Acne is the term for pimples, zits or blemishes on the skin. There are different types of specific acne lesions, and different types and causes of acne. Though it most commonly strikes teenagers due to the changes in their hormone levels, acne can persist beyond the teenage years and into adulthood. Persistent acne is defined as acne that continues into the mid-20s, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
Risk Factors for Acne
Women suffer from persistent acne more often than men, says the AAD, and it can continue throughout adulthood--even beyond age 40 and into the 50s. People who have a family history of acne may be more likely to suffer from persistent acne as adults. As many as 50 percent of acne sufferers have an immediate family member who has acne. Being under stress can also increase your risk of suffering from persistent acne.
Causes of Persistent Acne
Changes in hormone levels in adulthood can caused acne, just like they do in the teenage years. Menstruation, pregnancy, menopause or stoppage of oral contraceptive pills can all cause acne. Progestin-only birth control pills can exacerbate persistent acne in women.
Other medications can also cause acne as a side effect, including corticosteroid medications, anti-seizure drugs and some administered to alcoholics, says the AAD. Using greasy, oily skin and hair products can also contribute to persistent acne, as it adds oil to the skin, clogs pores and results in pimples.
Symptoms of Persistent Acne
Persistent acne generally develops on the lower portion of the face--specifically in the areas surrounding the lips and the chin, says the AAD. Pimples may also sprinkle the skin along the jawline. These acne lesions are usually deep, very red and inflamed, and can be quite sore and tender, adds the AAD.
Treating Persistent Acne
First, a dermatologist will need to ensure that some other health problem--such as polycystic ovary disease or an adrenal gland problem--isn't to blame for the acne, according to the AAD. Treating an underlying health problem will also treat the acne. Otherwise, a consistent regimen of oral medications (including birth control pills, antibiotics or isotretinoin), and/or topical skin treatments (that include benzoyl peroxide, an antimicrobial or a retinoid) can successfully treat persistent acne.
Keeping Skin Clear
To prevent persistent acne, a good skin care regimen is important. Daily washing and makeup removal is important, as is remembering not to scrub or damage the skin during cleaning. Using oil-free skin and hair products, which are labeled non-acnegenic or non-comedogenic, will also help cut down on oil on the skin and reduce breakouts, says the AAD. Leaving any acne lesions alone, and not popping or picking at pimples, will also help to prevent further acne lesions and breakouts.
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