Acne is not only a rite of passage during puberty. Acne is the eighth most common skin disease, and it can often linger into adulthood. People of all ethnicities and ages can suffer acne, but it tends to occur in women more than men.
Adults get acne because of several factors, including genetics, hormone changes, side effects from some medications, stopping or starting oral contraceptives, diet, oil from the scalp, or some cream-based cosmetics. Whatever the cause, if adult acne bothers you, don’t just tolerate your unfortunate condition. Here are six tips for treating acne like a pro.
- Wash Your Face Every Day
Twice-daily cleaning with warm–not hot–water is essential for removing old skin, makeup, and pore-clogging oils. Try not to wash your face too frequently because it can inflame your acne or irritate your skin. Wash your face when you wake up, get ready for bed, and when your face sweats. Try not to scrub the skin if it has acne, which will only make the breakouts worse. Although regular washing can prevent some acne, it won’t remove the pimples that are already there.
- Try a Cleanser
If you want to try something more potent than soap and water, and if you have sensitive or dry skin, go with a creamy cleanser. A foaming cleanser is better for oily skin. Consider an antibacterial cleanser with salicylic acid if you have blackheads. Benzoyl peroxide is another antibacterial product, and it takes away the dead skin. It can be very drying, so don’t use it too often, or try a milder product.
- Use an Ointment or Cream
Topical creams with retinoids can help skin heal and reduce inflammation from acne. They also decrease the appearance of wrinkles. For spot creams, look for anything with sulfur. Try to avoid anything harsh or aggressive, especially if you’re also using a prescription acne treatment.
- Improve Your Diet
If you are struggling with acne, cut down on sugary foods, sodas, and dairy. Eat more leafy greens, fruits, and produce with beta-carotene and vitamin C, both anti-inflammatory nutrients. Research suggests that cutting down high-glycemic foods like white bread, puffed rice, and pastries might reduce acne occurrence. However, milk can increase acne even though it’s low-glycemic.
- Wash the Things You Touch
Keep in mind the linens, clothes, and washcloths that make contact with your face. Wash these articles regularly so that dead skin cells don’t build up and clog your pores. Remember to launder anything that touches your skin.
- Seek Out a Dermatologist
After a couple months, if diet, regular cleansing, or over-the-counter treatments don’t work, you might consider consulting a dermatologist. Seeking medical help is also advisable if the acne is scarring your skin. Perhaps the dermatologist can prescribe an antibiotic or prescription-strength retinoid.
Hormone therapies like birth control pills can help you control acne. You can also get a flare up if you suddenly stop taking birth control. Another drug that treats acne is Isotretinoin, but you shouldn’t take it if you plan on becoming pregnant or already are. Aldactone, originally intended to treat high blood pressure, also treats acne, but it takes a while to begin working.
Severe adult acne can cause stress, embarrassment, and frustration. If acne is a problem for you, rest assured that it will go away with age, especially after menopause if you’re a woman. In the meantime, try these tips and don’t rule out medical help to feel and look better.