Acne is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that mainly occurs when the hair follicles become clogged with excess oil on the skin surface. Dead skin cells and bacteria add on to the condition making it worse. Anything applied on the face can end up clogging the pores. Sunscreens and cream foundations used for makeup that have oil as the base can also contribute to causing acne in adults. Acne is not dangerous but the treatment required will depend on its severity.
1. What causes acne in adults?
Hormones in both females and males stimulate the adrenal glands. This brings about an onset of acne. As mentioned before, anything applied on the face has a chance of clogging the pores. It is best to use products that are oil-free, be it sunscreens or foundations and instead use powder-based cosmetics. Hormonal imbalances, pregnancy, and menstruation can also trigger excess oil production in women. People who smoke are prone to suffering from acne. For women, in particular, acne can remain for years, flaring up occasionally at least a week before menstruation and clearing up thereafter. However, a severe onset in older adults could have an underlying cause that requires investigation and attention.
2. Signs and symptoms
Although common among teenagers, acne can also affect adults. The signs and symptoms of acne in adults can initially appear as whiteheads when the pores are closed or blackheads when the pores are open predominantly on the face. It can also surface as pimples with pus at the tips or at an earlier stage as small tender red bumps. Acne is also known to appear on the back, forehead, and shoulders. The severity of the condition can be determined from the above-mentioned symptoms. Although there are effective treatment options available, they tend to heal slowly. When one sees any improvement, fresh pimples may appear, and those undergoing through this can go through severe emotional strain.
Blackheads form below the skin; the air reacts with oil in a clogged pore, the pore gets blocked in such cases. After this, it becomes a whitehead. Washing with warm water and cleanser twice a day can also help. Any scrubbing will only aggravate and hence one should refrain from doing so. Acne may increase one’s stress levels but stress is not considered as a predominant cause for acne.
3. Seeking medical attention
It is important to consult a doctor if and when self-care remedies don’t work out. In such cases, medications will be prescribed. If there is no improvement in the condition, a dermatologist will need to be consulted who can address the situation more efficiently.
4. Myths about acne
It is believed that avoiding greasy food, sugar, and chocolate can cause acne; however, there is no scientific proof for this. It is also believed that women may get some relief from birth control pills as they are known to block androgen hormones that could cause acne. However, it is recommended to not take it for acne. In order to combat acne, one must follow a good skincare routine.