What Causes Adult Acne And How To Get Rid Of It
As an adult, you might be wondering why the heck am I still getting pimples?
There are a few causes of adult acne, the main of which is having oily skin. When your skin produces too much oil, it can trap dead skin and lead to clogged pores at any age.
Oil is produced by the sebaceous gland. One of these is located in each of your pores. Unfortunately, some people are just born with overzealous sebaceous glands that produce too much oil. For others, their oil production may be linked to hot and humid weather conditions or not drinking enough water.
Whatever the case, your best treatment option is to maintain a regular skincare routine that keeps your pores clean while reducing oil production. You may want to try topical treatments containing retinoids or antimicrobials. Retinoids help to keep your pore follicles open, while antimicrobials attack the bacteria that cause inflammation.
You can also try reducing the carbohydrates in your diet, eliminating stress, and drinking more water.
How Long Does Spironolactone Take To Work For Acne
It can take about three months for the drug to have a noticeable effect on acne, and its not a one-time treatment, says Dr. Zeichner. According to the American Academy of Dermatologists , spironolactone can be effective in the treatment of deep, tender acne that is located on the jawline, neck, and lower face. Among 85 women who took the drug, one third had a total clearing of their acne, and one third experienced noticeable results. Only 7% of the individuals observed saw no improvement in the severity of their acne. And when combined with certain hormonal therapies like oral contraceptive pills, spironolactone may be even more effective.
Oral Contraception: Mechanisms Of Antiandrogenic Action
Antiandrogenic properties of combined contraception are related to both components of the pill: oestrogen and progestin. Oestrogen stimulates sex hormone binding globulin liver synthesis that in turn reduces the amount of biologically active androgens, induces oestrogen receptor expression, and decreases gonadotrophin secretion that inhibits LH-related testosterone production by theca cells in the ovaries . Progestins block 5-reductase activity, and decrease testosterone receptor expression and gonadotrophin synthesis . 5-reductase is responsible for the conversion of testosterone into DHT. Both components of combined contraception lower the levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone that in consequence has inhibitory effect on adrenal androgenesis .
What Is Menopausal Acne
Menopausal acne is when acne appears in women in their 40s and 50s. The cause of menopausal acne is a decrease in estrogen levels or an increase in androgen hormones like testosterone in menopause. Some of the hormonal treatments for menopausal symptoms can also cause hormonal acne. This is especially common in women taking a progestin.
What Are The Benefits Of Spironolactone
Spironolactone helps with skin and hair conditions that are caused by androgens including:
- Hormonal acne for women in their 20s and 30s
- Acne during the perimenopause
- Acne caused by HRT or Testosterone as part of HRT
- Female pattern hair loss
Spironolactone may be used alone or in combination with other treatments for acne.
Traditional Menstrual Acne Remedies
Now, hormonal acne tends to form quite far below the surface of the skin. Which means that those who suffer from more severe forms of it may find the above natural treatments arent as effective. There is a range of traditional Menstrual acne remedies, some of which can be helpful. But beware, gang because, some of these treatments are more invasive than their natural counterparts.
The more concerning factor though, is that some are incompatible with certain medications. So please, please consult a dermatologist or healthcare professional before trying any of these options. Theyll be able to recommend the right treatment for your individual case.
Some Important Points To Consider If You Are Thinking About Taking Spironolactone For Acne:
- Spironolactone does not work for everyone but helps at 65% of women with hormonal acne . It is not possible to predict who may benefit and who may not.
- Some women may clear completely with Spironolactone. In other women, Spironolactone may reduce the rate of acne but not clear it completely. This means you may still need other acne treatments while taking Spironolactone.
- Spironolactone can take 3 to 6 months to have its full effects. Waiting for the results can be very frustrating.
- Spironolactone only works while you are taking it. This means your acne may come back when you stop. Women may be on Spironolactone for 1 or 2 years or sometimes for several years.
- Spironolactone can cause side effects. About 1 in 20 of women may need to reduce or come off Spironolactone because of side effects .
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How Can You Book An Appointment Online With A Doctor For Acne
Ready to say goodbye to your acne issues? Its easy with our service. All you have to do is fill out an online assessment that asks you questions about your skin and health history. This gives your doctor or other medical provider some background information on your problems so they can make informed decisions about your care.
Youll also snap a few photos of your acne. That way, your doctor can see exactly what youre working with.
After that, your doctor will review your info and create a personalized acne treatment plan just for you. After youve been following your treatment for about 10 weeks, the medical provider will recommend a follow-up assessment to see how everything is going.
Whats Involved In Taking Hormonal Therapy For Acne
These medications must be prescribed by a doctor. Each is a pill that you would take daily.
If youre wondering whether hormonal therapy could help clear your acne, you may want to make an appointment to see a dermatologist. After examining your acne and gathering the necessary information about your health, this doctor can tell you if hormonal therapy may be an option.
Before you see a dermatologist, it helps to prepare for your appointment. Youll want to be able to tell your dermatologist the following:
Medical conditions you have , including high blood pressure, heart disease, blood clots, migraines, or cancer
Medications you take
Supplements and other natural products you take
Surgeries youve had
Medical conditions of close blood relatives, including cancer, kidney disease, or heart disease
If the pill is an option for you, you will have your blood pressure taken to rule out high blood pressure. You dont need a Pap smear or pelvic exam before a dermatologist can prescribe the pill to treat acne.
Before your dermatologist prescribes spironolactone, you will need some blood tests.
If you begin hormonal therapy, you will need to keep follow-up visits with your dermatologist. Spironolactone requires that you gradually increase the dose, so youll need to see your dermatologist every 4 to 6 weeks when you start taking it.
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Best Treatments For Adult Acne According To Dermatologists
If you thought your acne days were over when you entered adulthood, the truth is, adult acne exists, and it’s on the rise! This means fighting acne on top of your already extensive efforts to prevent aging signs for many women.
Unfortunately, more and more adult women are suffering from acne. Some of the latest stats show that more than 50 percent of women in their 20s and 25 percent in their 30s still struggle with acne. Thankfully, acneeven adult acneis totally treatable! If you’re still suffering from frequent acne flare-ups, read below to help understand what’s causing them and what you can do to get your adult acne
Exposed Skincare Basic Kits
Best overall hormonal acne treatment
This skincare kit includes products with a range of ingredients commonly used to treat and prevent acne, including benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, sulfur, and azelaic acid.
The products also contain natural ingredients that aim to soothe irritated skin, such as green tea, aloe vera, and passionflower and sage extract.
The company states that the kit is suitable for people with all skin types, including people with sensitive skin. It recommends using the products as part of a morning and evening cleansing routine.
The cleanser and tonic come in 4-ounce bottles, and the serums come in 1.7-oz containers.
The company offers a 1-year money-back guarantee.
The basic kit costs $59.95.
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What Is Hormonal Acne
Acne is caused by a combination of changes in your skin such as enlargement and clogging of your sebaceous glands, bacterial proliferation, inflammation, and hormonal factors. Hormonal acne occurs when there is an imblance in your hormone levels.
If you’re dealing with hormonal acne, you should know that you’re not alone! Hormonal acne is very common and affects 50% of women between 20 – 29 and 25% of women between 40 – 49. While not as prevalent, hormonal acne is also seen in teenagers, peri-menopausal and menopausal women.
What Are The Leading Causes Of Adult Acne
While various factors can influence adult acne, we can thank our parents and the endocrine systemi.e., genetics and hormonal changesthe most.
Additional factors such as stress, certain medications & supplements, and the use of the wrong skincare to makeup and hair products) can also trigger and exacerbate adult acne. What’s even more frustrating is that a lot of our attempts to clear these breakoutssuch as popping pimples, applying specific topical treatments, and even taking certain supplements can make the acne worse by causing trauma and irritation to the skin and spreading the acne bacteria to other regions of the face.
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Prescription Acne Treatments: Common Medications For Acne And How They Work
Acne is a skin condition most commonly found in teenagers and young adults, it occurs when hair follicles plug with oil and dead skin cells. Acne can appear as blackheads, red bumps, and whiteheads. There are many causes of acne including hormonal imbalances, oily skin, medical conditions, sleep deprivation, and more.
Acne may occur as inflammatory acne, hormonal acne, or cystic acne but whichever is the case, it can be uncomfortable, upsetting, and embarrassing. If you have tried over-the-counter products and home remedies that are not working, you may be considering prescription acne treatments. With just one visit to your dermatologist, they will likely prescribe you a plan to help treat the acne causing bacteria and prevent acne scarring. These treatments will either come in the form of a topical solution or an oral medication to be added to your skin care routine. Because many people experience severe and persistent acne, sometimes a higher level of acne medication or stronger treatment is necessary. Over-the-counter acne products arent as effective when it comes to severe cystic acne or when acne is developed specifically in the adult years. The most commonly prescribed treatments can be found below:
What Are The Side Effects Of These Acne Medications
Like all medications, there are potential side effects that come with these treatments. For hormonal medications like spironolactone, you may experience mild headaches, irritability, and breast tenderness. For oral antibiotics, increased sun sensitivity, nausea, and stomach upset are potential side effects.
Your dermatologists will provide any information you need to know about side effects and detailed instructions for use. It’s important to read your entire medication guide before starting treatment.
If you have any questions or experience an adverse effect from your medications, we always recommend reaching out to your dermatologist or healthcare provider at any time.
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Spironolactone For Acne Side Effects
Potential side effects of spironolactone include:
- Breast tenderness
- Increased urination
Dr. Zeichner says many of these side effects are more likely when the medication is given at higher doses. Its worth noting that there is a black box warning on the drug, but it may not be a cause for genuine concern if you are an otherwise healthy female.
In one study in rats spironolactone caused solid organ tumors, however it has not been shown to be a problem in humans, advises Dr. Zeichner. The amount of the drug given to rats in the study was significantly higher than the one prescribed to women.
Spironolactone does not typically cause depression or mood changes. If you do notice changes in mood while taking it, let your healthcare provider know. Sometimes, spironolactone is prescribed to promote hair growth in women because its an antiandrogenthat means it blocks the male hormones that may lead to hair loss in women.
Because the drug decreases fluid retention, you may lose a small amount of weight while taking it. There isnt any evidence that spironolactone works as a weight loss medication, but it may help with premenstrual bloating and is often prescribed to treat symptoms of PMS and premenstrual dysphoric disorder .
Is Hormonal Acne Caused By Pregnancy
When you are pregnant, hormonal fluctuations can cause acne. Often, acne gets better as your pregnancy progresses. There are several treatments that you should avoid during pregnancy, including topical retinoids, salicylic acid and isotretinoin. Ask your healthcare provider about the safest acne treatment for you to reduce and eliminate breakouts during pregnancy.
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Ciara Gave The Wolf Haircut Another Go
Translation? Dermatologists need a drug alternative for treating acne. And they have a very good one in spironolactone. In Barbieri’s 2018 study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, he and his team compared tetracycline antibiotics with spironolactone both options had been prescribed for treating acne. They analyzed data on more than 6,600 women and girls taking spironolactone to over 31,000 taking antibiotics.
To determine “effectiveness,” the researchers then looked at how many women in each group had switched to another type of treatment within a year a sign their first treatment wasn’t working. The found just over 14 percent of spironolactone patients made a swap compared to just over 13 percent of patients on acne antibiotics.
The 1 percent difference suggests spironolactone is basically as effective at treating acne, without the risk of overloading on antibiotics. Anecdotally, the two drugs appear to work equally as well in her practice, Dr. Shah tells Allure. “It’s really a case by case basis. Some patients respond better to antibiotics, whereas, others do better with spironolactone,” she says. “However, we do need more data comparing the two options directly.”
The Process And Timeline While Taking Spironolactone
Like most oral medications, Spironolactone takes several weeks to take effect within the body. Those new to the drug would need 6-8 weeks of consistent use for the medicine to begin working within the body.
Unlike Accutane, Spironolactone will only provide benefits while the patient is actively using it. Long-term use isn’t dangerous however, it is designed to only treat acne while active. Weaning off of Spironolactone does not mean all of your acne will come back, either. Our physicians will provide personalized post-care and treatment options to maintain blemish-free skin for years to come.
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Oral Medications We Deliver
Antibiotics: Oral antibiotics work from the inside to prevent acne-causing bacteria from living on your skin. If we prescribe antibiotics its usually for a limited time.Combination birth control: Hormone fluctuations trigger acne in many people with periods. By regulating hormones birth control pills may reduce acne.*Note: We do not prescribe the medication Accutane, which is only for severe acne and requires care by an in-person medical provider.
What Are Some Alternatives To Spironolactone For Acne
Other popular prescription topical antibiotics like clindamycin, topical retinoids such as tazarotene, and oral medications like doxycycline or Accutane . Some dermatologists recommend birth control pills, especially if your breakouts are cyclical, like your menstrual cycle. Oral contraceptives can regulate the flow of hormones that affect oil production in your skin its often helpful for women with polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, which usually causes a relative overabundance of male hormone levels.
There are a few over-the-counter acne medications, too, like benzoyl peroxide , Differin Gel, and salicylic acid cleanser or moisturizer. Most prescription acne treatments come with some side effects and not all are compatible with every persons lifestyle. If youre struggling to win the war against acne, make an appointment with your primary care provider or dermatologist for advice on which treatment option might be best for you.
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What Are The Characteristics Of Hormonal Acne
During puberty, hormonal acne often appears in the T-zone. This includes your forehead, nose, and chin.
Hormonal adult acne typically forms on the lower part of your face. This includes the bottom of your cheeks and around your jawline.
For some people, hormonal acne takes the form of blackheads, whiteheads, and small pimples that come to a head, or cysts.
Cysts form deep under the skin and dont come to a head on the surface. These bumps are often tender to the touch.
Hormonal acne may be caused by influxes of hormones from:
Other Acne Treatment Options
While highly effective, oral medications arent the only acne treatments to add to your arsenal. Your dermatologists typically prescribe a topical treatment to use with your oral medication for acne. Even if they do not, some of the oral treatments are temporary. Once you finish using them, your dermatologist will have you transition to a topical treatment.
There are effective topical treatments available both over-the-counter and by prescription. Well break down five topical prescriptions and five over-the-counter topical treatments to keep on your radar.
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