…how to prevent or treat adult acne
We all remember being teenagers with acne, or we remember being teenagers who used a lot of skin care products to treat or prevent acne. So how and why can we still have acne problems as adults? Adult acne is actually more common than you might realize, about 50% of adult women will continue to have acne flare ups and 25% of adult men will as well.
What causes adult acne? The exact causes are not known, but hormones, stress, cosmetics and products we put on our skin may be part of the problem.
How do I treat my adult acne? Treatment for your adult acne is similar to your skin care routine when you were a teenager. However, many acne medications are designed for the oily skin you may have had as a teenager. As an adult your skin may be drier, so dermatologists recommend trying a few different routines to find what best works for your skin and lifestyle. Basically you need a good cleaning routine and an acne treatment product. You should use a good acne cleanser that is gentle. Avoid products with beads or granules as those can irritate your skin. Over-the-counter acne products that can help prevent acne should contain retinol or a salicylic or glycolic acid. Products that contain benzoyl peroxide can be used to treat acne outbreaks directly.
So here are a few guidelines for treating your adult acne. The suggestions are written for acne on your face, but are also applicable to acne on your chest, back or other areas of your body.
To begin you should wash your face each morning and evening. Warm water and a gentle touch will work better than very hot water or vigorous scrubbing. Hot water will dry out your skin and potentially make your acne worse. Splash your face with water gently. Then generously rub a cleaning solution in your hands. Create a good lather and then gently wash your face with your bare hands. Do not use a washcloth or scrub roughly. You do not need to scrub for a long time, brief is better, really just a minute is all you need. Then rinse with warm water. Again do not use very hot water and do not scrub. Gently pat your skin dry with a towel.
Wait for your skin to dry completely. Once dry gently apply your acne treatment product. If you’re starting with a new product use it sparingly to avoid irritation to your skin. Over time your skin will adjust so that you can use the full amount specified. Too much too soon can cause irritation or flaky skin. You don’t want your sebaceous glands to go into overdrive to moisturize your skin because you have irritated them with the acne treatment product.
What if an over-the-counter acne treatment product isn’t working for you? Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider. There are many prescription options to treat your skin.