What is Adult Acne?
Some of us noticed the acne when we had 15 and wished to grow fast, hoping time will solve it naturally. But when it returned in our 30s, it was like a strike below the belt. Statistics say 20% of the women between the ages of 25 and 40 suffer from adult acne, but men are affected too.

Adult acne does not pop up in the T-zone area as they did in your high school years. Rather, it appears as pink pimples on the lower part of the face in a V shape from the chin up the sides of your jaw
Adult acne is caused by sebum, an oily substance produced by the skin’s sebaceous glands. Sebum clogs pores, which attract bacteria and become inflamed. For some adults, breakouts are a result of hypersensitivity or overproduction of androgens (male hormones). But an imbalance in both male and female hormones (estrogen) can also cause breakouts

Reasons for adult acne:
Fluctuating hormone levels: An imbalance can lead to breakouts. Women often experience fluctuating hormones:
-          Around their periods
-          During pregnancy, peri-menopause, and menopause
-          After discontinuing (or starting) birth control pills
Stress: Researchers have found a relationship between stress and acne flare-ups. In response to stress, our bodies produce more androgens (a type of hormone). These hormones stimulate the oil glands and hair follicles in the skin, which can lead to acne. This explains why acne can be an ongoing problem when we find ourselves under constant stress.
Family history: Does a close blood relative, such as a parent, brother, or sister have acne? Findings from research studies suggest that some people may have a genetic predisposition for acne. People who have this predisposition seem more likely to get adult acne.
Hair and skin care products: If you have adult acne, you should read the labels on your skin care and hair care products. Make sure that you see one of the following terms on every container:
-          Non-comedogenic
-          Non-acnegenic
-          Oil-free
-          Won’t clog pores

Medication side effect: Acne is a side effect of some medicines. If you suspect that a medicine is triggering your acne or making it worse, continue taking the medicine — but talk with the doctor who prescribed it. Ask if acne is a possible side effect. If acne is a possible side effect, ask if you can take a different medicine. If you cannot take another medicine, you may want to see a dermatologist who can help you control the acne.
Undiagnosed medical condition: Sometimes, acne is a sign of an underlying medical condition. Once the medical condition is diagnosed and treated, the acne often clears.

Treating the Adult Acne

Do not wait for too long before you see a doctor for this skin problem. Treatment products that contain salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide to unclog pores and reduce bacteria may resolve the issue. However, if you have serious types all over your face, you must talk to a dermatologist. He/she may prescribe you antibiotics or retinoids, depending on your condition. But medical acne treatment is tricky and has side effects, like severe depression and ulcerative colitis.
You may also undergo laser treatment, if you have the money as this treatment option is very costly.

In terms of daily care products, most acne creams and lotions are geared to teens' oily skin, a bad choice for drier adult skin. Effective treatment often requires a trial-and-error approach that takes time.
Here are some advices from specialists:
Cleansers: Choose gentle ones. Avoid too-strong gels and products containing beads or granules, which are abrasive and can irritate and worsen sensitive skin.

Creams and lotions: Avoid anything that contains lanolin, mineral oil, or petrolatum. Don't use pressed powders or pancake or powder foundation, because they contain oil. And never cleanse with harsh soaps that will dry out your skin, because they don't help clear up the acne, and you wind up using too much moisturizer to counteract the dryness. Try over-the-counter acne products containing sulfur, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid, all of which can help; but again, don't overuse them, because they'll dry you out. If your face doesn't clear up in two to three months, see a dermatologist
Prescription medications: The topical antibiotic clindamycin helps fight bacteria in the skin; so does tetracycline, another antibiotic, taken orally. Oral contraceptives and spironolactone, a blood pressure drug, can help balance hormones. A gel containing dapsone, an antibiotic, helps fight infection and inflammation involved in acne.
High-tech solutions: Laser and intense pulsed light treatments mainly target scars, but blue light therapy treatments kill acne-causing bacteria. These treatments are costly, though, so explore your other options first.

Skin-Care Regimen for the Acne Prone
Try to keep your face clean during the day.
Wash your face twice daily with the cleanser (if your skin is dry, try using water the second time). Use only warm water (hot water is drying). Wash for just 1-2 minutes (more can irritate your skin). And use your hands instead of a rough washcloth. (If you must wash with a cloth, choose one made for babies, so it’s as soft as possible.)

Go natural: in order to achieve clearer skin, you should consider wearing little cosmetics. If you need to wear makeup, you must sure that it is safe for skin prone to this type of skin condition. You must choose to use product that has no oil. It must be water based and non-comedogenic to avoid whiteheads or blackheads. Before you go to bed, you must make sure that you remove your makeup by washing your face with gentle cleanser.
Eat smart, healthy foods: carbohydrates with high glycemic index can raise your insulin levels. Insulin can boost male hormone which may cause breakouts. Instead of eating starchy foods, you must consider eating whole grains and veggies. Low GI foods will not aggravate this type of skin condition.
Reduce stress levels: freaking out when you see bumps showing up on your face will only make things worse. As bumps may be the result of stress, experts recommend getting at least eight hours of each night. This amount of sleep helps in reducing excess cortisol in your body allowing your skin to regenerate. When the cortisol levels have been reduced, your body can produce more endorphins, which are known to have a calming effect. Getting regular exercise is a great idea too as it delivers the right amount of oxygen to your skin cells preventing bacteria to thrive.

Natural remedies:
Herbal teas: Drink teas made from detoxifying herbs that will help to reduce inflammation, drink from 3-4 cups during the day of: red clover, nettle, or milk thistle

Infusion: Instead of using soap, which removes de acid mantle of the skin and thus increases the susceptibility to infection, rinse the face with a herbal infusion, such as red clover, which is an excellent blood and tissue cleanser and has a gentle action.
Decoction: Dandelion root, taken as a decoction, is helpful in improving the detoxifying action of the liver , which can help to clear the skin, and also has a gentle laxative action taking pressure away from the skin as an organ of elimination.
Tincture: Echinacea is one of the best all-purpose immune stimulants, aiding resistance to infection. It can be taken in conjunction with the herbal treatments suggested above, to help the detoxification process. It is best taken in the form of a ready-made tincture, following the manufacturer´s directions on dosage. Do not take more than 2-3 weeks at a time and do not resume taking it within a month.

Steam inhalation: Regular steam inhalations of juniper can help clear blocked pores or blackheads. Add 3-4 drops juniper oil or fresh juniper leaves and berries to a basin of water.

-          Acne Pwnt
-          Women’s Health
- Beauty
-          O, The Oprah Magazine
-          PositiveMed

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