Acne. It’s something the majority of us experienced during puberty, so why does it often rear its ugly head (no pun intended) into adulthood? Acne develops when dead skin cells and your skin’s natural oils block the hair follicles in your skin. Bacteria enter the blocked follicles and start multiplying. When your immune cells try to defend themselves against the bacteria, the aftereffects are the classic symptoms of acne – redness, swelling, and spots.
There are many causes of adult acne, but some of the more common include:
Fluctuating or excessive male or female hormones can lead to adult acne because of the changes they create in the body and the environment of the skin. This can lead to a pH imbalance, differences in circulation, or excessive production of oil. Most hormonal fluctuations occur in the process of aging, and for females, during:
There are several culprits that can irritate the skin that can lead to inflammation. This may include harsh cleansers or razors used against dry skin.
Emotional stress causes a rise in hormones which stimulates the glands in your skin that secrete oily matter. When you’re feeling scared, anxious, or pressured, the adrenal glands produce additional cortisol, which can cause an imbalance in the skin.
Physical stress can also trigger hormonal changes, weaken the immune system, and cause inflammation. Several contributors include:
- Extreme weather
- Lack of sleep
- Exposure to environmental irritants
- Air pollution
- Conditions such as allergies or migraines
If you have oily skin, more than likely you’re going to be prone to breakouts as the oil can clog pores. This can cause a rapid turnover of skin cells that can lead to backed up hair follicles, resulting in acne.
While oily skin is usually a trigger for acne, you don’t want to remove so much oil that it makes your skin dry. Stripping your skin of essential oils could equate to your gland’s going into overdrive to bring your skin’s oil level back into balance. This overdrive causes your skin to create too much oil.
Lifestyle & Diet
We all love to indulge every now and then, but if it’s too often, a breakout can occur. The biggest culprits include excessive white flour products, sweets, dairy, fast food, and alcohol.
Whether the sweat source is from working out, lounging by the pool, or a tanning bed, excessive sweat can clog pores and provoke breakouts.
Really? Yes, it’s true so it’s another reason to not forget your sunscreen! Sunburns damage the skin and can cause a breakout two weeks following the sun exposure.
Certain medications have been known to trigger adult acne including corticosteroids, anti-depressants, and epilepsy treatments.
Treating & Preventing Adult Acne
In addition to maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes a well-balanced diet and exercise, there are several ways you can prevent and treat adult acne that can include home remedies, over-the-counter products, and prescriptions.
Keep Your Face Clean
Wash your face with a gentle cleanser morning and night. This helps remove dead skin cells and other excess debris that can clog your pores.
Sure, some of these may be old wive’s tales, but they’ve been around for a reason and often work. Some of the most effective treatments include:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Aloe vera
- Green tea extract
- Tea tree oil
- Vitamin A
Over the Counter Treatments
There are several over the counter products that include the same ingredients such as retinoid or benzoyl peroxide that are readily available at your local drug store. Neosporin works great too!
Prescription Drugs & Medical Treatments
When adult acne has taken a turn for the worse and doesn’t seem to improve, you may want to consider seeing a dermatologist or skin care technician. Some of the treatments they may prescribe include:
- Hydroxy and other beneficial acids
- Oral birth control pills
- Salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide
- Blue light therapy
Are you struggling with adult acne? We can help! For more information on our acne products and skin care services to treat adult acne in the South Tampa area, please give us a call at 813.839.4141.