Acne can be debilitating among adults. It can wreak havoc on the emotional and physical state of a person; especially those who have had a traumatic experience while dealing with teen acne. Oft times, grownups feel embarrassed to be suffering from an ailment popularly known as an ‘adolescent issue’.
Adult Acne – Facts & Figures
Take heart, if you sprout acne in spite of reaching adulthood, as research indicates that many adults deal with acne breakouts at some point in their adult life. A study conducted by research scientists threw up some surprising facts – acne in women is common than in men due to hormonal changes at different stages such as menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause. In men, the incidence of acne was comparatively less; but they also have to deal with acne.
Consider the stats:
- 50.9 % of women and 42.5% of men experienced acne while in their twenties.
- While women in their thirties, 35.2% dealt with acne, while the figure for men stood at 20.1%
- For men and women in forties, the stats were 12% and 26.3% respectively.
- Both men and women experienced acne to some degree even in their fifties – 15.3% for women and 7.3% for men.
Remedies & Treatments:
Acne in adults occurs mostly on the chin and jaw, unlike teen acne which sprouts about anywhere on the face! Adult acne is a little difficult to treat with over the counter products (benzoyl peroxide/salicylic acid) as the acne is more of a cyst, nodule, or papule. Seek treatment from a dermatologist as severe flare-ups might lead to permanent scarring.
Depending upon the severity and type of acne, a dermatologist can recommend a combination of topical applications and oral medications. Here are the possible treatments:
- For mild breakouts, a combination of prescription based cream comprising of benzoyl peroxide and antibiotics.
- Creams or lotions for topical application containing retinoids which are helpful in clearing the follicles of dead skin cells and excessive sebum.
- For inflammation, the dermatologist might prescribe gels comprising of 5% dapsone or oral antibiotics.
- Acne caused due to hormonal imbalances in women can be treated with the help of birth control pills.
Home remedies such as 5% tea tree oil in diluted form and a certain type of Brewer’s yeast (CBS 5926) can be used to treat mild outbreaks. They however recommend these only after taking certain precautions as these may have side effects.
- In order to reduce the chances of acne breakout, it is recommended that you wash your face gently with a mild soap/face wash – once in the morning and before going to bed at night.
- Take a shower if you sweat (due to vigorous physical activity) as it also clogs the pores (after mixing with sebum) and results in acne.
- Drink adequate water (8-10 glasses), eat nutritious food, and take care of your snooze time (7 -8 hrs per day).
- Do not touch your face as the bacteria on it gets transferred leading to the possibility of an acne attack.
- Keep hair from touching your face as the oil (sebum) on it adds to the problem of acne.
- If possible use water-based cosmetics instead of oil-based ones. Look for the words ‘non-acnegenic’ or ‘non-comedogenic’ on creams and lotions as these do not contain ingredients that contribute towards acne breakout.
If you are seeking treatment from a dermatologist, ensure that you stick to the treatment regime and not give up in between. Acne subsides on its own in some cases, but in severe cases, timely treatment arrests further breakout and provides relief sooner than later. No need to wait if the problem is persistent.
An important thing to note about acne treatments is that the effects take some time to kick in. Do not lose hope if the acne intensifies. It will subside after some time and you will notice a significant difference over a period of time.