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Causes of adult acne

adultacneAcne at any age is a distressing condition of the skin. It is particularly distressing when large pustules accumulate on and around the face and in spite of various creams, lotions, masks, drying agents, and good diet they still persist. So, lets look more carefully at some of the most fundamental causes of acne in both teenagers and adults.

Most of us went through the teen years with a few spots and blemishes then they disappeared for the best part.

It is not normal for women to have acne past the teenage years because we are producing ample quantities of female hormone relative to the male hormone, testosterone. In men, this is reversed which is why men often get acne much worse than women and have it for longer because their testosterone levels are generally many times higher than ours. Interestingly, all forms of the contraceptive pill and HRT, because of their higher content of synthetic estrogen, will lower testosterone levels (plus your libido!) and your skin will often look better. This isn’t a good enough reason however to take the pill because it never addresses the real and underlying causes as to why you have skin outbreaks in the first place.

Male hormone will be increased if there is ongoing stress in your life, if your sugar/fructose/starch intake is too high, and if there is a deficiency in the existing level of female hormone in your body. Stress ignites adrenalin which ignites the male hormone pathway and elevates testosterone in men and women. Just see your teenagers skin around exam time to know this!

And how do sugars play a part? Sugars from excess fruits/juices/cereals/alcohol/grains disrupt the insulin/glucose balance in the body, which down the line serves to disrupt male hormone yet again. And if there simply isn’t enough estrogen and progesterone in the female body to counteract the existing testosterone, then the imbalance will show on the skin. Often when it breaks out on the chest and back it can mean there is the presence of yeast in the gut, and/or the liver is not performing its detoxifying functions adequately.

Women with polycystic ovaries often don’t ovulate regularly and their ovaries and adrenal glands overproduce testosterone, hence acne will develop on the upper body and face. With an increase in testosterone comes an increase in the production of sebum around the hair follicle in the dermal layer. Increased sebum or oil then attracts bacteria which jump on board, thereby producing the redness or infection and then the pustule pops onto the surface. Just using antibiotics doesn’t address the cause of the problem, it only reduces the bacteria but doesn’t address the drivers behind the elevation of testosterone producing the sebum.

When a simple, effective foundation approach is put into place and all the basic elements of the body are covered and dealt with, acne in everyone can, and does, disappear. The skin is constantly renewing itself so rest assured you are never stuck with what you have now!


– this post was supplied by Kim Balson
Naturopath and Author

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