Clearing Up Adult Acne
Nothing compares to the horror teenagers face when a sudden breakout of acne is staring back through the mirror. Unless it’s the even greater horror felt by any adult who has lived that same scenario with adult acne…a dreadful sense of deja vu.
Considered by dermatologists to be the most prevalent skin disorder, acne is a condition brought on by clogged glands well beneath the skin’s surface. Since this condition affects 96% of the population between the ages of 16 and 26, almost all of us can remember our own battles with a dreaded pimple. The onset of raging hormones, increased physical activity and skyrocketing stress levels of life as a teenager makes puberty a perfect time for acne to strike.
But what happens if you’re well into adulthood when acne returns. First, don’t resort to believing the myths your well-meaning friends or relatives espoused about adult acne.
Adult Acne Treatment Care
We all remember being told to wash our face and “scrub those blackheads.” That was probably the worst advice we could have chosen to believe. Acne is not caused by “dirt” but rather a blockage in glands producing oil secretions well beneath the skin’s surface. Excessive scrubbing won’t clear those blockages. In fact, too much rubbing or washing areas that have broken out could lead to excessive dryness. Dry skin turns into small flakes and those particles could easily compound those blockages. Surface irritation could also cause additional inflammation of the area, drawing even more attention to the outbreak.
Remember how many times you heard that you should skip the fries or eating chocolate? Well, that might have been good advice as far as establishing healthy eating habits. But in terms of preventing or mitigating adult acne outbreaks, there have never been any studies confirming a dietary link to this condition.
And then there were the locker room stories that so-and-so’s recent outbreak coincided with a clandestine date at the local drive-in movie theater. The only link between acne and an individual’s first sexual experience is that they both usually happen during puberty.
So, if the things we did or didn’t do as teens won’t work on adult acne, what will?
There are many “systems” or “programs” on the market. The most recommended regime is a two step process. The first step involves a good medicated cleanser. Any of the popular brands that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid will work. This will keep the affected pores from becoming infected, causing further inflammation or scarring. Second, exfoliate with a salicylic acid treatment. They key is to only use this regime two to three times per week to clear up adult acne.
Adult Acne Treatment Care
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Just remember that if you’re suffering from adult acne, don’t seek out over-the- counter remedies targeting teens. Your skin, as you’re already well aware, is not that of a teen’s. Adult skin is much dryer, so o-t-c acne treatments with drying agents meant for the oily skin of teenagers will make your adult acne case much worse.
It is important to realize that adult acne is fairly common. Over 20% of women between the ages of 25 and 40 will experience outbreaks on a regular basis. Some of the reasons for this frequency, all prevalent for women in this age group, include hormones, the use of birth control pills, the use of cosmetics and stress. If acne breakouts become a pattern, see a good dermatologist sooner rather than later. Most of these causes can be dealt with if you believe any or all to be the cause of your outbreak.
Products for Adult Acne Treatment Care
There are many hypoallergenic brands of cosmetics on the market designed to minimize skin irritations and adult acne outbreaks. An adjustment in the dosage or brand of your birth control pills might be in order. Older women have often been helped by HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) to keep hormone levels balanced and minimizing adult acne outbreaks.
And then there’s stress. Dealing with stress head on, most experts agree, is the only way to diffuse it. Finding ways to deal with the stressful aspects of your life will not only improve any acne problems you may have, but will improve the outlook for your overall health.
If your choice of an o-t-c program doesn’t show significant progress in six to eight weeks, don’t hesitate to visit a good dermatologist. There are topical and/or oral medications that can help. Keep in mind that many of the prescription drugs used for adult acne treatment care can cause sensitivity to the sun, so don’t forget the sunscreen. There’s no point in trading one skin problem, such as your adult acne, for another!