Picture this; the snow-white clear skin that you have been proud of since your teen years has suddenly poofed into a wicked witch's warty face upon reaching the age of 30! "Acne, at my age?" This is often the distressed statement of pockmarked men and women in their 30's to 40's afflicted with adult acne.
This problem is surely not the work of a vengeful sorcerer. Acne vulgaris is what this most common skin disorder in the United States is scientifically called. Statistics has it that 15 million people in US alone are afflicted with acne. It is an embarrassing problem among teenagers. But this condition is not only limited to those awkward years. Adult acne is also prevalent, especially among people in the age group of 25 to 40.
Acne is a disease that resulted from the accumulation of sebum, a highbrow term for oil, underneath the skin. When this happens and the desquamation (human's way of molting) process goes wrong, the pores become clogged. Aggravation will continue and soon infection sets in. A bad bug called Propionibacterium acnes causes this infection. Overproduction of oil and mismanagement of the process of shedding cells equals bunged pores. Clogged pores plus P. acnes, the scoundrel, equals breakout. Those pesky zits are produced just as easy as that.
One of the pushing forces that may cause the occurrence of acne includes the elevation of levels of testosterone among adolescents. No, it's not Toblerone misspelled. No matter how many anecdotes you've heard about chocolate addiction causing zits to dominate your face, there's really no enough scientific basis to prove this. Testosterone is a chemical produced by the body that increase sebum production and change the keratin of the hair follicles. Testosterone is an androgen. Androgen is a hormone produced in high levels among males. This is the reason behind the worse cases of acne among teenage boys more than girls.
Adult acne is called acne rosacea. It is characterized by the following: unsightly thick, red skin on the nose and cheeks, pus-filled blisters, small red bumps, and small red blood vessels seen on the skin surface. It is more commonly linked to increased levels of stress. Isn't it interesting how the body reacts to this stimulus? NOT. When exhausted, like Gizmo getting wet, our skin could actually give birth to little monsters! Though they are not as troublesome as gremlins, they could be just as annoying as well. Seriously, pimples can be difficult to deal with, and can cause depression and anxiety in an adult the same way it can in a teen. Pressure from work and family responsibilities is thought to possibly affect the normal balance of our hormones. And hormones messed up means having to put up with bumpy complexion caused by adult acne.
Aside from stress-triggered hormonal imbalance, hot foods alcohol consumption, and smoking are also considered to exacerbate adult acne. This may help you reconsider your food preferences and habits.
Acne lesions are commonly found on the face, but they can also pop out anytime on the neck, chest, back, shoulders, scalp, and upper arms and legs. Adult acne is more persistent than teen acne. It is because adults are consistently exposed to the many factors that cause breakouts. Another hitch of adult acne is permanent scarring. It is an evidence of the inevitable reality that with the coming of age, the skin loses its erstwhile ability to repair itself. As if there's a need to be reminded of that when your face starts to wrinkle already. Now here's more to shriek in terror for, especially those in their mid-20's: adult acne causes PREMATURE AGING. Isn't that just nerve-wracking? Enough of the endless yada's regarding how adult acne could further destroy us. As how master Yoda puts is, educated we must be with the crusade towards clearer AND younger skin. Or at least skin that is just our age we must maintain.
At the first sight of those wicked pimples together with gray hair and wrinkles (talk about aging signs overkill), just like with teenagers, impulse dictates squeezing. But you very well know that squeezing is a big no-no. How old are you? You surely don't need any more marks of time's passage.
In severe cases, consulting a dermatologist would best help in dealing with adult acne. The dermatologist may prescribe an antibiotic, vitamin A derivative like Isotretinoin or other acne drug available. More women may be afflicted with adult acne than men. Pregnancy is another story if you are prescribed anti-acnes, especially Isotretinoin.
Proper skin care may not guarantee a flawless complexion. But a good skin care regimen may aid in warding off bacteria that worsen adult acne. If you love scrubbing for its squeaky-clean feel, think twice. It can render more damage to your already-blemished skin.
Another hint especially for women: use NON-COMEDOGENIC products. Non-comedogenic basically means anything that does not clog skin pores or cause acne. Do your homework and look for as many non-comedogenic versions of the skin care products you use. It's worth it, you'll see.
If stress is linked with adult acne, then, disengaging yourself from stressful activities might work wonders, right? A day away from work or catching up on one of your hobbies won't hurt.
There's this bold Jean Kerr reacting on a classical quotation.
"I'm tired of all this nonsense about beauty being only skin-deep. That's deep enough. What do you want, an adorable pancreas?"
It doesn't mean the depreciation of a pleasing personality. Such reaction only imparts a message of giving value to what boosts your self-esteem. If it's a clear complexion along with your aging gracefully, so be it. No adult acne should put a shame on your face and get in your way of becoming more confident.
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Charlene J. Nuble 2005.