Tips for battling adult acne

Did you know that acne has more to do with hormones than chocolate? It is true that sticking to a healthy diet and avoiding too much sugary food is good for our general health and that includes our skin. However, true acne has very little to do with diet. People who develop severe acne are sensitive to the male hormone called androgen. Females with acne may have an excess of this hormone. They may also have large sebaceous glands which are the organs that secrete an oil that keeps our skin supple and protected. This is called sebum.

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What causes acne in adults?

When a large quantity of sebum collects on the skin’s surface, it plugs the glands and causes a swelling called a whitehead. Eventually this breaks open and develops into what we term blackheads.

This is a very attractive home for bacteria. Once they colonise the blackhead, they grow rapidly. The skin’s response to the invading bacteria is redness and inflammation which is, of course, a spot. Even when the spot is healed, it can leave a dark pigmentation which is a scar.

According to the British Association of Dermatologists, acne is not just a problem for teenagers. It can develop in people in their late twenties or even thirties. The main symptoms are blackheads, whiteheads and pus-filled spots (pustules).

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What can you do about acne as an adult?

Drying out skin with acne is not the best approach. Instead, use something like Vichy Normaderm Anti-Blemish Hydrating Care to keep the skin healthy and supple. At the same time, you can visit your doctor and ask them to prescribe a suitable cream or gel. The most effective products are made from a vitamin A derivative called retinoid. They work by speeding up the rate at which cells are replaced in your skin. This minimises the formation of blackheads and whiteheads. They also tackle inflammation, which reduces the redness and size of spots.

As skin ages, it becomes very sensitive to the more aggressive acne treatments. Therefore, it is best to combine treatment therapies with a hydrating product, such as, to protect your skin.

There is no magic cure for adult acne. It is a matter of trial and error and working with a skin specialist to discover what works for you.

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