There is a common misconception that adulthood is a barrier for acne. We have convinced ourselves that after puberty, we will all have clean and smooth skin. However, that is so not true.

Cringing every morning looking in the mirror with a face full of pimples is surely disheartening. With the change in seasons and the ever-rising levels of pollution, these outbreak of adult acne has become a common occurrence.

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Is it different from teen acne?

Various factors can lead to one being stuck with this skin problem. It can be due to age, genetics, lifestyle, and hormonal levels. So how is it different from the ones which bothered us during our teen years? The reality is, it’s not that different but in adults, “the driving force is more hormonal,” said Dr RP Soni, MD-Dermatologist.

“Adult female acne has shown to be the result of endocrinological changes like polycyclic ovarian syndrome, cumulative stress, use of cosmetics, intake of medications for various co-morbidities, dietary preferences, smoking, and sun exposure,” said Dr Sachin Dhawan, who is a Senior Consultant, Department of Dermatology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram.

The factors above in varying combinations can, in turn, lead to increased sebum (oil) secretion through over activity of sebaceous glands (oil glands), clogging of the pores (abnormal follicular hyperkeratinization) and bacteria, most commonly, Propionibacterium acnes induced inflammation, infection and alteration in sebum composition Dr Dhawan added.

A point to be noted. When we use the term acne, it is a broad term that includes pimples, whiteheads, blackheads, etc.

Cures for adult acne

Fret not, we at Vibes are not going to dish out some expensive cosmetic cures for the acnes. We interacted with Dr Dhawan for an easy-to-prepare homemade cure.

  • Use of 1-2 drops of tree tea oil, 1 tablespoon of Aloe Vera in dilution may be used as a mask for 10 minutes once a week.
  • Rosewater and clay mixture may also be used as a mask.
  • Care should be taken to test the natural ingredients on a smaller area before use on the entire face, and must not be used in case of known allergies.
  • Certain dietary products, otherwise considered healthy, may trigger acne and are best avoided. These include dairy and dairy products, sugary, starchy, fried, aerated drinks, heat-inducing items like eggs, honey, ginger, cinnamon, lemon, green tea.
  • Physical activity of 20 minutes to an hour with stress reduction regimes like yoga/meditation should be incorporated into the daily routine.

“Dandruff is also a major contributor acne in adults, more so in males, said Dr Soni adding, “Even make-up cause acne as it can easily block skin pores.” However, with the availability of better products in the market one can go over the make-up issues. Use products labelled “non-comedogenic” which means it has been formulated not to clog pores.

For more than a decade, acne was primarily considered a skin condition of the adolescents, due to puberty associated surge in the androgens (sex hormones), acting on the oil glands affecting the entire face. Adult acne, on the other hand, affects individuals after 25 years of age, seen on the lower half of the face and neck, being multifactorial in nature.

Although acne is a cosmetic issue, its effects can go much deeper to an undesirable blemish or even scarring. These can lead to a serious impact on the psychological well-being as well. Research suggests that adult women with acne experience symptoms of depression, anxiety, and struggles with anger problems with self-image.



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