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What Causes Adult Acne and Your Treatment Options

Acne outbreaks after the age of 20 are not only annoying, they’re somewhat different than those high school attacks. The immediate reasons for the inflammatory skin condition are the same, but the driving causes behind the buildup of skin cells, oil, and bacteria change as you get older. 

Regardless of age, visit Jennifer A. Baron MD in San Jose, California whenever acne gets out of hand. Dr. Baron and her team are skin care specialists who can help you manage adult acne with a range of treatments and Dr. Baron’s own line of medical grade skincare products. 

The acne cycle

Whether you’re 15 or 50, acne results from four factors combining. Your skin oils, called sebum, go through a stage of overproduction. Skin cells constantly shed from your body, and these combine with excess sebum, making a sticky combination that easily plugs skin pores. 

These filled pores now become havens for bacteria. As they thrive, they also trigger the inflammation that causes the characteristic red bumps that define acne. This, though, doesn’t explain why adult acne emerges for some. In that case, it’s all about the hidden and indirect factors. 

The causes behind adult acne

Often, the underlying causes behind adult acne aren’t known. There may be several contributors that combine to create your condition. Women are more susceptible to adult acne than men, for instance, and adult acne levels in general have gone up in the last 20 years

If there’s a history of adult acne in your family, including more distant relatives like cousins, aunts, and uncles, you may be genetically at risk, too, even though sisters and brothers may not be affected. 

As with adolescent acne, hormones may play a role in adult acne. Imbalances or fluctuations can change the pH balance in your body or the production rate of sebum. Physical and emotional stress may not directly cause acne, but they can trigger outbreaks, whether it’s exposure to extreme weather or a period of work-related pressure. 

Medications including antidepressants and corticosteroids can make you more prone to outbreaks, and medical conditions can create acne-like symptoms (rosacea) or could contribute to acne outbreaks (polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS). 

Your treatment options

Working with Dr. Baron when home care isn’t producing the results you want is the best course of action. She can confirm first that your condition is acne and not keratosis pilaris, perioral dermatitis, or rosacea, conditions that sometimes resemble acne. 

Once your acne is confirmed, Dr. Baron may recommend BroadBand Light (BBL) therapy by Sciton®. It’s a surprisingly simple treatment that uses brief bursts of high-energy light to penetrate the skin to eliminate acne-causing bacteria living in your pores. 

The process is called a photofacial and it can also reduce the redness and inflammation you’re experiencing. This powerful cosmetic light treatment can also stimulate natural healing deep in your skin’s middle layer, which can clear up skin pigment issues and even fill in scars from previous outbreaks. 

The best treatment for you depends on the unique conditions of your skin and acne. Call Dr. Baron’s office to arrange a personal consultation and skin evaluation. There’s an answer to your adult acne condition. Make an appointment today to find the solution. 

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