When one thinks of acne, a teenager may come to mind first. No one expects to have acne as an adult but it is more common than one might think. On average 50 percent of women and 25 percent of men are affected by adult acne. Adult acne is usually attributed to hormonal shifts, allergic reactions to skincare products or medications. The good news is many new treatments and procedures are available.
The cause of adult acne remains unknown, but is often attributed to genetics and hormonal changes. Contributing factors can include: side effects from certain medications, cosmetic products with high oil contents, excessive sweating, diet, stress, pregnancy, and menopause. An acne lesion, blemish or clogged pore is caused when bacteria multiply excessively within the hair follicle. An oil-releasing blockage then develops from the sebaceous gland and enlarged sebaceous oil glands produce an overabundance of oil. Blockages of bacteria and oil then build, leading to adult acne problems such as pimples, inflammation, cysts, and scarring. Adult acne most often appears on the face; however, it can appear on the arms, legs, buttocks, and torso.
Adult acne is a fairly new problem as adult acne has just recently become an epidemic. Acne previously had been a concern of teens and young adults. Dermatological and esthetic treatments for adults will likely be very similar to those used to treat teens. To prevent acne, hormonal and life style changes, such as diet, may be incorporated. The findings have suggested that a lifetime of exposure to hormone enriched foods and medication may be a main culprit in this new wide concern of adult acne.
The appropriate treatment for acne varies depending on each individual. Adult acne treatments include ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, retin-a, accutane, sulfur, tetracycline and/or a variety of over the counter medications. However, there’s more than medicine to treating adult acne. To obtain the best results treatments should include not only skin care products that target acne bacteria, but make changes that affect the body’s internal system. A multifaceted approach of treatments, behaviors, and diet is often most effective. Here are a few simple strategies to help you combat adult acne:
• Consult your doctor about hormonal changes
• Follow a daily skin care regimen
• Protect skin from pollution and environmental damage
• Avoid touching your face
• Avoid exposure to sun and excessive cold
• Select non-oil based cosmetic products
• Eat a well-balanced diet
Natural remedies can also work alone or in combination with professional assistance in clearing adult acne. As stated earlier, diet is a very important factor in adult acne. A diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables, help fight free radicals and skin damage that may be left behind after the acne has cleared. Ointment or creams that are rich in Vitamin E can fight against bacteria and sooth the sensitized acne are. Tea tree oil and herbal extracts have been known to clear acne by fighting bacteria and regulating oil production.
Herbal extracts or herbs to look for in topical or ingested formulas include burdock, yellow dock, cleaver, and sarsaparilla. As adult acne has been a fairly new area of study for dermatologists and estheticians, it is best to follow a treatment plan that is unique to your severity of acne.