There’s never a good age to have problems with acne, but it’s something that most of us would like to leave behind in our teens. While the mechanisms of acne are known, what remains less understood is why it’s a problem for some people but not others.
If you’re still dealing with pimples, or if you’ve developed outbreaks later in life, there are several possible reasons for this skin problem and, fortunately, plenty of potential solutions.
How acne happens
The oily skin substance called sebum is manufactured by sebaceous glands, connected to the base of hair follicles. Normally, sebum moves up the shaft of a hair, and out through the hair follicle. Sebum is essentially a waterproofing and lubricating layer for your skin. When, however, sebum is over-produced, it can mix with dead skin cells and backflow into your follicles.
When this occurs, the resulting environment in the follicle is an ideal environment for bacteria, and it’s these bacteria that start the inflammation and infection that creates the redness, swelling, and pimples common to an acne condition. Why, precisely, sebum starts to overproduce isn’t known, but there are some suspects.
Reasons for sebum overproduction
There are a few risk factors that can increase your chances of developing adult acne. You may have one of these or several in combination. The factors thought to be the most common behind acne outbreaks include the following.
Over-cleansing is, surprisingly, a cause of adult acne. When you’re washing or cleansing your face more than a couple times a day, your body could be overproducing sebum in response to the dry skin conditions that aggressive soaps and cleansers may create.
Hormone changes seem to be behind teen acne, and since adult acne tends to favor women, it’s logical to assume that hormone changes contribute here as well. In particular, when the balance of male hormones increases, so do your chances of developing cystic acne, a deep form of the condition that typically appears on the back, chin, and neck.
Stress can lead to adult acne by introducing hormone changes. Cortisol is typically released when you experience stress, but additional testosterone may also accompany it, leading to the imbalances that may trigger acne.
Sugar can increase the level of insulin in your body, and insulin is thought to trigger additional testosterone, so once again there’s another factor that upsets the hormone balance. While there are lots of foods thought to contribute to acne, there’s little evidence of consistent effects in large studies. However, it’s quite possible that chocolate or other foods do, in fact, cause breakouts for you, even if clinical evidence doesn’t show a statistically significant pattern.
Treating adult acne
Acne products designed for teens are generally as effective on adult acne. Avoid over-cleansing and continue the use of benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid-based products for 3-4 months. If you’re not seeing adequate results, it’s time to contact Open Canvas Laser for more aggressive treatment.
There are a range of medications that can attack the bacteria causing acne or alter your hormone balance. These approaches depend on the causes behind your acne.
Laser light therapy is also effective in reducing acne while it’s active, as well as repairing damage when outbreaks have ended. Contact the Open Canvas Laser office by phone or using the handy Book Online tool. There’s no time like now to return acne to the past where it belongs.