Common Causes Of Adult Acne
The primary cause of adult acne is sebum, the oil naturally produced in the body by the sebaceous glands, clogging pores. Clogged pores can attract bacteria, which cause the pores to become inflamed. Hormone fluctuations are often responsible for an increase in production of sebum, which can lead to adult acne.
Non-inflammatory adult acne consists of whiteheads and blackheads. Whiteheads occur when the sebum and bacteria clogging a pore stay below the skinís surface. Whiteheads may appear as tiny white bumps, or they may not be visible at all. Blackheads occur when sebum and bacteria clog a pore, and the buildup rises above the surface of the skin. The sebum oxidizes when exposed to oxygen and it appears brown or black.
While blackheads are visible and may be embarrassing for some people, inflammatory adult acne is much worse. Inflammatory acne appears as papules and pustules. Papules form when a break occurs in the follicular wall. White blood cells pool at the break sight, causing swelling and inflammation of the pore. Pustules form from papules. After several days, the white blood cells that formed the papule may rise above the surface of the skin, forming a pustule. Pustules are commonly referred to as pimples or zits.
Nodules And Cysts
In addition to papules and pustules, there are two other types of inflammatory acne. On some occasions, an inflamed pore may collapse or burst, irritating the surrounding skin and affecting nearby follicles; when this happens, a nodule or cyst forms. Nodules form when follicles break along the bottom, causing a collapse of the pore which results in a large, red, painful bump. If the pore bursts, a severe inflammatory reaction may occur, resulting in a large legion filled with pus.
Treatments For Adult Acne
Adult acne is harder to treat in many cases than teen acne. Teens often have oily skin, so products are aimed at reducing the amount of oil on the face and body as well as the acne.
Adults often have dryer skin, and teen products for the treatment of acne may be too harsh. Mild cleansers are recommended over harsh, abrasive cleansers for washing the skin. Skin care products containing retinol can clean pores and products with salicylic or glycolic acids can help with scarring and discoloration. Breakouts can be treated with benzoyl peroxide or an alpha hydroxy cream, which kills the bacteria.
There are numerous prescription acne medications available to help treat adult acne as well. There are both topical and oral antibiotics, such as clindamycin and tetracycline, which help reduce the amount of bacteria in the skin. Other medications, such as birth control pills and spironolactone and Acnetene (especially PimplePaste), help balance hormones to reduce the amount of sebum produced. Other prescription medications containing the antibiotic dapsone help to fight infection and reduce inflammation.
Skin Care Tips For Adult Acne Sufferers
There are several other things you can do to reduce the frequency and severity of adult acne outbreaks. One thing you can do is keep your face clean during the day. Wash your face with a mild cleanser at least twice a day and use oil blotting papers to soak up excess oil while at work and use an effective adult acne treatment or regimen. Use only makeup and moisturizers that are noncomedogenic, meaning that they wonít clog pores. Use warm rather than hot water when washing your face and donít wash for too long or scrub too hard. Your hands are preferable to use for washing your face, but if you must use a washcloth, use one that is really soft so that it wonít further irritate your face.