One of the best things about being a teenager is that you know that you will get to be an adult one day. You will be able to have those late nights out, be able to drive and very importantly- you will stop getting acne. But wait- is the joke not on you? The first two definitely turned out that way- but acne? It’s one thing that can haunt you forever.
As a matter of fact, a number of adults suffer from blemish flare-ups and the truth is that acne is not something that ONLY teenagers have to worry about. Adult acne affects more women than men and 1 in 5 women in the 25-40 years age range suffer from it.
The Important Facts
Though you will find a lot of medications and medicated creams that purportedly clear-up acne, the fact is that they are nothing more than temporary effects and the minute you stop using them- those dreaded zits and pimples will rear their ugly heads and mar your complexion. Let’s take a look at some acne facts and understand what can be done to cure it.
Blocked Pores Cause Acne– When blocked pores get infected, they result in acne. A large percentage of pimples start out as blackheads and are caused when dead cells and oil get trapped in pores. They block the ducts & mix with bacteria and result in an acne outbreak on your skin. The important thing to remember is that acne should never be picked-that will only cause it to spread
Are Hormones to Blame?– Hormones kick-off overactive sebaceous glands and that’s exactly how teenagers tend to be more affected by acne and also why post-menopausal women do not suffer from them. But today, we all consume a lot of hormone-enriched meat products and dairy foods and our stress-laden lives also result in our hormones going haywire. Switch to organic meats and & dairy products and focus on reducing stress with activities like meditation or yoga.
Don’t Blame Chocolate and Fried Foods– Blocked pores are the culprits that cause acne. Fried foods and chocolates do not do that. But they cause the sebaceous glands in your body to overproduce. The best way to remedy this is to stick only to dark chocolate and control the amount of fried foods you eat. Supplement your diet with fresh fruits & veggies as high-fiber diets help you maintain healthy digestion, which in turn results in better skin
How Adult Acne is Different from Teen Acne– A teenager’s skin is very different from the skin of someone who is 30. The older the skin, the more sensitive it gets and it tends to react very badly to OTC products that contain 2% salicylic acid or 10% benzoyl peroxide. It’s important for an adult suffering from acne to choose skin products that have benzoyl peroxide in the 2% range & salicylic acid gels, cleansers and pads in the range of .5%.
About Tea Tree Oils -In addition to benzoyl peroxide that is effective in killing bacteria & salicylic acid that is an excellent defoliant, tea tree oils fight inflammation on the skin & scalp.
Don’t over-exfoliate your Skin– Most acne sufferers believe that using a larger number of products will help their skin heal faster. It’s much better to stick to one good product and follow a regular skin cleansing routine. Keep facial scrubs at an arm’s length- they will simply and tear the skin. It’s much better to stick to gels and exfoliators in cream.
Follow this 4-step Treatment– Clearing up acne is much better with a combination of benzoyl peroxide & salicylic acid. The latter clears the pores while the former helps in killing bacteria:
- Use a mild cleanser to clean the skin or better still, use warm water to rinse your face
- Apply a cleanser/pad/gel that contains 3% benzoyl peroxide (these are easily available at chemist stores)
- Apply a gel/pad that contains .5% salicylic acid
If none of the above treatments work, it is best to see a dermatologist. Azelaic acid, antibiotics, retinoids, laser treatments etc are some of the options available to you. At the end of the day, acne is something that can be dealt with effectively with different natural methods as well as the help of dermatologists. You just have to be a little persistent and patient with your approach and bid the acne farewell for good.