In this article we will be discussing Adult Acne. How we get it and what it is and what causes adult acne. Also, the different types of acne in adults and what’s the best treatment for adults with acne.
Acne is an inflammatory skin condition that most often occurs during our teen years. In fact acne is in the top 10 of skin diseases in the world. But if you are reading this, I guess you know that acne does affect adults as well. In the last 20 years or so the number of adults who get acne has increased and one study showed that over 80% of females and 15% of males have adult acne.
There are solutions for adult acne and they are not to dis-similar to those that are used to combat teen acne.
The types of acne we get as adults are also the same as those that we got in our teenage years and you can have more than one type of acne at the same time.
If you don’t want to read much more and want a solution now, then these two links will get you on your way to fixing the problem of adult acne. They both work for males and females. They also work on any skin type and skin tone.
- Exposed Skin Care has a 98% success rate, they have a guarantee that works on their products (but you probably won’t need it). Follow the link and head to products/kits, we recommend the middle kit as it has everything you need.
- Balm Labs is especially formulated for adults and is also very successful in halting adult acne. We would also definitely recommend this product as well.
There is a growing trend for light therapy as well and it certainly seems to help. Red Light is for general skin upkeep, toning and scar treatment and blue light helps in acne treatment and some studies have shown it is effective in above 70% of cases. There is an article about light therapy available by following this link.
Back to the types of acne we may have as an adult. We do recommend trying topical treatments as listed above but if there are no visible results within a couple of months it may be time to see a health care professional and this may lead to prescription medicine.
Types of Acne
These are noninflammatory spots which include Blackheads and Whiteheads and they are usually caused by your skin pores being blocked from such things as dirt, oils and dead skin cells. These are the most common form and we are all likely to get them at some stage in our lives.
Whiteheads and Blackheads are very similar, the only difference being that whiteheads have skin covering them, Blackheads don’t and are referred to as “open comedones,” they are created from the blocked oil in your skin becoming oxidized by air and this turns them black.
Both Blackheads and Whiteheads are different from pustules as they don’t contain pus and cannot spread to other parts of the face.
They can be treated with salicylic acids, face scrubs and general upkeep of facial hygiene.
These Papules are small red bumps that often appear as clusters on the skin. They are caused by blocked pores mixing with bacteria and create inflamed lesions in the surrounding skin tissue.
For papules and other inflammatory acne, generally, the most effective treatment is benzoyl peroxide which kills the bacteria.
This is your typical “pimple” or “zit,” this type of acne looks large and red with a white or yellow core. The core contains pus from bacteria and it can spread if you pick at them, this can lead to further breakouts on other parts of the skin. They can be quite tender to the touch but can go away on their own.
The process can be sped up with the application of benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid which kill the bacteria and draw out the excess oils.
One of the most severe forms of acne is cystic acne. Cysts are large and painful pimples without heads. They are caused by oil and bacteria being trapped under the surface of the skin and often appear on the chin or jaw. Do not pop or pick these pimples because it can lead to further breakout and scarring.
Nodules are painful and hard lumps and lie deep within the body, they have no heads or visible centers. They are caused by clogged pores which can then cause damage to the tissues and cells deep beneath the skins surface.
It is possible to have more than one type of acne at once!!
Another condition, rosacea, is often referred to as “adult acne,” but it is different from classic acne because the bumps are usually smaller and they appear all at once, in cycles. The treatment for Rosacea is different from the treatment for acne, for more information on Rosacea please follow this link.
The Causes of Adult Acne
It doesn’t matter what form of stress or where it comes from. Stress can cause breakouts. Stress causes an increase in androgens and this stimulates your sebaceous glands and you start producing more sebum, which you don’t want. This covers both physical and emotional stress and neither is good for us.
Excessively Dry or Oily Skin
Some of us try to reduce oil and acne by drying out our skin. We think, dry skin, no oil, better for the skin. Not so. By trying to do this it causes our sebaceous glands to go into overdrive as they try to bring your skin’s oil level back into balance. This overdrive mode creates too much oil, leaving you at a higher risk for breakouts.
For women, hormonal changes are a lot more common than in men and these hormonal changes tend to create more oily skin even if you have a sensitive skin type. There will be more on this shortly.
You are what you eat and drink – generally, you are whatever you put in your body. Take notice of how your diet affects your skin. For some adults, drinking alcohol, eating certain foods, and using some prescription medications can all cause breakouts. If you are experiencing an increase in acne, review any recent lifestyle changes to try to root out the cause of the problem.
Chemicals and Irritants
Some chemicals and irritants in the skincare products you’re using can cause inflammation and lead to acne. Inflamed skin is more likely to see a build of up white blood cells, causing pimples to appear. These are the easy chemical and irritants to fix. To avoid this, choose skincare products made with gentle, natural ingredients. Know your skin and avoid any ingredients that tend to cause irritation, redness, or other negative reactions. A recommendation is noncomedogenic – it doesn’t block the pores.
Chemicals and Irritants in our surroundings are more difficult to control but be aware, especially if you work in an industry which brings you into contact them.
The Solution to Adult Acne
Clean your skin gently.
Don’t get all vigorous with it, this may actually make things worse. Use only your fingertips (no nails) or a soft washcloth. Clean all the areas, initially don’t go near break out areas, you can save this for last as you don’t want to spread any of the bacteria. When you have done all the areas on your face ( and if need be other parts of your body) then move onto the breakout areas. If you are a sporty type a double wash at night is a good idea, clean, rinse and repeat.
Use a Toner or Astringent
This helps remove excess oils and helps tone and hydrate the skin and depending on the ingredients it can help on blackheads and acne. Apply the product on a cotton ball or pad and gently smooth all over the face (and any other areas) and neck to help remove the last bits of cleanser and oil.
You do have to be a little bit careful of your skin type as you don’t want to dry out your skin too much or if you have oily skin you want it to be effective. It may be best to try to avoid products with too much alcohol ( do not drink it!!).
This step can be missed if you find it’s creating too much havoc with your skin but with the products we recommend it should be fine.
Apply Acne Treatment
After the toner has dried completely or after your face is completely clean and dry – don’t get vigorous with drying, patting the skin is better than rubbing it like crazy. Smooth on your acne treatment as directed. Let the treatment absorb or dry completely before going to the next step.
Apply an Oil Free Moisturizer or Gel
Before you say I’m crazy – you wouldn’t be the first though. It may seem like adding a moisturizer to already oily skin is counter-intuitive but this is an important step so please don’t skip it. Acne treatments can dry out the skin, so to reduce dry and peeling skin apply this twice a day.
Your moisturizer shouldn’t leave your skin feeling slick and greasy, good treatments are easily absorbed by the skin and won’t aggravate acne.
Keep it Up
So this is three or four steps, a couple of songs long in the morning and evening – or whatever you choose to do to offset the time.
It will take a bit of money but if it will help your skin and self-esteem is it worth it?
The other thing is about sun protection, with or without acne this is hugely important. With acne, a lot of the treatments you use may make your skin more susceptible to sun damage, it’s no good to get rid of acne but look 90 when you are 29, 39 or 49!!! It’s not that bad but be aware that sun damage is a possibility. A lot of moisturizers do contain a SPF factor, if yours doesn’t then look for a sunscreen for the face as these tend to be less oily and perfumed.
Back to our recommendations
By following this regimen for a month or so you should see a marked improvement in your acne and feel as though you now have it under control, if after 2 months there is no visible improvement then it may be time to see a health care professional and look at prescription type medicines. I wish you all the best on this journey and I sincerely hope that you can banish this skin condition quickly.
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