I thought spots would be a thing of the past at this point of my life, relinquished to my teenage years along with Juicy Tubes and Tammy Girl T-shirts. And yet, I wake up with a red, inflamed bump on my face far more than I'd like. Sometimes, it's hormonal, and I can put it down to time of the month, or what I've eaten. But sometimes, I can practically play join the dots on my face. Sounds familiar? It could be that these spots are signs you have adult acne, which is a common but often misdiagnosed phenomenon.
Dr Mervyn Patterson, cosmetic doctor and founder of Woodford Medical tells me, "Acne results from a build-up of sebum and dead skin cells in the entrance to the skin pore. The skin starts to mount an inflammatory reaction to the area, which leads to a pimple forming, which can then develop into a full blown spot. Excessive levels of the male androgen are a major underlying cause."
The NHS reports that more than 80% of adult acne cases occur in women, and in 2016 The Telegraph quoted Dr Stefanie Williams, medical director of Eudelo, in saying it was "like an epidemic" among millennials. If you're wondering if your spots are just hormonal bad luck or something more serious, I've spoken the experts and put togetherfive signs you have adult acne and didn't realise it.