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Adult acne: Women, hormones and stress

Main image 23 July, 2018

If you’ve been wondering why you’ve suddenly got spots in your 20s, 30s or even 40s, you’re not alone – because adult acne, especially in women, is on the rise.

For some women, acne is returning after years without it, while for others, it’ll be the first time you’ve ever had it (something dermatologists call ‘adult-onset acne’).

Adult acne in women typically affects the chin, neck and jawline, and tends to be deeper than that commonly associated with teenagers.

At YourGP private health practice in Edinburgh, we’re increasingly seeing women of all ages who are suffering from the physical and mental effects of acne – so we decided to write this blog post to explain why it’s happening

So why have I suddenly got acne?

Well, the exact reason is unknown, but adult acne can be caused by a number of issues, including diet, your skin and haircare products, and your family history.

But in this blog post, we are focusing on the two issues that are thought to be predominantly contributing to the increase in adult acne in females – hormones and stress.

Are hormones to blame?

Whether you’re a teenager or an adult, there’s one thing you can be sure of: acne is typically related to hormones.

Teenage acne is thought to be triggered by increased levels of testosterone, while many cases of adult acne are said to be caused by the changes in women’s hormone levels.

Women often experience fluctuating hormones around their periods, during pregnancy or after coming off birth control pills.

Are stress and acne related?

One of the most common reasons attributed to the rise of adult acne in women is increased stress caused by the pace of work and modern life.

Frustratingly for women, the more upset and worried you get about how your acne looks, the worse it can become.

In fact, there’s a link between stress and hormones too. In response to stress, our bodies produce more androgens (a type of hormone), which stimulate the oil glands and hair follicles in the skin, which can also lead to acne.

Acne treatment for women in Edinburgh

At YourGP, our specialist staff are on hand to discuss the best ways to treat and manage adult acne.

When you arrive at our private GP clinic in Edinburgh for your initial consultation, we will discuss the various treatment options, including:

  • Tetracycline-based antibiotics, which are used for bacterial infections such as acne and rosacea
  • Hormone treatment (including modifying the type of contraceptive pill prescribed)
  • Vitamin A derivatives such as Roaccutane (prescribed in severe cases by a dermatologist)

Additionally, we offer various medical cosmetic treatments that can help improve acne-prone skin for women. This includes medical microdermabrasion; a safe, non-invasive cosmetic treatment, which is used as an alternative to chemical, surgical and laser skin resurfacing.

Unlike modern day facials, a microdermabrasion and combined chemical peel penetrates the skin – helping to hydrate, exfoliate and cleanse the skin, reduce acne and improve imperfection and general skin appearance.

If you want more advice about adult acne, or want to book a consultation with one of our specialist GPs or cosmetic assistants , use our online booking form, call us on 0131 225 5656 or email our reception team at reception@your.gp.

For more information or advice, leave a comment below or get in touch on Facebook or LinkedIn.

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