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What kind of acne can adults get?

Many adult women think of acne as something they bid farewell to with adolescence. But actually, a significant number of women over the age of 25 experience adult acne. Because you have acne as an adult, it can be frustrating and embarrassing, but rest assured that adult acne is quite common. Adult acne can be divided into two general types: persistent and late-onset acne.
  • Persistent acne is acne that continues from adolescence into adulthood. People tend to have lesions most days and may experience flare-ups before their menstrual cycles.
  • Late-onset acne appears for the first time in adulthood and falls into two categories. Chin acne is concentrated in the mouth area and tends to flare premenstrually. Sporadic acne tends to appear and die down suddenly, with no apparent reason.
The physical appearance of adult acne can vary widely. Sometimes acne is confined to comedones -- commonly known as whiteheads and blackheads -- that exist on the surface of the skin. But it can also include deeper lesions called nodules and cysts that lie farther underneath the skin. Such deeper lesions tend to be more painful and are sometimes filled with pus.

Women feel awkward having acne as adults. Because the flare-ups characteristic of adult acne are often unpredictable, women may feel like they are unable to control the condition.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.