Acne At Different Life Stages: Teenage, Adult, Pregnancy & Menopausal Acne
December 20, 2021
Even though most of us associate acne vulgaris with adolescence, acne can extend well into adulthood and beyond.
Blemishes on the face at different life stages may have similar appearances and are formed in comparable ways, whereby oil or dead skin cells clog the pores resulting in non-inflammatory or inflammatory bumps on the skin. However, there are key differences in the causes and treatment approaches depending on which part of our lives we are at. In this article, we take a closer look at how acne affects us starting from our pubescent years leading to more matured ages.
A study has shown that as many as 93% of teenagers are affected by acne. When we undergo puberty, our body produces more androgen, sex hormones that increase the production of sebum on the skin which increases the likelihood of clogged pores resulting in breakouts. Genetics is another factor that cause pimples in our teenage years. If either one of our parents suffer from acne, we will have a higher chance of experiencing pimples or more severe cases of acne. Moreover, a diet rich in foods with high Glycemic Index (GI) such as french fries, soda and pasta can trigger spikes in insulin levels which stimulates the oil glands to go into overdrive.
Hormonal acne in adolescents should subside after puberty is over. Topical treatments such as an effective skincare routine with anti-blemish ingredients should be sufficient in managing the condition during these years. Regular proper cleansing of the face with a gentle facial wash and treating pimples with acne spot treatment should help to heal blemishes and prevent scarring later on in life.
Findings from a dermatology journal reveal that 85% of women and 15% of males have adult acne. Adult acne can be caused by a variety of reasons, such as hormonal fluctuations at the start of a menstrual cycle.
Underlying health conditions such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) can cause testosterone levels to rise in women, resulting in irregular cycles and frequent breakouts. Being prescribed certain medications, such as Steroids, Lithium and Phenobarbital, may lead to acne as a side effect as well. Physical and emotional stress from work or other aspects of life may trigger a breakout or aggravate acne-prone skin.
If you are struggling with monthly hormonal acne, curate a skincare routine that includes acne-fighting ingredients during that time of the month can help you manage breakouts if you suspect that your acne is caused by a prescription or medical condition, consult a professional doctor to determine the cause so an appropriate course of treatment can be recommended.
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Most common during the 1st and 2nd trimesters, the elevated levels of androgen hormones during pregnancy cause sebaceous glands to product more oil which can clog pores. Women who are prone to break out during their menstrual cycles have a higher likelihood of experiencing pregnancy acne.
This is a temporary condition that can be managed with a good anti-blemish skincare regimen and nutritious diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and healthy foods. Cut down on refined sugars and processed foods that are associated with higher levels of inflammation. If experiencing night sweats, change pillowcases and bedsheets regularly to prevent the skin from coming into contact with them.
Ensure that your dermatologist is aware that you are pregnant so that they will know not to prescribe you with Accutane which is known to cause serious birth defects when consumed by expecting mothers. When in doubt, always defer to your gynaecologist before starting any acne treatment.
When you experience menopause in your 40s or 50s, you stop menstruating and your body goes through a decline in reproductive hormones. The drop in estrogen levels causes the skin to lose its elasticity, experience slower skin cell turnover and disrupts its natural ability to retain moisture. The increase in androgen hormones like testosterone activates sebaceous glands to produce more oil leading to clogged pores.
Doctors may prescribe topical antibiotics, such as Clindamycin, Metronidazole, Azithromycin, to manage blemishes in older skin. They may also recommend that you include richer skincare products with hydrating ingredients such a Glycolic Acid to help trap moisture. If you have acne scars, you may incorporate pigment lightening formulations in your regimen to inhibit melanin production and fade scarring.
We can be susceptible to acne at different stages of our lives. Understanding the root causes of blemish formulation at each stage can help us devise an appropriate treatment plan to keep acne at bay. When nothing you do seem to improve your skin condition, consult a doctor to help heal skin imperfections and prevent scarring.
Have a question on Lumipeau skincare or anything related to acne? Reach out to The Lumipeau Concierge via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Whatsapp at 6338 8183 and the team will be glad to assist!