Adults Don’t Get Acne
Yes they do. It’s simply false to believe that acne is restricted to the adolescent years and only affects teenagers. In fact, the opposite is true. Acne is quite common in later life. Around one quarter of adult men and as many as half of all adult women are likely to suffer acne at some time in their adulthood. As a consequence, demand for adult acne treatment is on the increase. Adults might feel embarrassed with the condition, but this is not appropriate. Physicians deal with adult acne frequently and they are well placed to offer good advice and suggest the most effective treatments.
Adult acne, much like adolescent cases, generally arises as a result of hormonal changes and possibly stress too. Adults who make use of cosmetic products also tend to be at risk of acne outbreaks. One reason for the increase seen in adult acne may be that the specific bacterium involved (P. acnes) is becoming resistant to common antibiotics.
Women And Acne
Women’s body are subjected to hormonal changes throughout their adult lives. It should not be surprising that adult women suffer around twice as much from acne as adult men do. Adult acne treatment may be sought by women during outbreaks which tend to occur during menstruation, pregnancy and, later in life, in the menopause.
Adult Acne Treatment
Adult acne care is much the same as that which is appropriate earlier in life. The causes and symptoms are pretty similar and as a consequence the most effective treatment for adult acne is the same too. In adult acne care there are some additional risk factors to consider. Important restrictions are imposed by pregnancy and breast-feeding, and certain treatments must be avoided.
The first products to try are likely to be medications based on benzoyl peroxide. These are very good for controlling the severity of the outbreak and also help to minimise the likelihood of scarring later. Various concentrations are available, the advice normally given is to try the lowest concentration products first as they have the mildest side effects such as skin irritation and dryness.
The retinoid treatments such as Retinol, Tretinoin and Adapalene have the additional benefit of antibiotic action. In severe cases, the health practitioner may recommend a systemic antibiotic. Often, though, the physician may be reluctant to prescribe antibiotics. This is because there is now good evidence that the specific bacteria involved are becoming resistant to antibiotic treatment and over-prescription only worsens the problem.
Mild to moderate adult acne can be effectively treated using preparations based on azelaic acid. Azelaic acid products include Acnederm, Azelex and Finacea. The concentration is usually 20%. These products are less irritating than retinoids but they may affect skin pigmentation by lightening it.
Women suffering from acne sometimes find that hormone treatment is very effective. The hormones present in some contraceptive products counteract the androgens (male sex hormones) that are responsible for acne. Thus birth control products may be prescribed as an option, except of course for pregnant women and nursing mothers.
Watch Out For Scams
It may be worth looking into some of the many home remedies and alternative medicines. Be sure to avoid the overpriced commercial herbal preparations. Remember that so-called remedies such as homeopathy and acupuncture are entirely ineffective as a treatment for adult acne, despite being well-established in popular culture.