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Adult Acne

Adult acne affects 25% of all adult men and 50% of adult women at some time in their adult lives. These are the official statistics, but there are hardly any adults who have not had a zit or two in their adult lives. People can develop unpleasant acne or have an acne recurrence in their 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond. It can be difficult to cope with no matter your age, and can cause depression and social anxiety in an adult the same way it can in a teen.

Although the causes of adult acne are unknown, it is thought that adult acne may sometimes have hormonal roots. The appropriate adult pimple treatment may involve getting your hormones in check which requires a trip to your doctor.

There are many adult acne products, however, the overall best treatment for adult acne is identical to the best treatment for teen acne, benzoyl peroxide. See the Regimen for a step-by-step program you can use to clear your skin using benzoyl peroxide. Thousands of adults have used the Regimen with great results.

It is important to realize that adult acne is more common than people may think, and adult sufferers are not alone. If you are troubled by adult onset acne, promptly consult your doctor. She or he may have a hormonal adult acne treatment that can help, or read the Regimen and give it a go.

You can find further tips to stop adult acne on the message boards. Many adults frequent the boards and are happy to answer questions.

Causes of Adult Acne

The acne of your teen years has an ugly medical name: Acne vulgaris. That's to distinguish it from acne rosacearosacea -- more often called rosacea. But regular old acne isn't just for kids; adults can get it, too.

Adult acne is a very common problem, but an under-recognized one. Acne can occur later in life. It can be one or both types. People think it doesn't happen in adults, but it does.

At the heart of acne lies the pimple -- what doctors call a comedo. It's a plug of fat, skin debris, and keratin (the stuff nails, hair, and skin are made of) stuck in a hair duct. When it's open, we call it a blackhead. When it's closed over, we call it a whitehead. Whiteheads often cause the walls of the hair duct to rupture. This leads to redness, infection, and the papules, pustules, nodules, and cystscysts of acne.

Boys are more likely to suffer acne scarring than girls. But girls are more likely to have adult acne.

Nearly everybody thinks that acne results from poor hygiene. That's just not so. Adult acne and teen acne are caused by a combination of several factors: hormones leading to excess oil secretion, faulty closing of the hair duct, and infection. Gentle face washing twice a day is much better than more frequent washing.

Treatment of Adult Acne

When adult acne is treated in a doctor's office it's called "acne surgery". When done at home, it's called squeezing pimples. It gets immediate results -- but when you squeeze pimples at home, you are begging for infection and scars. And squeezing or picking at pimples is a great way to get your acne to spread. Don't do it! Doctors use a special sterile instrument to prevent scarring, infection, and acne spread.

Or you can check out the skin care products aisle at your local drug store. If you've ever tried to buy acne remedies, you know the drug store is loaded with all kinds of products. Which ones should you use?

Which treatment is best depends on which type of acne you have. It may well be worth a visit to dermatologist. They often have samples they could give you to try. People can spend a fortune on over-the-counter medicines when there is maybe one single prescription drug that could solve the problem. Be sure to use oil-free, non-comedogenic lotions or sunscreens. Use something very simple to wash your face with, as well as low-strength benzoyl peroxide. But it would be best to see a doctor to prevent possible acne scarring.

The biggest breakthrough in acne treatment has been the development of topical retinoic acid, a form of vitamin A. New slow-release forms of this medicine greatly reduce the irritation it can cause.

Other acne treatments target the various causes of acne. They're often used in combination. These acne treatments include:

  • Azelaic acid cream
  • Alpha-hydroxy acids (including glycolic acid, lactic acid, and gluconic acid)
  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Topical antibiotics (gels, lotions, and solutions) 
  • Antibiotic pills (haphazard use may lead to antibiotic resistance)
  • Birth control pills for women

Factors that worsen acne:

  1. Using abrasive cleansing agents or using vigorous scrubbing during cleansing can increase sebum production and damage the skin.
  2. Squeezing pimples can lead to rupture, more inflammation, and permanent acne scars.
  3. Using cosmetics or other oily skin or hair products which block pores. All oily selenium should be avoided.
  4. Stress and fatigue can cause increased production of hormones by the adrenal gland with increased levels of androgens. These hormones can worsen acne.
  5. (Athletes who take anabolic steroids, which contain androgenic hormones, may experience acne.)
  6. The pre-menstrual period in women can be a time of increased acne due to hormonal shifts. Approximately 70 percent of menstruating women experience minor acne before their period which is indicative of temporary hormone change.
    Similarly, some birth control pills contain androgens which can worsen acne.
  7. Winter tends to be a time of worse acne for many people, as the pores shrink in much colder weather, causing more clogging of pores. However, very warm weather provides a better environment for bacteria to grow on the skin exterior.
  8. Hats and headbands which cover the forehead can lead to a localized outbreak, as can excessive sweating.
  9. Dehydration can worsen acne. Consuming more water helps us to reduce facial redness and sebaceous gland oils.
  10. Adult acne is sometimes the result of stress and/or dehydration.

So please take care to avoid all the above aggravating factors. Also remember to:

  • Wash your face regularly with medicated soaps only
  • Drinks a large quantity of water.
  • Use only tea tree oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil and lavender oil.