will not go away on its own when left untreated or treated by products that are meant for short-term use. It can turn into chronic acne, which requires longer-term treatment because of its persistent nature. Furthermore, some short-term acne solutions may have a number of adverse side effects when used long-term. Personalized information and education on the short and long-term approaches to acne treatment and support for the psychological impacts of this long-term fight with acne are also vital to combat adult and chronic acne in a truly successful manner.


With the Promise of Clear Skin,

Dr. A

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