Though the common notion is that it is teenagers who are prone to acne, and many of us wait for acne clearing on its own after we reach a certain age, the truth is that the condition can persist even as one grows older. It is to be noted that not everyone suffers from acne at around the same age – for some, it only appears in their twenties, or even later. There are people who suffer from their first acne outbreak at the age of fifty. This is commonly referred to as 'adult acne'.
Acne is the result of hormonal changes, which occur mostly during teenage, but are also possible later, depending on a number of factors. These hormones (androgens, to be more specific, that occur in both sexes) regulate and increase the secretion of natural oil, sebum. Dead skin cells and the oil then clog up the skin pores, even as bacterium present on the skin feed on it and this results in an inflammation that is acne.
Acne can manifest itself as blackheads or whiteheads. Whiteheads have no opening, while blackheads do, but blackheads take more time to drain as the matter clogging up the pores is more dense.
Especially for women, the age for acne clearing up cannot be easily predicted, as hormonal changes during different phases of their menstrual cycle (many women will have noticed that a week or so before the onset of menstruation, they develop acne), pregnancy and menopause can lead to an outbreak. Other than the hormones, an environment that is dusty, hot and humid can also aggravate acne.
So, now that we know that there is no specific age when acne clearing miraculously begins on its own, here are a few tips to minimize the risk of acne:
Someone would have already warned you about this, but this is another reminder nevertheless – do not pick at skin that is suffering from acne. This will only increase the chances of scarring and leave behind sore, hurting skin.
Keep your face clean. Use a good face wash that can get rid of excessive sebum, but washing your face too frequently will not help either – two times daily should suffice. When handling skin that has been upset by acne, be as gentle as you can. Especially when drying your skin, use a soft towel.
If you wear make-up, be sure to remove it as soon as you can, because it blocks skin pores.
Drink plenty of water and make sure you get some exercise if you want acne clearing up.
Pick a hairstyle that does not incorporate your hair touching your forehead or cheeks all the time.
If there are no signs of your acne clearing up and it seems to be getting worse, prolonged, and leaves scars, do consult a doctor.
Tips and comments
Keep in mind that adult acne can be treated in the same way as acne in teenagers, though antibiotics do not seem to work as well for them. A good diet and proper medication goes a long way in treating acne.
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