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acne in adulthood

Updated: Aug 14, 2022

Lets talk about acne in adulthood. It can be really hard to deal with, especially psychologically and often needs a multi action approach that may often require medical specialist intervention. There are frequently not just lesions to deal with and try to limit but often the scarring and post inflammatory pigmentation to contend with.


As a specialist how often have you experienced a client that had clear skin throughout their teenage years, only to encounter breakouts, at times with some severity as an adult?

It is quite common to either have acne persist from teenage years into adulthood also and whilst acne in adulthood has many similarities, there are some additional factors to take into consideration with the cause and therefore differing treatments.


So what are the causes to consider? & what can be done to help? As skin care professionals unless medically qualified in the area of concern, the intervention is limited to treating the surface of the problem, we can help support and limit skin inflammation but it's important to direct clients to discovering and treating the cause through a medical provider if they have not done so already and then working with the treatment to offer aesthetic solutions.


The main factors of the cause are;

Bacteria

Oily skin, excess oil production

Poor function, skin or rather pores become clogged

Inflammation


We can then consider that in some cases the condition can be easily managed through treatments and home care, whilst other causes require the intervention of a medical specialist. In many cases there will be combination of causes.


Inflammation can be created by hormone imbalance, stress, allergies, dietary issues, lifestyle choices, certain medications for a condition or systemic illnesses that may or may not be undiagnosed, acne along with other issues can signal an underlying disease, the human body works as a wonderful complete system and as with any system, a breakdown or malfunction triggers multiple issues. Often clients will either discuss other concerns such as hair loss, excess hair growth, poor sleeping patterns, medical conditions or medications prescribed, irregular menstruation or onset of menopause or pre menopausal issues, other times we can have indication through such concerns being visible or through discussion during client consult phase. Assessing and ensuring the right homecare program is being used is the first consideration and identifying any issues that may either be the cause or worsening the effects, professional treatments such as mild to moderate peels can show excellent results, however are of little use if there are products within a daily routine that are causing or worsening the condition, such as pore clogging ingredients in something as simple as a make up product or spf, ineffective cleansing, lack of hydration or over exfoliation. Poor skin function and balancing excess oil production can be managed successfully through treatment and then maintained with home care. Often by addressing something as simple as dehydrated condition can lead to a balance in function and subsequently a clearer complexion. Identifying any triggers in ingredients listings or allergies, not just in skincare ingredients but also hair care, washing detergents, body care can also be key in managing breakouts. Bacteria can be limited by products, sometimes medication required, but also by identifying any external factors, such as frequent bedding changes and environmental factors that might be worsening the condition, the current global situation has resulted in mask wearing, often the same mask for extended periods, it has also lead to the face being touched frequently, because often masks are simply lowered and then raised again according to when required, so making sure they are changed often, not reused and washing hands before changing masks can help. Often you find an endless cycle and unless seeking to identify and break that cycle either directly through offering a program of treatment and homecare when appropriate, or indirectly in cases where recognised that it is necessary to suggest obtaining diagnosis and medical treatment from a specialist, you will only see limited success with the treatments offered.

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