Effective Solutions For Adult Acne
Effective Solutions For Adult Acne
Acne: a skin condition characterized by red pimples on the skin, especially on the face, due to inflamed or infected sebaceous glands and prevalent chiefly among adolescents.
you should have learned the following key points:
- There are three common skin types: oily skin, dry skin and combination skin.
- Oily skin is the skin type that has the most frequent acne breakouts. To get rid of acne with oily skin, you’ll need a treatment regimen that clears clogged pores and fights acne causing bacteria. The most common acne treatment mistakes that people with oily skin make are over-washing and over-drying their skin.
- Individuals with dry skin may also get acne breakouts. In this case, the best treatment is to use an exfoliating cleanser as well as a moisturizer to reduce the dry, dead skin cells on the surface that may cause acne.
- Individuals with combination skin may experience acne breakouts in their T-zone. Spot-treating T-zone blemishes and treating the skin to improve its overall health is the best course of action.
- No matter what your skin type, acne-free skin begins from the inside out with diet and lifestyle choices.
When the breakouts won’t quit
There are some things we may miss about our teenage years—say, the ability to stay up till all hours and then sleep till noon. One thing that’s not on our nostalgia lists? A sprinkling of pimples on our faces. But it turns out that many of us are noticing blemishes at the same time we’re encountering wrinkles.
A 2012 study published in the Journal of Women’s Health found that acne affects nearly half of all women ages 21 to 30, a quarter of women ages 31 to 40, and 12% of women ages 41 to 50. No matter how old we are, pimples usually form in the same time-honored way: Pores—which contain oil glands—become blocked, letting dirt, bacteria, and cells build up and form a plug.
Why it happens
For most women, hormonal changes, either around the monthly cycle or during a menopausal shift, are the culprit. But dietary imbalances and stress also cause flare-ups. “Acne in adults is like a whistle blow. Often it’s a sign that something else not quite right is going on,” says Michael Murray, ND, a naturopath and coauthor of The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine.
Here, a range of solutions for sufferers.
New: Fewer refined carbs
“Eating chocolate or a lot of junk food doesn’t by itself seem to cause acne, but not having a balanced diet and eating too many refined carbs can cause problems,” says Albert Lefkovits, MD, director of the Park Avenue Center for Advanced Medical and Cosmetic Dermatology in New York City. In a 2007 study, Australian researchers found that people who followed a low-glycemic index (GI) diet (which is low in refined carbohydrates like those found in white bread) had a 22% decrease in acne lesions, compared with a control group that ate more high-GI foods. Scientists suspect that raised insulin levels from the carbs may trigger a release of hormones that inflame follicles and increase oil production.
New: Less dairy
A 2006 Harvard study found that girls who drank two or more glasses of milk daily had about a 20% higher risk of acne than those who had less than a glass a week. Studies published last year and in 2008 suggested that fat-free milk in particular, which is higher in sugar than whole milk, might be a culprit. (Another hypothesis is that hormones in dairy products play a role.) If you regularly drink fat-free, consider switching to 1% milk or nondairy nut milks (look for those that have fewer than 10 g of sugar per serving).
New: Blue light therapy
These powerful rays penetrate follicles to kill off acne-causing bacteria. For severe cases, photodynamic therapy adds a topical solution called Levulan to blue light therapy. Note that these treatments can cause temporary redness and may not be covered by insurance .
Long used to treat high blood pressure, prescription Aldactone (spironolactone) is now getting a second life as a treatment for hormonal acne. The drug (a tablet taken orally) blocks receptors of the hormone androgen, helping to limit the testosterone surges that can prompt pimples.
Natural: Tea tree oil
Less irritating than its chemical cousin benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil has a long history of fighting mild to moderate acne outbreaks. The oil, which comes from the leaves of a tree native to Australia, has antiseptic properties that help reduce acne-causing bacteria on the skin and quell inflammation in skin cells. “We’ve seen it work against a wide range of organisms, including 27 of the 32 strains of acne-causing bacteria,” says Murray. Multiple studies, including a review last year in the International Journal of Dermatology, back the plant’s power. You can find tea tree oil in a wide variety of soaps, skin washes, and topical solutions. Look for a minimum concentration of 5% of the oil (up to 15% for more severe acne).
Natural: Salt reduction
Some doctors suspect that sodium has consequences for skin, because the iodine frequently found in table salt and some seafood may worsen acne breakouts. Stick to low-sodium versions of packaged foods, and try to keep your overall salt consumption below 1,500 mg a day.
Natural: Stress management
“Stress doesn’t create skin disease on its own, but it can make any existing issues worse,” says Beth McLellan, MD, a dermatologist at NYU Langone’s Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health in New York City. Researchers haven’t established just why stomach-churning anxiety creates skin blemishes, but they point the finger at stress hormones such as cortisol for increasing inflammation levels in the body and stimulating oil glands. In any case, managing stress through exercise, meditation, or whatever method helps calm your nerves may also calm your skin.
Tried & true: Topical antibacterials and retinoids
For mild to moderate acne, dermatologists often suggest a cleanser with bacteria-killing benzoyl peroxide (to minimize irritation, try 10% strength), along with a prescription topical antimicrobial such as clindamycin or erythromycin. Stronger cases may call for prescription retinoids (such as Retin-A or Tazorac), which “are really the standard of care for most acne therapy,” says Joshua Zeichner, MD, a dermatologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. Newer drugs, such as Epiduo and Ziana, combine retinoids with antibacterials and may be more effective than separate products. Because retinoids also have antiwrinkle properties (they help stimulate collagen production), they can be especially beneficial for adult acne sufferers.
Tried & true: Birth control pills
Oral contraceptives can help normalize hormonal surges and regulate monthly cycles so that oil glands don’t go into overdrive, says Zeichner. Doctors may prescribe one of four brands of birth control pills—Yaz, Beyaz, Estrostep, and Ortho Tri-Cyclen—that are FDA approved for treating acne. As always, patients taking oral contraceptives should be aware of potential risks, including blood clots.
Tried & true method: Salicylic acid
Among the most popular OTC remedies is salicylic acid, which is incorporated into gels, wipes, creams, and sprays. The acid reduces swelling and redness and unplugs pores. To keep skin from becoming too dry, look for formulas geared to adult women, not teens (aim for 2% salicylic acid to start). Some skin care lines offer salicylic acid products that address acne and wrinkles alike.
Reference:Al Sears MD,Murad