8 Adult Acne Facts (Plus, How to Treat it)

23 Sep

If you noticed the acne you had when you were 15 has returned in your 30s, rest assured, you’re in good company. One in five women between the ages of 25 and 40 suffer from adult acne. Here are a few facts about adult acne and how to rid your skin of it:

Fact #1: Acne usually begins with blackheads Blackheads are not dirt, they’re actually the result of oil and dead cells getting trapped in a pore where they block the duct and mix with bacteria. They then turn black when exposed to air. Red pimples develop when blackheads become inflamed and they spread when touched with dirty hands. When the pimple becomes infected, it develops a whitehead or pustule.

So how to banish blackheads? Gently, according to San Francisco dermatologist Seth Matarasso in InStyle Magazine. People tend to scrub too hard, which causes inflammation, he says. Instead of a grainy scrub, Matarasso suggests trying an exfoliant with alpha-hydroxy acids. A good one is Lancome Pure Focus Deep Pore Refining Scrub. You can also use a salicylic acid cleanser like Bliss Clog Dissolving Cleansing Milk. These chemical products clean out pores better than scrubs. For a great quick fix, Biore Pore Perfect Strips will get rid of your blackheads.

Fact #2: There are several causes of adult acne These are: Stress, bad cosmetics, hormones and birth control pills. Stress causes your oil glands to overcompensate. Bad cosmetics lead to bacteria-laden pores. Hormones cause the sebacuous glands to overact and birth control pills with androgen in them can cause breakouts.

To keep breakouts at bay, look for oil-free, non-acnegenic products like Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel and Neutrogena Oil-free Cleanser.

Fact #3: Chocolate does not cause acne While it won’t cause acne (see Fact #2 above), research shows that dairy can cause acne to flare-up. So if you like chocolate, stick to dark chocolate.

Fact #4: Don’t treat adult acne like the teen kind The products you used as a teenager won’t work on adult skin. Here’s a 2-step program for cleansing and treating your blemished skin:

Step 1: Pick the right cleanser. Look for medicated cleansers with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.

Step 2: Exfoliate with a salicylic acid treatment, which will clean out pores. Just don’t exfoliate too much or scrub too hard. Two to 3 times a week is perfect.

Fact #5: Your skin will benefit from a good facial Why? Because acne is not a disease, rather it is a condition of the skin and a good facialist knows exactly what your skin needs: Sulfur, zinc and camphor masks, exfoliation, blackhead extractions and at-home follow-up.

Fact #6: Treatment systems have completely cleared up skin on many people Proactiv Solution 3-step System is a classic kit that has worked wonders on many. Mario Badescu Drying Lotion is another program that is highly recommended and my friends with acne personally recommend MD Skincare All-Over Blemish Solution.

Fact #7: The dermatologist will clear your skin up fast Too many women wait to see a doctor for their skin problems. If you have basic acne, over-the-counter treatments with salicylic acid (there’s that magic word again) to unclog pores and benzoyl peroxide to reduce bacteria on skin should do you, but for serious acne, a dermatologist has an arsenal of products to clear up your skin.

Retinoids, antibiotics, azelaic acid and birth control pills are all options usually covered by insurance. You might consider laser treatments, but these are more costly (about $500-$2,400). Severe cases are best cleared up by Accutane, which is a 5-month course that is considered the most effective treatment available. However Accutane is controversial and can lead to a host of side effects including birth defects if taken during pregnancy. Other side effects can include severe depression, Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative colitis.
Fact #8: Yes, those new machines that target acne do work We were surprised to hear this as well, but the reports are out on machines like Zeno Acne Clearing Device and they are good. They won’t help blackheads or deep cystic acne, but they do work for your general run-of-the-mill pimples, according to Glamour Magazine.
So how do they work? The Zeno, which is a handheld machine that looks like an iPod, works by driving heat through a pimple. The heat kills the bacteria and supposedly improves blood circulation to the affected area so it heals faster. Clinical trials show 90% of pimples treated with Zeno disappeared or were significantly reduced within 24 hours.


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