Adult Acne By Steve Adult acne, usually associated with gangly teens and awkward girls, is actually quite common to be found among adults. Men and women alike can suffer from acne in any point of their adult life. In fact, a UK study has shown that 12% of women above the age of 25 suffer from facial acne. 54% of women and 40% of men among those tested were found to be suffering from physiological acne, acne on the body as well as facial acne. (Cunliffe WJ, 1999) So, dispelling common myth, acne is found among adults, and like those in their teenaged years, they will find that life will a bit easier to cope with if they hadn’t had acne at all. What is acne, and why is it caused in the first place, even among adults who are supposed to be “immune” to acne? Acne is caused by the P.acnes bacteria interacting with dead skin cells that clog up the skin pores and the oil that is overproduced by the sebum glands in the skin. The skin is clogged up, a whitehead is formed and, if inflamed will cause a pimple to be formed. (Lawrence H. Miller, 2010) This sequence however does not occur overnight; it takes days and even weeks for acne to be formed and visibly seen. So, the myth that it was last night’s overindulgence in chocolate and fried chicken that had caused today’s acne flare is absolutely baseless. Women in particular suffer acne due to the hormonal imbalance in their bodies before menstruation, and that they have the wrong type of oily cosmetics that clog up pores. Acne during the adult years can cause worse psychological effects than during the teenage years. Adults can develop an inferiority complex more serious than a teenager. He or she would prefer not to attend social gatherings, and suffer from anxiety and low self esteem as a result. All in all, the effects of adult acne are generally the same as the ones suffered by teenagers, but can be amplified due to the higher amount of pressure and stress that an adult takes in from his or her peers. Treating adult acne is basically the same as treating, well all acne in general. However there are precautions to be taken. Most products on the market generally gear toward teens that have oilier skin than adults, so they tend to dry the skin harshly and therefore not very suitable for the adult skin. The fundamental way to treat mild acne would be to use products and cosmetics that are non-comedogenic (they do not clog pores) and at the same time use a mild and non-irritating cleanser to properly rid the face of oil and dead skin cells. Topical products containing ingredients such as benzyl peroxide or its natural alternative, tea tree oil, which kills acne bacteria; and salicylic acid, which exfoliates the skin can be applied to problem skin. Severe cases would have to be referred to a dermatologist, a skin doctor where he or she would prescribe antibiotics and stronger topical creams. Bear in mind, however that all medicines have side effects to them and should be the last resort. Acne scars can also be treated with topical creams or the more expensive options, dermabrasion and laser surgery. So to sum it up, acne happens to adults as well and can be devastating to some individuals. It is not permanent and incurable and can be treated as well as being controlled under correct diagnosis and correct treatment.
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