Will I Ever Grow Out of Acne?

Nov 04, 2022
Will I Ever Grow Out of Acne?
“I’m not a teenager anymore, why do I still have acne?!” If you’ve ever uttered these words, you’re not alone — and our board-certified dermatologists can help. Explore the causes and treatment options for adult acne.

Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States: Some 40-50 million people are dealing with persistent pimples or chronic breakouts. Widely regarded as a problem of youthful skin, up to 85% of adolescents and young adults have it at some point. Acne can also affect middle-aged and older adults, too. 

In fact, more adults than ever are experiencing routine blemish breakouts, mainly due to stress, hormonal fluctuations, or genetics. But no matter your age, living with ongoing acne can leave you with damaged skin and emotional distress.

As board-certified dermatologists specializing in acne evaluation and treatment, our expert team at Florida Dermatology Associates can help. Here, we explain why acne may persist past young adulthood, discuss the possibility that your acne isn’t actually acne at all, and offer treatment options to help you attain a clearer complexion.

Understanding adult acne

Acne is an inflammatory skin disorder that occurs when hair follicles beneath the skin surface get clogged with skin oils (sebum) and dead skin cells. These plugged pores lead to outbreaks of surface lesions commonly known as pimples or zits. 

Acne can become inflamed when p. acnes, the bacteria that lives on your skin, get inside clogged pores and multiplies. Adult acne, or acne that occurs after the age of 25, is brought on by the same factors that give rise to adolescent acne:

  • Excess oil production
  • Pores clogged by “sticky” skin cells
  • Inflammation and bacteria

Women, in particular, are more prone to experiencing breakouts in their thirties, forties, and beyond. This may be because some indirect factors that contribute to increased skin oil production and acne breakouts are specific to females, such as hormonal changes through the menstrual cycle.

Other indirect factors that may trigger acne breakouts include:

  • Using pore-clogging hair, skin, or makeup products 
  • Living with chronic stress, which triggers inflammation
  • Making unhealthy, pro-inflammatory dietary choices

Squeezing or picking at blemishes, scrubbing your skin too hard, and environmental irritants like air pollution or high humidity can make existing acne worse.

Is it acne — or something else?

If you have adult acne that won’t go away, schedule a comprehensive skin evaluation at Florida Dermatology Associates. Several different skin conditions look like acne, and acne-like skin disorders can be a window into a systemic health condition. 

Chronic skin conditions that are sometimes mistaken for acne include:

Persistent acne can also result from an underlying health condition like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or another endocrine disorder. In such cases, managing the disorder may be all it takes to clear your skin and eliminate future breakouts.

Getting a clearer complexion 

Even if you’ve lived with acne for far longer than you’d like, there’s still a lot to be optimistic about: The arsenal of treatment options for acne is robust, and most people respond well to a combination of therapies tailored to their specific needs.

While the acne treatment protocol that’s best for you depends on the persistence and severity of your condition, most treatment plans at Florida Dermatology Associates involve: 

  • Personalized skin care solutions
  • Topical or oral acne medications
  • Skin-friendly dietary recommendations
  • Lifestyle changes to minimize breakouts
  • Clinical treatments (facials, chemical peels)
  • Noninvasive laser therapy treatments

A comprehensive acne treatment plan can help clear your complexion, improve the texture of your skin, minimize breakouts, and avoid irreversible damage. Acne can’t always be resolved, but can be managed successfully with the right approach.

If you’re ready to get control of your acne, we can help. Call your nearest Florida Dermatology Associates location today, or use our easy online booking feature to schedule a visit any time. We have five offices in Palm Bay, Melbourne, Cocoa Beach, Cocoa, and Titusville, Florida.