We all have that decade of yesteryear we dream about living in—maybe we feel like we missed out on the roar of the 20s, the free love of the 60s, or the watching-Friends-for-the-first-timeness of the 90s. But here’s one more reason to want to live in the past: adult female acne has gotten worse. What?!
Historically, it’s estimated that about 15% of women had adult acne, but current experts estimate that that rate has risen to 25% or more. Though it’s unclear whether adult female acne has actually gotten worse or if more women are just willing to consult their dermatologists, it’s an issue that at least a quarter of women face and understanding it is the first step to dealing with it.
The most important thing to understand is that there are 2 varieties of adult female acne:
- All over the face, including blackheads
- This is similar to teenage acne
- A U-shaped area around the face, including the jawline chin, and potentially the neck)
- This acne is mostly inflammatory (red and raised bumps, tender to the touch) with fewer blackheads
- It happens because adult female skin is sometimes more dry and sensitive, and the U-shaped area can be difficult to treat topically
- The most effective treatments are often oral meds, but hormonal therapy or isotretinoin may also be needed (read about these in our Treatments & Remedies section!)