Don’t I Ever Outgrow Adult Acne?

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When I think about what things were like when I was a teenager I can’t help but make this strange expression that looks like something in between a smile and a grimace. I’m sure most of you make the same face. Being a teenager was fun, it was first loves and first tastes of freedom - but it was also greasy foreheads and relentless acne. When you finally grow out of those pimples you breathe a sigh of relief thinking the pimples and blemishes are just another awkward teen memory.

Then, for many of you, adult life brought with it not only the stresses and freedoms of adulthood, but also adult acne. What is adult acne and why is it different from the acne many people have as teenagers? What are some of the major causes? How do you treat it? Let’s start by talking about what makes adult acne different from teenaged acne.

As teenagers the breakouts most of people have tend to be located along the t-zone (the forehead, nose, and chin) and are, for the most part, caused by the sudden fluctuation of hormones of puberty. That is why that type of acne tends to just go away on its own after puberty has passed. Adult acne, too, can be caused by hormonal fluctuations (especially during menstrual cycles, pregnancy, menopause or on certain medications) but these breakouts are more common along the lower part of the face like the cheeks below the cheekbone, the chin, and the jaw line.