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What is Adult Acne?

Article Details
  • Written By: Diana Bocco
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 18 December 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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While at first thought, acne seems to be a problem limited to teenagers, the truth is that adult acne affects one in five women over the age of 25. Only one in 10 men, on the other hand, suffers from adult acne. Adult acne is more difficult to deal with than teen acne, but there is still much you can do to keep a clean face.

Most adult acne starts as blackheads, which get infected and become red and inflamed. Despite what people may believe, blackheads are not a result of poor hygiene, and scrubbing the skin too hard will not get rid of blackheads; it's more likely that hard scrubbing will result in even more inflammation. Rather than scrubbing, people suffering from adult acne should choose an alpha-hydroxy exfoliant, which cleans pores deeply without breaking the skin surface.

Changing your makeup can also help, as cheap cosmetics may be loaded with oils and chemicals that clog pores and result in more blackheads than normal. Also, take a look into your medicine cabinet. Certain medications, including anti-epileptic drugs and most prescriptions containing iodine or lithium, can cause adult acne. So can anabolic steroids and certain bulking and weight gaining preparations sold at health food stores and fitness clubs.

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Besides oily skin, there are other causes for adult acne, including stress and hormonal changes caused by pregnancy, menopause or birth control pills. While there is little you can do for your skin on these cases, you should keep this in mind as you search for causes and solutions. In extreme cases where no other methods work, using an advanced treatment such as Proactiv® Solution 3-step System can be the answer. Or you may consider visiting a dermatologist, who can offer you everything from prescription topical medications, such as Accutane®, to laser treatments. Surprisingly, some birth control pills can also clear adult acne.

Consulting a doctor is especially important if you have adult acne but never suffered from it as a teenager, as this may indicate hormonal changes your doctor may want to be aware of. Hormonal abnormalities or metabolic conditions may be to blame, which means you would need to treat the condition rather than simply caring for the acne.

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