Acne isn’t just for teens. Many people have it as adults.
Some of our patients aren’t even plagued by acne until they’re in college. As most people are outgrowing breakouts by that age.
It doesn’t have to be that way. There are steps you can take to turn your skin around at any age.
What Causes Acne?
There are many reasons you can break out as an adult. Stress or changes in your hormone levels, like menopause or switching or stopping birth control pills, are two possibilities.
Some medications, including lithium, anti seizure drugs, and corticosteroids, can cause acne.
Other things that can make acne worse include:
- Friction caused by leaning on or rubbing the skin; harsh scrubbing.
- Picking or squeezing blemishes
Your dermatologist, or esthetician, can help you figure out why your acne is happening. In some cases, it may be related to another condition.
What Does Acne Look Like?
Acne can appear as one of the following:
Whiteheads: White dots that are pores impacted with oil and skin covered by skin layers.
Blackheads: Black bumps that are impacted pores in which material pushes out through the follicles. The black color is not from dirt. It may be from bacteria, dead skin cells, and matter that react with oxygen.
Papules, pustules, or nodules: More serious lesions appearing red and swollen due to inflammation or infection of the tissue around the clogged follicles, which are often painful and feel hard.
Cysts: Deep, pus-filled pimples.
Daily Skin Care
It’s very important to cleanse your skin every day. Follow these simple steps as a daily regimen:
- Wash your face no more than twice a day.
- Use cool or warm water and a gentle cleanser.
- Use your hands, a baby washcloth (it’s gentler than a regular one), or a cleansing brush for 30 seconds.
- Pat (don’t rub) your skin dry.
The types of products you can use to curb your acne include:
Cleansers. Cleansers wash away dirt, grime, makeup, and pollution. A good cleanser will also let other skin products reach your skin and work better. Choose gentle cleansers that won’t strip your skin. Our favorite gentle cleanser is our Candessa Calming Foam Cleanser, as it gently cleanses and nourishes your skin, while the foaming easily wipes away dirt and makeup.
Over-the-Counter Creams and Lotions. Retinoid creams or lotions can help clear your skin and also lessen wrinkles. Products made with sulfur can be good for the occasional spot treatment. Benzoyl peroxide is another acne fighter. Use benzoyl peroxide products only occasionally, because they can dry out your skin. Salicyclic acid is another great choice as it is an oil-loving acid and great for oily acne. Between our Glo and Candessa lines we have many effective treatment options when it comes to serums, creams, and masks.
Cosmetics. Some cosmetics include salicylic acid, which as we mentioned before, fights acne. In general, look for skin care products that say on the label that they are noncomedogenic (which means they don’t clog pores) or non-acnegenic (they don’t cause breakouts).
Prescription Medications. Medications that affect hormones, like birth control pills, can help control acne. You might discuss antibiotic pills and prescription retinoids with your dermatologist. There are also antibiotics that are effective. Doctors may prescribe Aldactone (spironolactone), which was first made to treat high blood pressure, to treat acne. While Aldactone is a very effective method, it can take up to three months to kick in. Isotretinoin is another prescription drug for acne, but you can’t take it if you’re pregnant or planning to get pregnant.
High-tech solutions. Light therapy uses lasers to treat acne. Chemical peels, and regular facials are also very effective. Ask your esthetician about what options may be best for your specific skin type.
Don’t pop your pimples. Let your dermatologist or esthetician treat the problem in office.
If you are struggling with acne, you’re not alone. Don’t let acne define who you are. Do what you can to improve your skin, working with a dermatologist or esthetician, if necessary, and keep doing the things you enjoy.
Consultations with our estheticians are always complimentary, and we would love to help you feel comfortable in your own skin again!