Acne is the most common of all skin disorders, affecting almost everyone at some point in their lives. While most people outgrow acne in their late teens or early twenties, about 12% of all women and up to 8% of men will have acne that persists in adulthood. Although the exact cause of adult acne is unknown, stress, cosmetics and hormones all play a role in worsening acne.
How Can I Treat Adult Acne?
Not only is chronic adult acne frustrating, but it can also have long-lasting effects on the self-esteem and confidence of those suffering from it. To combat blemishes, follow a few basic guidelines to improve your skin's condition.
- Avoid the urge to pick or squeeze pimples. Aggravating your acne will only increase inflammation, delay the healing process and lead to scarring.
- Follow a daily skincare regimen to remove oils, make up, sunscreen, and sweat from the surface of your skin.
- When wearing make-up, only use oil-free cosmetics and sunscreens. Wash them off as soon as possible and never go to bed with them on your face.
- Shower after sports or physical activities. Sweat and oil can settle on the skin's surface, trapping dirt and bacteria in the pores.
- Avoid over-washing your skin, as this can make your acne worse.
- Wash gently with a mild facial cleanser once or twice a day. Be cautious of harsh cleansing products that lead to dry, irritated skin.
- If you have oily skin, start with over-the-counter products such as salicylic acid products or benzoyl peroxide products. Most drug stores have a section for acne products in the skin care isle. Don't over pay for fancy products as they usually contain these same ingredients.
- Limit exposure to sun and excess cold.
- Watch what you eat! Sugars and simple carbohydrates will worsen your acne. This is especially true with sugary drinks like soda, canned juice, sports drinks and sweetened coffee drinks. If you diet is mainly rice and pasta, try decreasing these foods and increase your intake of vegetables and lean meats. Dairy products are controversial, but if you drink more than 2 glasses of milk per day, you should avoid skim and lowfat milk. Whole milk or milk substitutes (almond, soy or coconut milk) are preferrable. Organic dairy products or those made from "hormone free" or "BGH free" cows are less likely to contain hormones which can also affect your acne.
- Control your stress. Stress worsens acne. Get enough sleep and plan ahead to avoid stressing yourself out.
- If you use a hormone-based birth control product, consider changing it to one that is more suited to controling acne. Discuss this with your gynecologist.
- Visit your dermatologist. If your skin problems persist, visit your dermatologist for professional treatment.
Fortunately, the physical and emotional effects of acne can be reversed with proper treatment. While adult acne can be persistent, an individualized treatment plan from our office can help you reduce blemishes, prevent scarring and eliminate your acne. With diligent home care and help from your dermatologist, your acne can be significantly improved, allowing you to regain your confidence!