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What About Adult Acne?
Those that suffered acne during their teenage years are particularly disdained when they wake up to find it’s happening again in their adult years.
Any dermatologist will tell you that acne is not always a teenage angst. Adult acne can be just as much an issue for those well beyond the teenage years.
What is it?
There are two types of acne. The medical name for the first is acne vulgaris. The name for the other type is acne rosacea. Adult acne can occur in either form and is actually a very common problem.
At the center stage of adult acne is the pimple. The medical term for a pimple is a comedo. Pimples consist of a tiny wad of fat, debris from the skin and keratin that gets plugged up around a hair follicle. When these collections are open at the top, they appear as a blackhead. If they are closed, they will be seen as a whitehead. Because whiteheads are sealed over they can cause the affected follicle area to rupture. The result will be adult acne.
Medical studies show that males tend to have more scars from acne outbreaks than their female counterparts. Females, however, tend to be more prone to adult acne.
What Causes It?
It is a common misconception that adult acne is caused by inadequate hygiene. The truth is that adult acne, like its teen cousin, is caused by several different things. Hormones can cause too much oil to be secreted. The ducts around the hair follicles cannot be closed properly. Finally, infection can play a huge part.
A Great Home Remedy for Acne
Another Remedy for Fighting Acne Scars
How Do I Clear It Up?
First of all, it is much better to wash the face with a soft cloth a couple times each day rather than repeated face scrubbing in an effort to ward off adult acne. It can even do more damage, thus increasing the breakout.
You could go to the doctor’s office and have the pimples surgically treated. It is not nearly as major as it sounds. The doctor will only be doing, in effect, what many people already do at home. People squeeze pimples and instantly, they feel relieved. The pimple will begin to heal and clear up. The problem with this is that you can spread the infection and create more pimples. It also leads to scars. When a doctor does it in his office, he uses sterile tools that prevent either of these further complications.
Another option is to check out your local drug store’s skin care aisle. This can be a daunting task for many people. Anyone that has ever been down that aisle can tell you that there are numerous choices and some of them can be quite expensive. No one wants to buy a bunch of expensive products that may not work.
In most instances, you are better off seeing a dermatologist first. Why spend a large sum of money on products that don’t work for you when the doctor can tell you what kind of acne you have and prescribe you a medication that will clear it up quickly and effectively. Many doctors will give you samples that may clear up your skin without you ever having to fill the prescription. They will also provide you with your best skin care routine.
In the future, you can look in the skin care aisle for similar products that work on your particular issue. It’s just always a good idea to know what you are actually dealing with before you attempt to clear it up and prevent further outbreaks.
One universal tip on skin care choices is to always use oil free lotions and sunscreens that won’t clog your pores up and cause the adult acne that could result. A very simple face wash for most people is a benzoyl peroxide solution that both cleans and exfoliates the skin. It is always better to prevent the adult acne from occurring in the first place, if possible.
The good news in acne treatment has been the discovery of retinoic acid. It is a form of vitamin A that works incredibly well on acne outbreaks. A newer form of the drug has been produced as a slow-release formula that isn’t as irritating to the skin as its original form.
Additionally, there are many other acne treatments on the market that can be used based on the specific type of adult acne one is suffering. Among these are the ones listed below:
- Azelaic acid cream – This topical antibacterial cream is used to treat mild to moderate acne. Its exact method is unclear, but it is believed to block the protein production that allows bacteria to survive.
- Alpha-hydroxy acids are the acids used in chemical peels. Creams sold in stores to consumers must have a concentration of less than ten percent, while doctors can use anywhere from twenty to seventy percent solutions. The higher the solution, the more irritation caused to the skin. These acids act as an exfoliant and micro-dermabrasion type treatment that can remove dead skin and make the skin appear more youthful and smoother.
- Benzoyl peroxide – This treatment can be found in a number of forms. It can be purchased in as a liquid cleanser, bar of soap, lotion, cream or gel to be applied to the skin. It is usually used a couple of times daily and acts as a drying agent to reduce acne.
- Topical antibiotics – When other solutions aren’t working, topical antibiotics could be the answer. These antibiotics can be applied directly to the affected skin to kill bacteria and fight the infection causing adult acne. They are usually prescribed by a doctor for inflamed acne.
- Antibiotic pills – Doctors will sometimes prescribe oral antibiotic pills to help reduce bacteria and inflammation at a systemic level if acne cannot be controlled by mere topical solutions. The drawback to this treatment is that extended use of antibiotics could reduce their effectiveness, making bacteria resistant to antibiotic treatment.
- Birth control pills – These reduce the amount of testosterone in a female’s body. Testosterone suppression results in a reduced oil secretion by the sebaceous glands, reducing the opportunity for blocked pores to form.
- Accutane or Sotret – These treatments are a last resort for those that have persistent, severe acne. They act to reduce the sebaceous glands and thus, reduce the blocked pores that cause acne to form. They are retinoid forms of Vitamin A and come with careful monitoring by the doctor prescribing them as they can have severe side effects, especially in women.
So, as you can see, there are many options to clearing up adult acne. Find what works for you and it doesn’t have to continue to be a problem.