So, you thought that now that you are an adult your days of pimples and acne are over. Then, out of nowhere (it seems) acne strikes again! What happened? It's just not really fair. After all, you've conquered the beast and lived through the tough teen years with acne only to have it arrive on your doorstep - or more accurately, your face - once again.
Acne Vulgaris (yuk)
Acne vulgaris (not a very nice name) is the technical name for the acne experienced by nearly 85 percent of adolescents. Acne is not only common to teens, it frequently occurs in adults; however, this adult condition is under-recognized. One in five women between the ages of 25 and 40 suffer from adult acne.
Acne usually begins with blackheads, which are not dirt in the pores but rather oil and dead cells trapped in a pore, blocking the duct, and then mixing with bacteria. When exposed to air, these pores turn black. Red pimples are the result of inflamed blackheads and they tend to spread if touched with dirty hands. Infected pimples become whiteheads or pustules. These can break and leave scars in their wake.
To get rid of blackheads, wash gently (most people tend to scrub way too hard and that causes inflammation) with an alpha-hydroxy acid exfoliant. Another type of cleanser would be a salicylic acid type which cleans out pores better than scrubs.
Causes of Adult Acne
Several things can cause adult acne. Stress, bad cosmetics, hormones and birth control pills are but a few. Stress causes the oil glands to over compensate. Bad cosmetics can lead to bacteria-laden pores and hormones cause the sebaceous glands to overact. Birth control pills with androgen (a male hormone) can cause breakouts as well.
By now we all know that foods generally do not cause acne. So enjoy your chocolate and cheese, and while you're at it, enjoy a good facial as well. Since acne is not a disease but a skin condition, a good facialist knows exactly how to treat it: sulphur, zinc and camphor masks, exfoliation, blackhead extractions, and at-home follow-up will likely be the treatment protocol.
Treat It Yourself Or With Your Doctor's Help
As long as the acne you have is mild to moderate, you can probably treat it quite successfully using a medicated cleanser with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid and exfoliate with a salicylic acid treatment which will clean out the pores. If the acne you are dealing with is of a more severe nature, it is important to see a dermatologist for prescription treatment. Don't wait too long to see a doctor for your skin problems. If you have basic acne, over-the-counter treatments should do for you, but for serious acne you need serious medication.
Along with all of this, there are treatment systems available, such as Proactiv Solution which is a three-step program and works very effectively. And, the big surprise is the new machines that target acne, like the Zeno Acne Clearing Device which works for general pimple situations quite well.
Whatever your choice, there are myriad ways to deal with your not-so-uncommon problem of adult acne.