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Despite the popular belief that acne is restricted to the adolescent years and only affects teenagers, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, acne is common in later life too and demand for adult acne treatment is on the increase.
There is no need to feel embarrassment when seeking treatment for adult acne. Physicians deal with it every day and can offer good advice and effective treatments. Around one quarter of adult men and as many as half of all adult women are likely to suffer acne at some time in their adulthood.
The main causes of acne such as hormonal changes and possibly stress apply as much to adult acne as they do to adolescent acne. The use of cosmetic products is also implicated.
One reason for the increase seen in adult acne may be that the specific bacterium involved (Propionibacterium Acnes) is becoming resistant to common antibiotics.
Why Do I Have Acne as an Adult, But Didn’t Suffer from It as a Teenager?
Is Adult Acne Caused by Increased Stress?
Adolescents are not the only ones who experience acne, adults do too. Yes that’s Cameron Diaz suffering!
Adult acne, although it can be deemed hormone related, occurs mostly because of stress. Stress causes adrenaline to release more male hormones so as to keep up with pressure. The knock on affect of this is, too much testosterone causes oilier skin and a hormonal imbalance occurs, two of the most common causes of acne in adults. Stress and acne have a connection.
Stress weakens the entire immune system. If this happens, bacteria and viruses can easily attack your body. This will cause inflammation inside your body that is manifested in many ways. One of these manifestations is called acne.
The link between stress and acne starts with the link between the brain and stomach. Your anxiousness and depression affect the activity of your digestive system. They increase the absorption of toxins and microbes in the digestive tract. This causes inflammation throughout the body, including the skin.
Also, microbes in the stomach increase glucose activity. High-glucose results in high-blood sugar. This prompts the body to start releasing hormones like insulin and testosterone in order to lower levels of blood sugar. Blood sugar will decrease but hormonal imbalance will increase. This leads to acne in adults.
Stress also dehydrates your skin causing it to produce more oils. It may also make you neglect your skincare. Exhaustion may cause you to sleep with makeup or dirt on your skin which again can all all lead to an outbreak of acne.
- Useful Tips
- Stop stressing about your work, life and even acne breakouts. Being frustrated with your skin will just make it worse.
- Do not let acne control you. Think of it as a passing thing and that acne in adults has just hit you but will be soon gone.
- Be optimistic. Believe that you can overcome stress provided you put things into perspective and take charge with hope and confidence.
- Relax. Take a deep breath and get some rest. Rest helps your body heal. It also strengthens your immune system.
- Exercise. Physical activity signals your brain to release more serotonin, a hormone that increases happiness. It also improves blood circulation, which is good for your skin.
- Eat healthy. Avoid salty, fatty and sweet comfort foods. They are only effective on a short-term basis.
- Take care of your skin. Wash with a gentle cleanser before going to bed and moisturize to reduce scarring.
Why Do More Women Suffer Acne?
Women undergo hormonal changes throughout their adult lives so it is unsurprising that adult women suffer around twice as much from acne as adult men do. Adult acne treatment may be sought by women during flare-ups which often occur during menstruation, pregnancy and in the menopause.
- Why Does Acne Commonly Affect Women?
The most common question among many people is why women are more susceptible to Acne attacks. It is a fact that women experience more hormonal changes in their life cycle than men. Bodily activities such as menstruation, menopause and pregnancy definitely lead to some hormonal imbalances a situation that doesn’t affect adult men. At such points there are various adult acne products that women can use to reduce the effects of acne.
Do Adults Get Acne and Blackheads Like Teens Do?
The most popular myth about acne is that it only affects teenagers undergoing adolescence. However, the skin condition is the most experienced dermatological conditions and studies show that a quarter of adult men and as many as half of all adult women are at the risk of contracting the skin infection during their adulthood.
The fact that many consider it as a teenage complication leads to embarrassment and some adults might not avoid their dermatologist. Understanding more about acne can help you to be more confident when seeking treatment from your doctor. It is also good to know about some of the adult acne products that you can use for the infection.
Acne mostly results due to hormonal imbalances in the body that might lead to more secretion of oils onto the skin thus blocking the pores and eventually leading to the painful pimples. These imbalances apply for both the teenagers and adults in their respective stages of life. Adults who use excessive cosmetic products are also more prone to acne infections though research is still ongoing to explain the phenomenon.
There is nothing special about adult acne products as they basically work the same way as those used by teenagers with the condition. The bottom line lies in the fact that the causes of acne among adults is the same as with that of teenagers as earlier discussed above.
The adult acne products are also manufactured to carry out the same functions such as healing the pimples by reducing the bacterial infection or reducing the inflammation. However, there might be some risks involved for pregnant and breast feeding mothers. Some products are discouraged during this period to avoid interfering with the growing baby.
For adults, low concentrations of products based on benzoyl peroxide are advisable to use. They have been found to reduce the severity of the skin infections among adults while also preventing scarring on the affected skin area. Higher concentration medication should only be used if the weaker products are not working. Retinoid creams (such as Adapelene or Roaccutane formerly called Accutane) are also recommended as alternatives though they shouldn’t be used by pregnant women.
If the Retinoids have side effects such as skin dryness, you can try an azelaic acid product such as Acnederm, Azelex and Finace though you should consult your doctor first.
As earlier observed, women are more prone to acne attacks and solutions such as birth-control pills are commonly prescribed. The hormonal content in the pills counters the male hormones such as androgen that are believed to cause acne. However, these shouldn’t be used by nursing mothers or pregnant women.
5 Good Ways to Treat Adult Acne – Secrets or Not
Researchers are not completely sure what causes acne, or that there is even a common explanation that applies to all patients. This makes it very difficult to treat the condition, and you will find several cures for acne available for sale either over-the-counter or by prescription. However, these remedies for acne will often not work for the adult acne sufferers, since they are designed for the specific kind of acne that most teenagers have to deal with.
Instead, the best acne cures for adults come from nature herself. If you are able to eliminate the cause of your acne, then you will dramatically reduce the number of breakouts and pimples that you have.
- Here are 5 Best Remedies to Treating Your Adult Acne
- Treatment #1: Stop stressing out! Adults have to deal with stress on a day to day basis, whether it is on the job, at home with the kids, or from another source. Stress is one of the top triggers to adult acne. If you can find a way to relax or eliminate your main stressors, you will also see a reduction in the frequency and severity of acne breakouts that you have.
- Treatment #2: Get some sleep! Many adults have very busy lives and do not get the sleep they need to regenerate from their active days. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep at night, and you ought to see your acne breakouts decrease in frequency and severity.
- Treatment #3: Drink water! If you are rushing around between work, school, and home, you could be become dehydrated and not even know it. Take a water bottle with you and try to drink at least ten glasses of water a day. Water helps to flush your body of the toxins that cause acne.
- Treatment #4: Honey! While it may be a little messy, applying honey to your acne affected skin can help to dry it out and heal faster. Wash it off in the morning when you wake up with a gentle, all natural cleanser.
- Treatment #5: Watch what you eat! Your diet can be one of the biggest reasons behind your acne problems. Meats have a thermic effect that can worsen acne breakouts. Chocolate is another big offender, as are fried foods. Avoid these foods if you have a lot of acne breakouts. Increasing the number of fruits and vegetables can help reduce the breakouts and provide you with vitamins that you might be missing out on. Some adults also swear on the effects of a detoxifying cleanse for removing acne.
As you can see, none of these treatments are very complicated, nor do they require you to purchase expensive washes and creams. Not only is choosing a natural acne remedy an excellent way to help preventing acne breakouts and getting rid of acne, but it can help your budget tremendously as well.
What are the Causes of Adult Acne?
When you think about problems with acne, the tendency is to reflect on teenage years. High school students aged 13 – 19 are those most often dealing with inflammatory changes in their skin. Some worse than most, and others who are fortunate enough to never even go through it.
We could always blame the problem on the gene pool of the individual. If both parents have experienced acne, chances are their offspring would too at least during the teenage years. After this awkward adolescent phase, they can move on.
However, some are not that lucky. Even in adulthood, acne still strikes. In fact, studies show that adult acne still affects a quarter of the male population, and half of the female population. If you think the threat of acne is over once you’ve removed the suffix teen from your age, you’re mistaken. Acne can still develop in your 20s, 30s, and sometimes into your 40s!
We all know how difficult it can be for a teenager trying to cope with pimples during high school. We sometimes forget that it can be equally difficult for an adult. After all, adulthood is the time of life where this is not supposed to be a problem. It’s true that an adult is not in high school having to deal with their peers, but it is just as stressful having to face your co-workers, meet up with clients, or deal with any face to face situation without the fear of unexpected break-outs.
The causes of adult acne are not specified. There are a number of factors that can be attributed to the problem. If you are an adult having this problem, don’t guess and self-medicate. Take the time to visit your doctor.
The best topical treatment solution for adult acne is benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide is a powerful concentrated bleaching agent that can be applied directly to the affected areas. A concentration of 10%, or even lower will not be overly harmful to the skin. It is available in both a cream, or gel.
The only real problem with benzoyl peroxide is that constant usage may cause skin irritation. The skin irritation will vary depending on the skin type of the person using it. Sometimes, the skin will get very dry. If the person using it has sensitive skin, chances are they could experience a burning sensation, followed by itching. Scratching the skin will only cause the skin to peel, and the general area to swell.
If the adult acne is not genealogically acquired, and is due more to surface impurities on the skin, than a program of prevention is better than having to look for a cure. In these cases, most doctors would merely suggest the obvious. The person will be advised to frequently wash their face with a gentle anti-bacterial soap. This washing is followed by the application of a preferred moisturizer.
Don’t make the mistake of taking the easy way out, buy going home and squeezing your pimples. If you do, there is a good chance you’ll only get scars, and possibly an infection. Who needs that? If you insist that you want them squeezed, go to a dermatologist and have minor acne surgery. At least there they have sterilized instruments.
Check out the other skin care products available at your local drug store. Do not be overwhelmed with the growing number of available products. To find out what is the best solution for the type of adult acne that you have, simple ask your dermatologist. After the prognosis, return to the drug store and buy Azelaic Acid Cream, or any other topical solution that contains lactic, gluconic, and gycolic acid. These will be less harmful than benzoyl peroxide, and may be better suited to your skin type.
Having zits is no fun, regardless of your age. However, we must be careful as adults not to overreact when we experience a breakout. Get good medical advice, and you should be able to successfully treat, and even cure adult acne.
Avoiding the Scams
Home remedies and alternative medicines may also be worth considering. As ever, though, steer well clear of overpriced and unproven herbal preparations. Bear in mind that even well-established scams like homeopathy and acupuncture are entirely ineffective as a treatment for adult acne, despite their popular appeal.
What is the Best Treatment for Adult Acne Today?
Adult acne care is really no different to that which is recommended earlier in life. The causes and symptoms are pretty much the same and the most effective treatment for adult acne is no different either. There are some additional risk factors to bear in mind, notably the constraints imposed by pregnancy and breast-feeding, wherein certain treatments must be avoided.
Medications based on benzoyl peroxide are likely to be the first products to try. These are generally effective in reducing the severity of the outbreak and minimising the likelihood of scarring later. The lowest concentration products should be tried first as they are least irritating to the skin.
Topical creams containing retinoids have some anti-biotic effects, but in severe cases the use of a systemic antibiotic may be recommended. Your dermatologist or physician may be reluctant to prescribe antibiotics, the reason being that there is increasing evidence that the specific bacteria involved are becoming resistant to antibiotic treatment. Preparations based on azelaic acid are effective as a treatment for adult acne when it is mild or moderate.
Hormone treatment has been found to be helpful for female sufferers. As the hormones present in some contraceptive products are effective in counteracting the male hormones responsible for acne, these may be prescribed even though their primary usage is for birth control. Obviously such treatment is not appropriate for pregnant women and nursing mothers.