Past your teenage years and still facing zit outbursts?
Skin problems affect almost everyone growing up but unfortunately some of us never outgrow it. If you’re one of those who are way past their teens and still troubled by breakouts, be assured you’re in good company. One in every five adults aged 25 to 40 suffer from adult acne.
HOW IS ADULT ACNE DIFFERENT FROM THOSE WE GET AS TEENAGERS?
Adult acne usually appears on the face, along the jawline and neck, and is often accompanied by dryer or combination skin. The redness tends to last longer because the skin doesn’t heal as rapidly. We also treat adult acne differently because as you get older your skin gets more fragile and dry and may not be able to handle the harsh cleansing agents that may have worked when you were younger.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF ADULT ACNE?
Acne is formed from sebum, an oily substance produced by fat glands, which reaches the surface of our skin through the pores to moisturise and protect the skin. When sebum clogs the pores, it attracts bacteria and become inflamed. One of the main causes of adult acne is an imbalance in both male and female hormones. For women, this usually happens during pregnancy, premenopause and menopause. Heredity, stress and cosmetics can also lead to adult acne. If you had acne as a teen, there is a higher chance it will resurface as an adult, due to your genetic make up. Stress causes your oil glands to reimburse. Even if you are stressing about having adult acne, that stress can trigger more outbreaks. Poor quality cosmetics or too much make-up can also lead to acne. Often adults use more skin products than needed. Pick the right products and use only how much is needed. Some anti-wrinkle creams may be too harsh for your skin.
Another very common acne-like condition is rosacea, which is a benign skin condition of persistent redness over the areas of the face and nose that normally blush. They appear like acne because of the red or pink patches, lines, bumps or even cysts. Many people who have rosacea are unaware of it and just think they blush easily or are just very sun sensitive. Rosacea is quite common in adults aged between 30 to 50, especially those with fair skin and is more common in men than women.
WHAT IS A RECOMMENDED CLEANSING REGIMEN TO AVOID PIMPLES?
To stay clear of pimples, you need to keep your face clean during the day. And there’s a trick to doing that. Wash your face twice daily with a gentle cleanser for one to two minutes. If your skin is dry, try using only water the second time. Avoid hot water because it is drying. Don’t exfoliate too much or scrub too hard. And most importantly, use the right products to cleanse your face. Using suitable over-the-counter skincare products can definitely help prevent acne.
HOW DO WE PICK THE PRODUCTS?
The first step to finding the most effective product for your specific needs is understanding the ingredients listed. For cleansers, pick one with salicylic and glycolic acid as it helps to exfoliate dead skin, preventing your pores from becoming clogged. For creams and lotions, use retinol products to cleanse pores and reduce fine wrinkles. To treat a spot breakout, use a product with benzoyl peroxide, as it helps kill bacteria. Certain birth-control pills can help too, as they can suppress the hormones and androgens that stimulate the oil glands.
HOW DO DERMATOLOGISTS TREAT ADULT ACNE?
We have a range of products to clear up your skin depending on the severity of your condition. If the cause is a hormonal imbalance, then we work on rebalancing the hormones. Rosacea can be treated using lasers to get rid of the red spots and bumps. For other cases, a night-time treatment that combines retinoid and an antibiotic usually does the job. Antibiotics kill bacteria, reduce the concentration of some fatty acids and also reduce irritation. For more severe cases, Accutane, which is a five-month course, is quite effective. But again, the choice of treatment used depends on the cause, severity and area of the acne.
HOW DO YOU RECOMMEND WE TREAT SCARS CAUSED BY BREAKOUTS?
I’d normally recommend Sublative Rejuvenation, which is a unique technology that uses radio frequencies to send heat energy into the dermis where it can produce significant dermal impact with minimal epidermal disruption. It takes about 10 to 20 minutes and requires only about three treatments for results. Dermabrasion, laser and intense pulsed light treatments are also commonly used to treat scars. Dermabrasion reduces scarring by sanding away damaged skin.