Why at 50 is my Face Breaking out
- Asked by Mrs Mac in Saugus Massachusetts
- 3 years ago
I am 50 yrs old and on chin I get these red pimples what could be the cause?
Acne at 50? Life really is unfair sometimes, isn't it?
Hi Mrs Mac. Frequently I see women aged 20-55 with breakouts continuing well into middle years, starting again after a period of clear skin, or first occurring in the 30’s and 40’s. Often these same women are starting to see signs of aging and say "Seriously, this is ridiculous--wrinkles and acne?"
Acne in adult women is strongly hormonal, combined with an inherited tendency and additional triggers of stress, heat, sweat and cosmetics which plug pores. It predominantly occurs on the chin and jaw line, areas where oil glands are most hormonally influenced. Stimulation of oil glands by male hormones, called androgens, is a key factor. Symptoms of hormonal imbalance with excess androgens are irregular menstrual cycles, acne, excess hair growth and infertility. Some women have normal androgen levels but oil glands that are more sensitive.
Certain birth control pills, progestin containing IUD's, and the birth control shot have androgenic activity that aggravate acne. Menopausal women taking estrogen-testosterone for libido, or DHEA supplements may develop acne, facial hair growth and balding. Under stress--emotional, physical, sleep deprivation or a hectic life--adrenal glands release stress hormones; worsening acne, and increasing stress even more.
Cosmetics alone don't cause acne, but may worsen it by plugging oil glands. Long-wearing "all day coverage" foundations, oil-based foundations, covering pimples with concealer, or using a brush to apply mineral powder may plug or irritate pores and worsen acne. Look for moisturizers, foundations and powders that are non-comedogenic and non-acnegenic. Mineral powder applied with a sponge or liquid oil-free foundations are best. Hair styling products, heat, sweat, oil and friction (sweaty workout clothes, cell phones and touching your face etc) should be reduced.
To treat, we start with a skin care and surface retinoid program that both targets acne and is the mainstay of an anti-aging program. Antibiotic pads after workouts, light chemical peels, blue light treatment, and in certain patients, medical microdermabrasion are helpful. Oral antibiotics are often needed for larger, deeper cysts.
Getting hormones straightened out is essential, but complicated. For patients needing birth control or with hormonal imbalance, birth control pills such as Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Estrostep, Alesse, Yasmin, Yaz, Mircette, Ortho-Cept, and Desogen improve acne. Dosages of estrogen-testosterone or DHEA may need to be reduced.
A related problem, perioral dermatitis, occurs as a pimply rash around the mouth. Your dermatologist can determine whether you have adult acne or perioral dermatitis.
Luckily, many of our acne therapies are also effective as anti-aging treatments, which is fair. So see your dermatologist for help. Good luck.
Adult Acne at 50
Adult acne can strike at anytime; it is not unusual to experience acne in your 40's and 50's, even if you have not had acne in the past. Your dermatologist will help you to find the best treatment regimen. A common cause of acne in adults is a hormonal influence, particularly when women begin to have acne on their lower face and chin.
Web reference: http://www.clearclinic.com/hormonal-therapies/
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.