Aging comes with many gifts – like wisdom and becoming more comfortable in your own skin. But I sure wasn’t expecting to deal with breakouts during menopause. Especially since I rarely dealt with teen acne. So, if you’re like me and wondering why your “too old for zits” skin is suffering, you may want to know more. So, I followed a thread of curiosity to better understand.
I was surprised to learn that acne breakouts come in all shapes and sizes. And affecting each of us individually in its own cryptic way. Usually, most folks endure this common skin condition early on in our lives, namely between the ages of 8 and 15 as this is around the time in which we go through puberty. And while many people will be able to overcome these concerns as they get older, others do not.
That’s why it’s important to understand the different types of acne. Specifically, teen and adult acne, and the proper ways to treat it.
So, what IS the differences between teen acne that your kids (or grandkids) are dealing with VS adult acne?
What is teen acne?
As mentioned before, puberty plays a huge role in the development of acne during your teen years. This is because when you transition from adolescence to teen, your body naturally responds with a fluctuation of hormones. Particularly, androgens—a hormone that is found in both males (in the form of testosterone) and females (in the form of progesterone)—tend to increase during puberty.
Androgens are responsible for increasing the size of oil-producing glands in your skin, which in turn, causes your skin to produce more oil. Consequently, this causes more sebum (oil) in the skin, which inevitably, clogs pores and therefore, leads to breakouts. More often than not, these types of blemishes will occur on a teen’s cheeks and/or t-zone area, including their chin, nose, and forehead.
What is adult acne?
Unlike teens, adult acne normally appears on their chin and/or around the mouth. Although excess production of oil in the skin can contribute to the development of adult acne? There are many other factors to account for as well. Of the many, stress, environmental conditions, and other lifestyle habits such as diet and basic hygiene practices can affect one’s ability to maintain a clean and clear complexion.
Additionally, despite the fact that hormonal balance begins to happen post-puberty, there are still other instances in which fluctuation will still happen. Especially for women, things like menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause can trigger acne breakouts. This helps to explain why women tend to experience acne as an adult more often than men, with higher rates at all age groups 20 years and older.
How to treat teen acne
Even though there are shared similarities between both teen and adult acne, the treatments for each type are different. Fortunately, teens have a much faster cell turnover time and more resilient skin overall compared to adults, meaning their complexion is able to recover more quickly post-breakouts. However, creating good skin care habits like performing a daily regimen morning and night can further help to fight acne.
But, for teens with a more severe acne condition, this may not be quite enough. Under these circumstances, they’ll likely benefit more from finding their own personalized treatment for their blemishes as opposed to another over-the-counter product. If you, or your teen, are struggling with this condition, consider seeking out a medical-grade teen acne treatment to target problem areas and combat pimples before they arise.
How to treat adult acne
Because adult acne is typically cystic (hormonal), it’s imperative to be careful in the techniques and products you used to correct this condition. First and foremost, be sure to avoid picking and/or squeezing zits at all times. That’s because cystic acne generally lives underneath the surface of your skin. And can become extremely painful and irritated when bothered. Plus, touching your blemishes may also worsen the condition.
So remember to keep your hands away from your face at all costs!
Along with this, try to avoid using treatment products that contain overly drying ingredients as this can disrupt your skin’s moisture barrier. And make it more challenging to retain moisture. (Something that your skin already deals with as part of the natural aging process.) Instead, look for more gentle acne products that are formulated with ingredients such as salicylic acid and glycolic acid. Or, as an alternative, use a treatment like advanced healing hydrocolloid bandages as these are not only gentle, but also effective in treating adult acne.
Now that I better understand WHY breakouts may be occurring in my non-teen skin? It allows me to be more proactive with my skin care. And ask better questions when I visit my doctor.
That’s what I love about educating yourself on topics like teen acne vs. adult acne. Because doing so allows you to be a better caregiver for not just yourself, but people you love.