Acne: Causes, Solutions and Treatments for Adults

Why Do I Still Get Blackheads When I Wash a Lot?

Acne begins with the development of a plug of hardened sebum that stops up the openings of the follicular pores on the face. These plugs seem to become darker with age, hence the term blackheads. When there is a layer of skin covering the follicular opening, the sebaceous plug usually does not darken and is called a "whitehead" by some. Once the follicle becomes clogged, it will enlarge as more skin and sebum is produced behind it. Bacterial contamination of this sebaceous mixture is common since bacteria normally inhabit the follicle. If stretched enough, the wall of the follicle ruptures. This enables this material access to the deeper tissues, which produces inflammation in the form of a pimple.

Do Birth Control Pills Cure or Cause Acne?

Oral contraceptives may help some women keep adult acne at bay. However, the pill isn't for everyone. Some women should not take it because it may increase the risk of breast cancer, heart attack, high blood pressure, and blood clots. Women over the age of 35 years old may be advised to avoid the pill because of these increased risks. Ask your doctor if it's safe for you to take the pill to manage adult acne.

Could My Makeup Cause Acne?

There is no doubt that certain oily substances can induce the development of pimples. If one of them is a component of a cosmetic or makeup, this can be detrimental to the complexion. Choosing a cosmetic or makeup that is water-based is likely to avoid this possibility. Wash your makeup off at the end of the day so it does not settle into pores overnight.

Is a Stressful Job a Factor in Acne?

Stress is a common, nearly unavoidable part of life. There is some evidence that stress may cause acne flare-ups. Stress triggers the production of androgens, which increase the production of oil in the skin. In addition to stress contributing to adult acne flare-ups, having acne may lead to stress and depression. You may have the urge to pick at pimples to get rid of them, but this is not a good idea. Picking at your skin may lead to scars and may spread bacteria, leading to new pimples.

What's the Truth About Chocolate and Acne?

Old wives' tales claim that eating chocolate contributes to acne, but that doesn't seem to be the case. There is no convincing evidence that diet plays a major role in acne. Results of some studies suggest that eating a high-glycemic index diet and drinking milk may increase breakouts, while eating a low-glycemic index diet and drinking less milk may lead to fewer breakouts. The best thing to do if you think eating certain foods contributes to acne is to avoid them.

What Is Deep-Cyst Acne?

Cystic acne is common acne in its most severe form. This form of acne is likely to result in permanent scarring. It is quite rare in adults. Most patients with cystic acne require aggressive medical therapy to prevent blemishes. A dermatologist may inject the cysts with corticosteroid or drain them to provide the patient relief.

What Other Kinds of Acne Are There?

Three types of acne lesions that affect teenagers can happen in adults, too. A comedo is commonly known as a blackhead. Pimples or pustules are pus-filled lesions that are red at the base. Nodules lodge deeper than other types of acne. They are painful and may cause scarring. The use of certain drugs may contribute to acne. Some kinds of adult acne are due to the overproduction of androgens, male hormones that both men and women have that stimulate oil glands.

Could My Acne Be Related to Anemia?

Some people suspect anemia contributes to acne, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Post adolescent acne is common in women between the ages of 25 and 50, women who are of reproductive age. Low intake of nutrients necessary to guard against anemia, including iron, vitamin B12, folate, is also common in this group. This is called nutritional anemia. One study found that post adolescent acne patients had much lower levels of folate compared to those who did not have acne. However, the study concluded, there was no link between post adolescent acne and nutritional anemia.

Will I Be Stuck With Acne Forever?

Acne tends to resolve in most individuals as they age. When acne recurs in adulthood, it is important to rule out other causes for androgen excess. This group of conditions requires a series of blood tests for diagnosis. Acne that appears for the first time in adulthood is called "adult-onset acne." This type of acne is most common in menopausal women.

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