The Angst of Adult Acne
Just when you think that blemishes are a thing of the past, they rear their ugly black or white heads once again. Up to 70 percent of adult women experience bouts of acne -- and they're especially likely when you're expecting a baby.
Regardless of your age or reproductive status, pimples develop when the sebaceous glands, attached to hair follicles under the skin, produce excessive amounts of the oily lubricant sebum, explains Elizabeth Carr, M.D., clinical assistant professor of dermatology at SUNY Health Science Center in Brooklyn, NY. The sebum accumulates and mixes with shed skin cells as well as acne-causing bacteria, and a plug develops in the follicle. This can take the form of a whitehead (a pore clogged underneath the skin), a blackhead (a pore clogged on the surface of the skin), or a cyst (a painful pocket of pus). And as everyone knows, when this happens, the results aren't pretty.