Can You Spot Adult Acne Facts From Myths?

Last modified: August 2, 2019

Richard Honaker M.D.
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It is difficult to know what is fact or myth when it comes to adult acne. Is it your diet? Is makeup good or bad? How can you really fight and win against adult acne?

If you’re like many women searching for answers online, you may find a lot of conflicting information about acne. Especially when it comes to treatment.

Treatments that worked to rid acne before may be useless when you’re an adult, especially for women.

“Acne can be particularly frustrating for adults,” explains the American Academy of Dermatology. “A treatment that worked so well during our teen years can be useless — or make acne worse.”

In hopes of clearing the air about clearing up your face, let’s scrub away myths and get a few adult acne facts straight.

  1. Adult Acne is Genetic

Fact! Genetics do play a role in your risk for adult acne. There has been research finding that 80 percent of acne is the result of genes.

“It occurs in people who have a genetic predisposition; if acne runs in the families of both parents, three out of four children may suffer from it,” says Dr. Diana Howard of The International Dermal Institute.

2. Acne Results from Dirty Skin

Myth! Adult acne is caused by several factors. Oil producing glands are often affected by hormonal changes, and these glands can get larger and secrete more oil. This causes bacteria to grow and a breakout occurs.

3. Adult Acne is Different Then Spots

Myth! This is a common misconception regarding adult acne. Spots and acne are unfortunately the same. And 54 percent of women 25 years of age and over have some form of facial acne, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

4. Acne Affects Women More

Fact! Adult acne is more prevalent in women. The difference is actually quite significant with up to 22 percent of women affected by acne, compared to only three percent of men. This may be due to the hormonal changes, like menstrual cycles, women experience.

5. Lifestyle Can Trigger Adult Acne

Fact! Research suggests that some foods and dairy products can trigger adult acne breakouts. Foods with a high GI-index may be the culprit of your acne.

Stress is another lifestyle factor that can cause acne. “Still, scientists don’t know exactly how stress worsens acne,” explains Katherine Kam of WebMD. It may be connected to the hormone imbalances stress causes.

Can You Spot Adult Acne Facts From Myths?

6. Chocolate Causes Acne

Myth! This adult acne myth is as old as time. In fact, it may have been a way for moms around the world to get their teens to put down the candy bars and eat their vegetables.

Some studies, however, still point to chocolate’s acne triggering ability. There are researchers that believe the dairy in chocolate could be to blame. But this acne myth will remain until proven otherwise.

7. Acne Spreads Like the Flu

Myth! Adult acne is not contagious, spreading from one person to another upon contact. Bacterium certainly has a role in acne, but it is not transmitted like other bacterial infections.

8. Acne Needs to be Moisturized

Fact! Moisturizing your skin can lead to proper skin health and may help keep your skin hydrated during an adult acne breakout. Moisturizing should be done after you wash your face, which is necessary twice a day.

Can You Spot Adult Acne Facts From Myths?

9. Makeup Makes Adult Acne Worse

Myth! Research indicates that makeup does not make adult acne worse or trigger breakouts. In fact, makeup may help boost your self-confidence, hiding those slight troublesome spots.

Makeup, however, can aggravate your skin. You may even be allergic to certain ingredient in your makeup.

“Sometimes this is the result of makeup wearers not realizing that they are sensitive or allergic to certain ingredients,” Cassandra Bankson explains to InStyle. “Other times, it may be that they’re forgetting to take their makeup off after a day of wear, therefore clogging up or blocking pores.”

Do You Want Clear Skin Again?

Adult acne is certainly a pain in the “you know what.” It can really put a damper on your day and cause a few confidence issues if you’re in your 20s and 30s. If you have acne questions, talk to a doctor online for quick and secure answers.

There may be a simple solution to your acne woes. Something you may not need to sit in a dermatologist office for hours waiting for. However, if your acne is causing pain and is severe, seeking medical attention is a good idea.

Submitted by Dr. Richard Honaker:

Disclaimer: This article provides general information and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or medical condition. If you require specific advice, please consult one of our medical professionals through the app. However, in case of an emergency, please call 911.

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