Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Adult Acne - Causes & Remedy

"You can say acne is a small thing, but if you have it, it's not. It's humiliating. It changes you. You want to retreat and hide out." - Jessica Simpson, singer & actress.

It is so true that acne can be a frustrating problem to those affected by the condition. Many of us think of pimples as the bane of adolescence that will vanish once we grow older, but in reality, many adults are still plagued by acne way into their thirties or even forties. For some adults, they may even start seeing big red spots which they never even had to deal with during their teens. These conditions can be largely grouped as "Adult Acne" or "Adult Onset Acne"

What Causes Adult Acne ?

Hormones. As more than 80% of cases of adult acne occur in women, it is thought that changes in female hormone levels, such as around the time of menses, menopause and switching or stopping birth control pills are contributing factors. Hormonal fluctuations will stimulate oil glands to pump out extra sebum, providing food for P. acnes bacteria and clogging up pores, resulting in adult acne.

Lifestyle. It is also not uncommon to get acne flare-ups during times of stress, such as when chasing a deadline or sitting for an exam. In response to stress, our body produces cortisol and DHEA hormones which are key players in exacerbating acne.

Diet. The current status of the relationship of diet and acne is still under debate. But recent studies have suggested that high-glycemic index foods and dairy products may worsen acne.

Image : Diagnosis diet
Simple carbohydrates and sugar are reported to trigger an inflammatory response and provoke breakouts.
Medical Illness & Medications. In some cases, adult acne can be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Once the medical condition is diagnosed and treated, the acne often clears. Certain types of medication can also cause acne. If you suspect that an underlying medical condition or medication is triggering your acne or making it worse, do consult your doctor for advise. Further investigations may be recommended for females who have acne accompanied by excess facial or body hair and irregular  periods. 

How Does Adult Acne Differ From Teenage Acne ?
Adult acne differs markedly from the spots of your teenage years, both in how it appears and how it is treated. In adults, acne is more likely to appear on the lower part of the face, especially around the mouth and jawline, called the "U-zone" while teenage acne consist of whiteheads and blackheads scattered all over the forehead, nose and cheeks. Adult acne are likely to be hard, stubborn nodules, and resolve much more slowly compared to teenage acne.
Image : Shutterstock
In adults, acne is more likely to appear on the lower part of the face, especially around the mouth and jawline.

Drier, less resilient mature skin also makes adult acne trickier to treat. Some topical acne medications such as Benzoyl Peroxide may cause skin irritation.

How To Fight Adult Acne

Acne should be treated early and effectively to mitigate adverse psychosocial impact and risk of scarring.

The Right Skincare. So how do we fight adult acne without making our skin feel dry or irritated ? As acne isn't caused by dirt, scrubbing our face with harsh cleansers will only makes things worse. Do avoid products with a high concentrations of benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid as grown-up skin is thinner and more prone to irritation. Choose a non-comedogenic moisturizer and always use sunscreen.

Healthy Diet. Avoiding refined sugars, highly processed carbohydrates and dairy products may improve acne in certain individuals. Do balance your diet with low GI eats -think whole grains and veggies.

Lifestyle Modifications. We recommend getting adequate sleep and make time for stress-relieving activities such as yoga or exercise to reduce excess cortisol and let your skin regenerate.

Seek Treatment Early. If adult acne is still bothering you, do consult your doctor for advise. It is important to be aware that very effective treatments are available and you don't have to live with adult acne.