While it is embarrassing, it is quite common for adult women to develop or experience acne. Approximately 50% of all women will experience acne at some point in their life. Adolescence is, unfortunately, not the only time that acne can strike. Severe acne is usually, however, caused by an adolescent hormone imbalance and should be sought out for treatment by a doctor.
One such hormone imbalance is PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. This common hormone disorder occurs in women. PCOS usually causes changes to the hair and the skin as a result of increased levels of testosterone in the body. Such changes include increased facial hair, increased body hair, thinning head hair, acne, difficulty maintaining weight, and menstrual cycles that are irregular. If you notice that you are experiencing these symptoms, please consult your physician in order to receive hormone testing.
The physician will most likely test for increased levels of androgen hormone. This is a type of testosterone, which can cause severe acne and also unwanted body or facial hair. Many women experience raised testosterone levels due to this hormone imbalance, although it is still small compared to the amount of testosterone a male has.
Increased levels of androgen raises the amount of oil present on the skin because it affects the body’s sebaceous glands. This oil added to the amount of dead skin cells present on the body will allow bacteria to grow underneath the skin and clog pores, creating a severe acne reaction.
All kinds of acne are affected by hormonal changes, whether or not a woman has PCOS. Many times women will experience increased breakouts right before their menarche. Many menopausal women also experience increased breakouts.
Certain medications, environmental chemical irritants, and cosmetics can also cause acne. Many cosmetic products disrupt the pores’ ability to “breathe” and are therefore considered to be comedogenic. Medications such as antidepressants, anti-epileptics, antituberculous drugs, Dilantin, phenytoin, lithium, isoniazid, corticosteroids, cyanocobalamin, and some birth control pills. Any woman who is exposed to dirty environments such as laboratories, chemical plants, coalmines, waste facilities, auto shops, and roofing are exposed to certain chemicals such as oils and halogens, which can cause severe breakouts of acne.
Treating Adult Acne
When most teens deal with pimples, they just give them a quick pop and put some sterilizer on it such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or retinoid. While these usually do the trick, some women are unaffected by these treatments. The best treatment for acne is to try to target all possible causes of the reaction. Acne must be then treated both inside and outside of the woman’s body. The woman must exercise, eat, healthy, and also apply ointments or medications to her acne. Fruits and vegetables are extremely effective in helping to treat acne since it increases the health of skin. Exercise also helps to equalize the body’s hormone levels. Everyone should try a variety of solutions in order to discover what best works for them.