Teens are not the only ones that get acne, a surprisingly large number of adults have an acne problem as well. There are a growing number of treatments to help adults with this problem. It helps to understand the causes of adult acne so that appropriate steps can be taken to cure the problem.
Causes of Adult Acne
Bacteria that reproduces at an accelerated rate can cause acne. Use of an anti-bacterial soap can help prevent this from occurring. Another cause is large sebaceous glands that produce excess oil. Bacteria and excess oil block pores which leads to acne. While the face is usually the primary concern because it affects the persons appearance most dramatically, acne also can affect other parts of the body, such as, arms, legs and torso.
Other causes of acne may include, genetics, hormones, side effects of medications, stress, oily makeup and excessive sweating.
Diet Can affect Acne
Many of the things we hear about diet and acne are not true. For example, eating sweets and other junk food does not in and of itself cause acne. But foods high on the glycemic index may indeed contribute to acne in some people. These type foods will increase glucose in the blood stream, which in turn will increase insulin in the body, which then increases the oil and sebum in your skin. The oil and sebum in the skin stimulate the growth of bacteria, which then clog up the pores and causes acne. Eating foods low on the glycemic index can help prevent or control acne.
Acne treatments help by reducing the amount of oil in the skin, increasing the rate of new skin cell growth, fighting off bacterial infection, and reducing inflammation. There are numerous treatments, some over the counter and some prescription and it may take several weeks to see results even with prescription treatments.
Over the counter topical treatments help dry up excess oil and kill bacteria. They generally work well with mild cases of acne. The user may experience skin irritation at first, but this usually goes away after a couple of weeks of use.
Prescription topical treatments made from vitamin A promote skin cell turnover and prevent pores from blocking up. Topical antibiotics are affective for killing bacteria in the pores. These prescription topical treatments are needed for more severe cases of acne. Oral antibiotics are often needed with moderate to severe cases of acne. They are usually used very effectively in conjunction with a topical medication.
For the most severe cases Isotretinoin is used. This is a powerful medication that requires close monitoring by a doctor because of the severe side effects. Women of reproductive age must participate in an FDA approved monitoring program to be able to use this medication because of the potential for birth defects if they become pregnant while using it or soon after using it.
No matter how severe the acne there is likely a treatment or combination of treatments available that will eventually clear it up. It may take a combination of diet and topical and oral medications to get the job done.