Adult acne. It can happen to anyone. It shouldn't come as a surprise that acne is the most common skin disorder in the United States. And it's not just a teenage problem. As an adult, fluctuating hormones can cause acne flare ups. Hormones stimulate the sebaceous glands, increasing oil production and creating a skin that is more prone to breakouts.

Adult onset acne most commonly affects women. Sharp hormonal fluctuations often occur during ovulation and menstruation, pregnancy, perimenopause and menopause, and, in some cases, can also be caused by using certain birth control medications.

While acne strikes adult women at a greater rate than men, they are not immune to acne. Men tend to have more severe and longer lasting acne than women, because of the higher levels of testosterone within the body. It is not uncommon for acne in men to last 10 years or more, if left untreated.

Did you know that acne tends to run in families? So, if one of your parents had acne at any point in their lives, your risk of adult onset acne is higher. Adult acne can be frustrating. Seriously. I tell you this because it's happening to me. A couple of months ago, I noticed breakouts around my jaw and chin area. I figured it was a passing hormonal imbalance. It didn't pass. Then I thought my acne rosacea was flaring up. My dermatologist and OBGYN confirmed it was not. Their response, "welcome to your almost 40s." Lovely.

Here I am, former clear skin girl, dealing with adult acne. The more friends I talk to about it, the more I find I am not the only one in this boat. What am I doing to alleviate the situation? The first thing I did was go on prescription Doryx, a tetracycline-class delayed release oral antibiotic for the treatment of severe acne. While I did see improvement in the 3-4 weeks I was on it (taking only half a pill), I just stopped using it to see if I could get this thing under control without the help of an antibiotic. I may have to go on it again. However, my current regimen seems to be working really well. My current regimen consists of:
  1. Gentle cleanser (something similar to Cetaphil) (I am also testing Smart Start Acai Glycolic Cleansing Cream)
  2. Blue light + red light photo light therapy treatment
  3. Hydrating/Antioxidant rich serum
  4. Moisturizer
  5. Sunscreen in the day, Retin-A Micro at night
  6. Concealer in the day - couldn't live without True Concealer
Most acne medications are geared toward teens' oily skin, a bad choice for drier adult skin. Effective treatment often requires a trial-and-error approach ... and it takes time. Acne treatments have improved tremendously, and nearly every case of adult onset acne can be successfully controlled with the right treatment. If you are suffering from adult onset acne, please see your dermatologist for the right regimen for your skin.

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