Skin problems afflict almost everyone growing up, but some never outgrow it, says Jonette Keri, MD, PhD, assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and chief of dermatology at the Miami VA Medical Center. She estimates that nearly 30% of women and 20% of men ages 20 to 60 (and beyond) are troubled by breakouts.
So What Causes Adult Acne?
Adult acne is caused by sebum, an oily substance produced by the skin’s sebaceous glands. Sebum clogs pores, which attract bacteria and become inflamed. For some adults, breakouts are a result of hypersensitivity or overproduction of androgens (male hormones). But an imbalance in both male and female hormones (estrogen) can also cause breakouts. For women, this can happen during pregnancy, perimenopause, and menopause. Some medications, such as corticosteroids, and cosmetics can also contribute to the development of acne.
How Is Adult Acne Treated?
Treating adult acne is tricky. Most acne medications are geared to teens’ oily skin, a bad choice for drier adult skin. Effective treatment often requires a trial-and-error approach that takes time, Keri says. Her recommendations include:
Cleansers: Try a gentle cleanser like TRS Calm and Clear (http://www.secure-booker.com/facialbungalow/ShopOnline/Product/1942819/TRS-Calm-and-Clear-Acne-Wash). Avoid too-strong gels and products containing beads or granules, which are abrasive and can irritate and worsen sensitive skin.
Creams and lotions: Use an over-the-counter retinol product to clean pores and help reduce fine wrinkles. Prevent discoloration and fade acne scars with products that contain salicylic and glycolic acids. And to spot-treat a breakout, use a product with benzoyl peroxide, which helps kill bacteria.
Prescription medications: The topical antibiotic clindamycin helps fight bacteria in the skin; so does tetracycline, another antibiotic, taken orally. Oral contraceptives and spironolactone, a blood pressure drug, can help balance hormones. A gel containing dapsone, an antibiotic, helps fight infection and inflammation involved in acne.
High-tech solutions: Laser and intense pulsed light treatments mainly target scars, but blue light therapy treatments kill acne-causing bacteria. These treatments are costly, though, so explore your other options first.
A Skin-Care Regimen for the Acne Prone
Believe it or not, there’s a trick to skillful face washing. To start, try to keep your face clean during the day. Then wash your face twice daily with the cleanser (if your skin is dry, try using water the second time). Use only warm water (hot water is drying). Wash for just 1-2 minutes (more can irritate your skin). And use your hands instead of a rough washcloth. (If you must wash with a cloth, choose one made for babies, so it’s as soft as possible.)
Get regular facials to keep your pores clean and have a professional esthetician handle your extractions to eliminate scaring and painful areas on your skin.
Our team at the Facial Bungalow is trained to combat acne and would be happy to give you advice on the best treatments available. Please feel free to drop us a line at email@example.com or call 323-570-2664