Adult Acne: Learn More About Acne Treatments to Achieve Blemish-Free Skin
Aloette helps women achieve radiant skin through adult acne cleansers, scrubs & more
Adult acne, no matter your age, can be a debilitating concern. For both teenagers and adults, acne occurs when hair follicles become clogged by skin cells and sebum, an oily substance released by the oil glands. Hormonal changes and/or stress often contribute to this common skin condition. In adult women, hormonal fluctuations primarily occur during menstruation, pregnancy, perimenopause and menopause, causing unsightly adult acne outbreaks.
Acne, especially adult acne, can affect a person’s self-confidence and emotional well being. Dr. Yardy Tse, a dermatologist with Skin Care Physicians & Surgeons in San Diego, says women who experience monthly bouts of acne tend to cycle through mental lows and highs, which revolve around their breakouts. It can also make a woman feel awkward, as she did in her teenage years, and affect her performance at work.
Sometimes adult acne can be prevented and treated using oil-free skin care products, such as Clarifying Moisture Balance, and washing your face daily with a gentle cleanser like Aloette Clarifying Facial Cleanser or Gentle Foaming Cleanser. Most of the products formulated for teenage skin care are harsh for aging skin; however, Aloette’s Platinum Collection of skin care satisfies not only the needs of acne prone skin, but also incorporates essential anti-aging technology for mature complexions.
Topical antibiotics are often prescribed to treat adult acne. Topical benzyl peroxides have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, while topical retinoids such as Retin-A and Renova help “unplug” clogged hair follicles. Topical exfoliants like glycolic acid, salicylic acid and lactic acid can also help to keep pores open. Aloette Pure Radiance Revitalizing Cleanser contains both lumitone to brighten the skin, and lactic acid – a natural form of alpha hydroxy acid to help with cell turnover and exfoliation.
Superficial, or light, chemical peels remove the top layer of skin, thereby unclogging hair follicles and helping alleviate adult acne. People often confuse chemical peels with microdermabrasion, but the latter tends to “sandblast” the skin, which causes more irritation than a light chemical peel. Dr. Tse says, "I typically recommend a light chemical peel followed by acne extractions two weeks later."
If your skin isn’t quite ready for a peel, you might benefit from the use of an exfoliating scrub such as the Multi-Action Face Scrub from Aloette. By combining almond meal, honey and kaolin, this scrub puts natural ingredients to work to remove dead skin cells from the skin’s surface.
Laser treatments work by removing a layer of skin so that new skin can grow and fill in the wrinkles and crevices from acne. The Smoothbeam Laser directly targets the oil gland and destroys it, thus removing the source of extra oil (sebum) production. Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) uses a photosensitizing agent called Levulan and a laser or Intense Pulsed Light (IPL). Levulan is absorbed into the hair follicles and, when activated by the laser or light source, destroys the overactive oil gland and kills the bacteria that cause acne.
After PDT, a sunburn-like reaction may occur. Dr. Tse cautions that the duration of acne clearance resulting from the Smoothbeam Laser and PDT is yet to be determined. Multiple treatments are needed for both types of laser treatment, and use of topical or oral medication is also recommended.
Typically used as a last resort, Accutane® often clears up severe, cystic adult acne. It works by decreasing the amount of oil produced by the oil glands. "Accutane is an extremely effective and safe medication if prescribed and monitored properly," Dr. Tse says. However, there is a 100 percent chance of birth defects if Accutane is taken during pregnancy. Other side effects may include muscle aches, joint tenderness and dry skin, eyes and nose.
Adult acne treatments affect people in different ways; oftentimes, it takes multiple treatments before acne is cleared. "The most important thing is patience," Dr. Tse says. "Try each [adult acne] regimen for at least a month to see if it’s working. Using a product for several days or a week isn’t really giving it a chance. Work with your dermatologist to find the right combination for you."