(NaturalNews) Most acne breakouts happen during the teenage years, when the hormones are still in overdrive, but some adults between 25-40 years of age develop what is known as adult acne. Scientific studies have been conducted to understand what adult acne is and how it can be treated.
The following facts were uncovered through years of research:
1. Acne Usually Starts as Blackheads
Blackheads are not black because there is dirt inside; blackheads are trapped dead cells and oil. These get trapped pores and invite bacteria that turn black as they are exposed to the air. These blackheads turn into inflamed, red pimples when prodded by dirty fingers and nails. Infected pimples develop white centers that could end up as scars.
Therefore, to prevent acne, blackheads should be sloughed off by gentle exfoliation. Avoid scrubbing too hard, because it causes further irritation. A good scrub or exfoliant contains AHA or alpha hydroxy acids. Salicylic acid cleansers also work well against blackheads.
2. Adult Acne has Several Causes
Probable causes include bad or dirty cosmetics, stress, contraceptive pills and hormones. Stress and hormones cause the body to produce more oil. Dirty makeup often causes pores to become infected with bacteria. Oral contraceptives containing androgen can also cause acne breakouts.
3. Eating Chocolate Does Not Result in Acne
Fact number 2 details the causes of acne, and chocolate is not one of them. However, while it will not cause acne, chocolate and other dairy products can cause the breakouts to flare up. A better choice for chocolate lovers is dark chocolate, which has more cocoa and less milk and sugar.
4. Adult Acne is Different From Teen Acne
The products for adult acne are different than those for teenage acne, so acne products aimed for teenagers will not work for adult acne. The way to treat adult acne is with the right cleansers and exfoliants. Cleansers with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide will work best for adults with acne, as will gentle exfoliation with AHA or salicylic acid 2-3 times a week.
5. Facials are Good for Skin with Acne
Acne is a condition, not a disease. A trained facialist will know what to put into skin with acne breakouts - zinc, camphor and sulfur masks, gentle exfoliation, extraction of blackheads, then home treatment and follow up.
6. Professional Treatments Work
Commercial treatment kits and professional dermatological treatments do work, as they have worked for so many people and will continue to work on other adults with acne. Just make sure that the treatment kit is specifically for adult acne breakouts and not for teenage acne.
7. The Best Bet is to See a Dermatologist
Most people wait until the very last moment until going to the doctor. Over-the-counter medications like bacteria-fighting benzoyl peroxide and pore-unclogging salicylic acid will only work for basic or mild acne. Severe acne cases should be seen and treated by a dermatologist.
Some treatments that the dermatologist might recommend include antibiotics, retinoids, oral contraceptives and azelaic acid. These are usually covered by insurance policies. Other severe cases might require laser treatments, but those are expensive. Another option is the use of Accutane, which is the most effective treatment and lasts for five months. Accutane, however, should not be taken while pregnant. There are other side effects connected to Accutane, such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease and depression.
8. There is Acne-Fighting Equipment Now
There are commercial devices aimed at targeting acne, and they also work, to a degree. They will work with basic pimples but will not be enough to fight blackheads and the more severe forms of acne, such as cystic acne.
One such device works by producing heat and directing it towards the pimple. The bacteria present in the pimple will be killed by the heat. Blood flow also improves, promoting faster healing.
About the author: Sofiya has written articles on most health-related topics, including traditional medicine, alternative and naturopathic and natural treatments, wellness, medical marijuana, diets and fitness.