If you think that wrinkles are the only skin issue that is going to trouble you in the adult years, then you might be completely mistaken, as the much dreaded acne may be back again to spoil your sleep.
Adult acne has become a common skin problem encountered by middle-aged people these days and more than one culprit may be responsible for the return of the devil. To know better about combating it wisely, it is best to go back to the basics.
Back to the Breakout Basics: Causes of Adult Acne
Acne is attributed to a single biggest cause- oil, oil and oil. The excess oil mingles with the dead skin and clogs the pores. The clogged pores are then infested by the bacteria that thrive in the sebaceous glands, causing inflammation and skin breakouts in the form of pimples. The physiological process of teenage and adult acne is the same; the difference is in terms of the positioning. While acne is more noticeable on the nose, cheeks and forehead in the early years, older people are likely to have it on the neck, chin and back. Here are the main causes of adult acne:
1. Blame it on the hormones!
Hormonal fluctuations turn up as the key cause of adult acne breakouts. Primarily, a spike in androgens or male hormones such as testosterone is responsible for increase in oil secretion, which in turn, results in pimples.
Women are more likely to have pimples during perimenopause (which falls just before her period) because this is the time when hormone levels elevate abruptly. Similarly, medical problems such as PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) can also be a cause of hormonal imbalance induced adult acne.
2. Unhealthy Lifestyle
An unhealthy lifestyle is another reason why pimples pop out in adults. The main factor here is stress, which is widespread as people juggle between personal and professional lives.
Sleep deprivation and high stress levels result in the adrenal glands becoming hyperactive and the levels of cortisol (stress hormones) go up, leading to production of excel oil which causes pimples and breakout.
The other parameter of unhealthy lifestyle is wrong dietary choices, such as foods high in sugar and simple carbohydrates, greasy food, dairy products and even chocolate. All these foods have been scientifically proved to cause hormonal disturbances and thus, adult acne. Similarly, environmental pollution and smoking can take their toll and cause adult skin problems such as ageing, blemishes and acne.
3. Irregular and Improper Skincare
Lack of skin hygiene is the basic reason of all the skin problems, including acne in teenagers and adults. People who are not regular with skin cleansing and care routine are prone to clogged pores and acne.
While it is important to use high-quality water based make up and skincare products, removing the makeup properly at bedtime is of great significance too. Let the skin breathe by keeping it free of cosmetic products.
Getting Rid of Adult Acne
Most of the youngsters wait for the pimple woes to end as they cross their early twenties, but adult acne strikes as a big troublemaker in many cases. At the same time, it is not something which cannot be handled. Here are some easy acne-busting tips for adults:
1. Keep Stress at Bay
Keeping stress at bay is easier said than done, but mastering this art is something that can help you counter a thousand health issues, including adult acne. The cortisol levels can be managed by ensuring an eight-hour sleep routine, regular exercise and meditation. Amazingly, being sexually active helps too!
2. Eat Right
Foods high in sugar ad starch do out just add girth to your waistline but also end up as bumps on your skin. Being starch smart is another way to curb adult acne as these foods cause sudden spurt in insulin, which boost male hormones and cause breakouts. Eat more of whole grains and fresh fruits and veggies. Drinking plenty of water flushes out the toxins and keeps the skin healthy, supple and ageless.
3. Topical Treatment
When nothing seems to work, it is better to go for topical skin care products to get lasting results for adult acne. As the skin grows thinner with age, you need gentler, moisturizing acne treatment products, which are not too harsh on the ageing skin. Products based on salicylic acid make a good treatment option and so do those containing benzoyl peroxide. Sulfur based topical treatment is recommended for spot treatment as they help reduce oil and unclog the pores.
4. Pop a Pill
If topical skin treatment fails to show tangible results, hormonal adjustments may be needed and oral contraceptives may be recommended for women. Patients of PCOS may also have to rely on birth control method to reduce adult acne.
5. Exfoliation is the key!
Regular exfoliation is the key to healthy pimple-free skin in adults as well as young people. Using a specially formulated skin care product is a good idea as it will not only treat the existing breakout but also prevent further ones. Avoid touching and extracting the spots as this may aggravate the problem further.
Treatment of adult acne is a time consuming process and it is advisable to camouflage the spots with high-quality concealer and cosmetics in the meantime.