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Adult Acne – How To Deal With It

We are all rather familiar with acne, we either had it, know someone who had it or are currently suffering with it. Acne affects nearly 40 million people in the United States alone. It can start anytime between the ages of 12 and 25 and when it hits, well it hits with a vengeance. A growing number of adult women in their twenties and thirties are getting adult acne, even if they never suffered with acne before. The problem with acne is that there is no known cure.

Yes we are bombarded all over the place to buy this “miracle cure” and try this “amazing product” and so often a person who is afflicted with this skin problem will hope and pray that this will be the answer that they are looking for. Just this one time this is going to be the one thing that actually does work. Then because it proves not to be the “miracle cure” they were promised they end up frustrated and disappointed.

So how does one deal with acne? More particularly how does one deal with adult acne? Well, to just give up and resign oneself to the supposed inevitable is not the answer either. You see adult acne is much like being over weight in that you don’t feel good about yourself; your self esteem takes a major knock and you are convinced that when people look at you they do not see YOU but are rather focused on just the area that is riddled with acne. You hate going out in public, you do not want people to look at you because you hate looking at yourself. I know this because I have been there.

Adult acne is embarrassing. It is one thing if you were a teenager because society seems to be more accepting; it is what almost the “norm” is for teenagers. People sympathize and “tut tut” it away as just a natural process of life. I’m not taking away for one moment what teenagers go through (they have “strange” hormones to deal with on top of it all) but there seems to be a stigma attached to adult acne. People just look at you differently.

There seems to be this misconception that if you suffer from adult acne you don’t wash your face and you must be dirty. Just like in the case of someone who is overweight people don’t sit back and think that it may most likely be due to hormonal changes and/ or sometimes it may just be hereditary. It seems to be in people’s nature to assume the worse.

Acne doesn’t just lead to physical scars (which are really depressing and more damaging to the psyche) but more concerning it leads to emotional scarring. Well your choices in dealing with adult acne can be put into two categories. You can “roll over and just accept” that this is your lot in life or you can become active, take charge and find ways to help the situation. Acne may not be curable but it can be controlled and eventually you may even grow out of it.

Let’s take a quick look at what acne is and once we understand how it comes about we can look at how to deal with it. Acne is generally characterized by black heads, white heads, red bumps (also known as blind pimples) and in some cases scarring. Acne is the result of overactive oil glands at the base of the hair follicles that become blocked or inflamed. It may appear anywhere on the body but it tends to be primarily on the face.

There are different forms of acne; mild inflammatory acne, moderate to severe inflammatory acne and severe acne. The problem with acne treatments is that what works for one person may not work for the next. Due to how severe your acne may be you will need to find out which is the best course of action for you. This is best done seeking the advice of your health practitioner or a dermatologist. However you can do a few things to help yourself.

As tempting as it may be DO NOT SQUEEZE OR PICK AT YOUR FACE. It may be tempting and you may just want to get rid all the spots and you think that by squeezing them all out you will be rid of it once and for all. Well if only it was that simple. It is not. The pus (and thus the germs) spreads across your face causing you more acne, or you just end up pushing the pus deeper into your skin causing more of an infection. In some cases you are left with scars. Scaring brings on a whole different level of anxiety and depression.

Do not spend too much time in the sun. There seems to be this myth that the sun will “cure” your acne. The hope seems to be that it will dry up the oily glands. But how will it when the follicles are blocked? You see the sun damages your follicular walls causing further blockage and in turn more acne. The sunlight also produces free radicals in the skin which diminishes the skins ability to heal.

There has been no scientific evidence that has proven that acne and diet are related. I have read various reports saying that acne and diet are related and some say that there is no relation whatsoever. So not affirmed either way but cut down on some foods and see if it makes a difference at all. Maybe you have an allergy that aggravates the situation.

Start with the highly refined sugars and things like seafood, mushrooms and salt. Deep fried food is generally not good for your over all health and some say that it is really bad for your skin. Drink more water, water flushes your body of toxins and so in turn is a great internal way of aiming for that healthier looking skin.

Stay away from coffee. It does not matter if it has caffeine in it or not. Coffee stimulates the production of cortisol. Cortisol is a hormonal steroid that the body produces when it is under stress. (Stress does not cause acne but it certainly aggravates it) Cortisol helps our bodies maintain homeostasis during time of stress yet it causes problems when it stays is our body for a long period of time because what cortisol does is it destroys tissue, which then releases small protein molecules from the destroyed cells. These remainders of cell-protein partly end up in the skin which ends up contributing to acne. Watch out for foods packed with hormones. It does not help hormonal acne.

Interesting fact, non Westernized people did not suffer from acne until their diet changed to what we eat and then oops they joined our ranks in the acne department. The problem is that so much of our diet tends to rob us of vitamins and minerals that are essential for good healthy skin. Vitamin A has been known to be a great preventative of acne. Give it a try, eat less “junk” and more fresh fruit and vegetables high in antioxidants, there is no harm in it and maybe it will help.

Remember acne is not caused by dirt and so DO Not scrub your face. It generally makes the acne worse. You aggravate the glands that produce the oil and they then produce more oil and then spread the bacterium that causes your acne around the face making it worse. Don’t use a face cloth because germs tend to stick to them and then you are just smearing them all over your face. Your hands are the best thing to use and they are a lot gentler on your skin too.

Smoking does not cause acne but it does make the skin look unhealthy and so much older, this is because the nicotine reduces the blood circulation to your skin. Some case studies have shown that smoking can irritate the acne, making it worse.

Avoid things that rub against your skin, like collars, don’t wear too much make up and when you do choose products that are oil free or are made specifically bearing acne in mind. These products would be “non-comedogenic” or “non-acnegenic.” Wash your hair as often as you need to and keep it off your face.

Bear in mind the following when receiving advice about your acne:

Most over-the-counter acne treatments are topical and the most popular ones contain Benzoyl Peroxide. The problem is that once you stop the treatment the acne just flares up again and some people say that as the skin becomes used to it so the effectiveness of it lessens. Benzoyl Peroxide is also known to cause excessive dryness, and for some people itchiness which then further irritates the skin. It is also a bleach so be careful when using it that it does not ruin your clothes.

Antibiotics tend to aim at inhibiting bacteria. The problem is bacteria are not the cause of acne. The irony is that bacteria are essential in keeping the skin flexible and inhibiting it just speeds up the aging process. Then of course it needs to be remembered that antibiotics are also well known for reducing a person’s immune system.

I am not going to give you a whole list of unpronounceable names of various chemicals found in anti-acne treatments but I am going to give you a run down of what some of the side effects are. After all that is what matters most.

•Liver disease (sometimes resulting in a needed transplant)

•Jaundice and life threatening psuedomembranous colitis.

• Autoimmune disease, acute inflammation of the lung and a blue black disclouring of your skin, mucous membranes, nails, adult teeth and Internal organs.

•Benign intracranial hypertension. Early warning signs are headaches, nausea, vomiting and visual disturbances. Decreased night vision, inflammatory bowel disease, an increase in the size of your bones, raised cholesterol levels.

•Heart risks

•Further skin problems. As if acne is not enough you suffer too from dry skin, skin fragility, itching, nosebleeds, inflammation and cracking of lips. Eczema like rash, thinning of hair, peelings of palms and soles of feet, skin infections, gastrointestinal problems, urogenital problems and tiredness.

Then to top the list off you also have things like seizures, dizziness, nervousness, insomnia, depression (as if the acne hadn’t caused enough now the “cure” adds to it too) gum inflammation, arthritis and so we can go on but I think you have got the point.

I am not trying to scare you off finding what can help your acne, just informing you of what some of these products may do to you. Don’t loose hope, acne can be controlled and in many cases people do find what aggravates or causes it through trial and error. Don’t give up and you will eventually find the solution that works best for you.

Submitted by:

Michelle Ludick

Michelle Ludick lives in Johannesburg, South Africa with her husband and two small children, her interest in health and health related issues led to her website: http://www.bhealthy247.com




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