Acne Through The Years

By Meghan Bailey on Apr 24, 2017

Acne is the most common skin condition diagnosed and affects over 50 million Americans a year. Even with an arsenal of the most promising skincare remedies and high tech devices, the occasional breakout manages to crush a flawless complexion. Let's take a look at how acne may occur throughout our lifetime and how to treat it accordingly.

Childhood Acne

Although rare, children ages 1 to 7 can experience acne. Surges in androgen hormones in the body within the first couple years of life can produce mild bumps. In addition, genetics play a huge role in acne appearing before adolescent age. Children are at higher risk for developing acne if their parents had moderate-to-severe acne in their younger years. However, chronic acne at such young ages may signify endocrinology (hormone problem). If chronic acne continues, seek treatment from a healthcare provider as over-the-counter medication may be too harsh.

Teenage Acne

As children reach puberty, hormones, specifically androgens, are released in the body at a higher rate. As a result, sebaceous glands (oil glands) in the skin enlarge and produce more sebum (oil) that breed perfect environments for acne. If hormones aren't enough, sprinkle stress, sweat and cosmetics into the picture. Most adolescent acne can be treated with simple over-the-counter medication including benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. These ingredients work to clear the poor and prevent future breakouts.

Adult Acne

Yes, acne can follow people past their teenage years! The unwelcomed red blemish may reappear for many reasons including lifestyle changes, hormonal imbalances, stress and irritation. As hormone levels continue to fluctuate, acne can catch many adults who may have escaped it in their youth. However, a stable skincare routine can make all the difference. Try to add toner, cleanser, moisturizer and serum to your everyday routine. It is always best to talk to a dermatologist for the best options available for you. 

Pregnancy Acne

During pregnancy, your body undergoes constant change. Two things conspire to cause breakouts during your nine-month journey. The first tends to strike around week six of pregnancy when progesterone levels surge. Progesterone is a hormone that can cause your glands to increase secretions of oil that clog up pores and cause bacteria to build up. Secondly, the bloating and fluid retention that many women face can also lead to acne. As your body retains more fluids, toxins can build up and lead to breakouts. Your dermatologist as well as OB/GYN can recommend topicals (creams) that are safe to use during pregnancy to treat acne. 

Menopausal Acne/ Later Years

When menopause or later years arrive, men and women have different experiences relating to breakouts. Women tend to experience a period of breakouts as they reach menopause in response to estrogen decline. As women's estrogen levels decline, their testosterone levels remain constant. Subsequently, the strong presence of testosterone triggers acne. On the other hand, older men will often experience the opposite as the decline of testosterone keeps acne at bay. Your dermatologist can help you with a gentle yet effective solution to your acne if it continues to appear in your life.