Adult Acne

Woman showing off her cheek with a few acne breakouts.

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels.

If you’ve made it passed the awkward phase of middle school without getting acne, you may feel like you dodged a bullet. However, it can be disappointing when in your adult years, you start to experience acne for the first time.

How Can You Get Adult Acne?

Adults can get acne in their 30s, 40s, and even 50s. Getting acne for the first time is called “adult-onset acne” by dermatologists and is most common in women going through menopause.

Getting acne as an adult can be tied to one of the following reasons:

Fluctuating Hormone Levels

A hormonal imbalance can cause acne breakouts. Women tend to experience these fluctuations around their period, during pregnancy, during menopause and stopping or starting birth control pills.


Research has discovered a relationship between stress and acne breakouts. Due to stress, our bodies produce more of a hormone called androgens. Those hormones activate the oil glands and hair follicles on the skin and result in acne. Therefore, acne can be a consistent problem if you are under stress.

Hair and Skin Products

With adult acne, you should be hyper-aware of the products that you are using on your skin and around your face. To ensure that you aren’t irritating the acne further, purchase products that contain one of the following terms on the container:

  • Non-comedogenic
  • Non-acnegenic
  • Oil-free
  • Won’t clog pores

Medication Side Effects

Unfortunately, acne can be a side effect of certain medications. You should never stop taking a prescribed medicine due to an acne flare-up, but you can request that your doctor switch your prescription to one that does not cause acne. If that’s not possible, seek a dermatologist to help you manage the breakouts.

Treatment Options for Adult Acne

Treatment for adult acne is similar to that used for teen acne. The Center for Surgical Dermatology has compiled a list of effective adult acne treatments. They recommend a combination of the following:

  • OTC washes
  • Topical and oral antibiotics
  • Isotretinoin (Vitamin A)
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Blue and red-light therapy
  • Intralesional steroid injections

It is important to note that not everyone will have the same successful results with a particular form of treatment. The best bet is to set an appointment with your dermatologist to determine a proper course of action in fighting your adult-onset acne.

Have Health Insurance Questions?

We hope that this information on adult acne is helpful for you.

Insurance is oftentimes overwhelming and we want to shed light on the industry by answering your questions. Comment below and your question may be the topic of our next post!

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About Kayla Gonzalez

Kayla is a graduate of Texas A&M University and joined the Empower Brokerage marketing team in early 2021. She creates content for the company websites and assists with various marketing campaigns. LinkedIn Profile

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