When teenagers are growing up, they are often told that their acne is "just a phase" or that they will "grow out of it" within a few years, however a surprisingly large number of people continue to struggle with acne even during their adult years. Because acne is often considered to be a teenager's problem, adult acne is rarely talked about openly, and many sufferers are incredibly embarrassed. In fact, many adult acne sufferers report that their confidence is severely diminished, especially if the acne is particularly problematic on their face.
Adult acne can actually appear anywhere on the body, although the most common areas for acne to present itself include the face, chest, upper arms, back, neck and hairline. Whilst it is not normally dangerous unless spots become badly infected, the problem can be incredibly unsightly, leading to the sufferer wanting to hide the affected area from view. Even when specific patches of acne have cleared up (e.g. redness and swelling have disappeared), permanent scarring can be left behind.
Acne is normally caused when hair follicles become blocked with sebum. Sebum is an oily substance which is naturally produced by the sebaceous glands for a number of different purposes, but can end up blocking up follicles in certain circumstances. When these blockages happen, acne can appear, and the area can become mildly infected. This can cause pus and redness in the area, making the acne look even more pronounced. Squeezing your spots to get rid of the pus is not recommended, as this can cause more serious infections and is highly likely to lead to scarring in future.
During the teenage years, hormonal changes within the body lead to increased production of sebum and certain other factors which can lead to more acne. Adult acne can be caused by lifestyle choices and hormonal issues, which might not be as easy to control. Many prescription medications also have acne as one of their listed side effects, including some of the leading types of contraceptive medications. Many people find that the solution to their problem is something as simple as taking all of their make-up off before they go to bed, or changing to a different soap or face wash. Other people find that making changes to their diet can help them to treat adult acne naturally. Whilst some sufferers will be able to easily identify and remove the cause of their adult acne, others may have to seek medical help to treat their problems.