Acne Magazine

All About Acne and How to Treat This Skin Condition

Treating Adult vs. Teen Acne

Many people think that treating adult acne has to be a lot different than how you would treat acne for a teenager. However, the treatments are mostly the same. The only real consideration that may separate the two a little is that you are dealing with thinner, more delicate skin on older adults than you would be on a teen.

The skin around the eyes and on the neck tend to get thinner as we age. That is why these areas are often the first ones where we see those dreaded signs of aging like cross hatching (fine lines) wrinkles, crows feet, and the crepe paper types of wrinkles that you see when you first start to notice your skin isn’t quite the same skin you were born with.

This is why often times adults will use acne treatment products that are gentler.  However, teens really should take this same approach. You can’t beat acne by beating it out of your skin with brute force via harsh cleansing agents and surfactants like SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate).

Instead, you should be using a really great antibacterial acne soap or cleanser that uses natural antibacterial aids to deeply cleanse the skin and rid it of both surface bacteria and the bacteria that looms just below the surface in the pores where it causes whiteheads and blackhead pimples.

I had a funny moment on the couch with my in laws the other night. I had put a dollop of zit cream over a particularly difficult zit that cropped up thanks to some mega-stress I was enduring at work the previous day.  After first mistaking the dollop for whipped cream (we had just had ice cream and cool whip), I explained it was actually zit cream.

Since I’m 37, my in law remarked “you’re not supposed to be getting zits, you should be way past that”. Well, yeah, that’s kind of what I’m thinking too, but any adult who still has acne flare ups will tell you, it can happen at any age!

The important thing is to control your hormones, which means controlling stress and controlling the things you eat.  You can take a hormonal acne treatment supplement, or you can try to balance the hormones via your diet.  These both can work wonders for your skin if you have the hormonal and stress related flare ups that I do.


March 3, 2012 at 7:46 pm Comments (0)

Emotional Impact of Acne : Part II – Adults

Teens are not the only ones who feel self-conscious because of acne. Adults sometimes have an even harder time dealing with acne-prone skin than younger people.  It seems particularly unfair when you are dealing with not only the undesirable things that happen to the skin as you age, but also with pimples, which are often viewed as a “young person’s problem”

This may be because they have been dealing with acne for most of their lives or because they feel they are simply too old to be getting pimples. Even the most successful and powerful adults can have extreme self-esteem issues due to acne.  Some popular examples in the celebrity circuit would be actors Tommy Lee Jones and Edward James Olmos.  Brad Pitt even has some light acne scarring.

Both of these actors have deep pock marking acne scars from their youth.  You can tell they both have thicker skin that was oily when they were younger.  However, the way they carry that scarring is unique and sort of has become their trademark. It’s almost as if this scarring has worked in their favor, making them look more “rugged”. 

So you can definitely “make it your own” – but unfortunately there may be a double standard because women tend to not get that same favorable treatment, particularly in the world of entertainment.

People of all ages who suffer from acne often feel ugly when they look at themselves in the mirror. Although it’s sad to say, there are a lot of people who look disapprovingly at people with severe acne. Some people, especially kids and teens, even pick on people with acne problems, causing further pain and self-esteem issues.

Even the mildest cases of acne can really diminish a person’s self-confidence – whether a teen or an adult. These self-esteem and confidence issues can cause a person to withdraw from society because they are ashamed of their appearance. A combination of these issues sometimes causes depression and anxiety in acne sufferers.

Although acne is literally “skin deep,” it can truly cause psychological, mental and emotional problems for those who suffer from it. Something as simple as acne should never make a person feel bad about themselves, or cause someone to be depressed or withdraw from society.

People who are suffering from acne and its psychological and emotional issues should consult a sympathetic dermatologist. A dermatologist who has experience in treating patients with acne problems can help a person find a proper skin-care routine (which especially for adults should include only a gentle acne cleanser) and prescription medication to help treat their acne and help them feel better about themselves and their appearance.

February 23, 2012 at 4:23 pm Comments (0)

Adult Cystic Acne Treatments

Cystic acne is the most painful and harshest form of acne. It is also referred to as modular acne. Treating cystic acne is actually difficult since it takes longer time to heal. It is believed that cystic acne is caused by hormonal imbalances and accumulation of dirt on the skin. Sometimes it is said to be hereditary.

Adult cystic acne is common with pregnant women. This is because they undergo a lot of body changes that results into hormonal changes. Therefore, we should look at effective ways to completely eliminate this type of acne.

Cystic acne is treatable. If not treated on properly, it can lead to scars and dark marks on the skin which will make you look ugly. In order to treat cystic acne, you can try two effective ways; consult a dermatologist or use natural cystic acne treatment remedies.

When adults are diagnosed with cystic acne, they prefer consulting the skin expert medical practitioners to home remedies. This is because the home remedies may take a longer time to heal the complication and many people do not like those pustules on their skin. Therefore, you can get rid of these pimples by taking drugs and antibiotics prescribed by a specialist.

Taking oral antibiotics can actually get rid of cystic acne within few a days sometimes, however we have talked about the dangers of taking antibiotics for acne. Especially when they are used long term – they have been linked to breast cancer, and they greatly diminish and may permanently diminish the friendly bacterium that inhabit the intestines and colon, giving you digestive problems. Women do take oral contraceptives in order to curb the complication. Doctors also recommend surgical excision and drainage.

This is whereby a doctor makes incision in the skin in order to extract the infected pus. Injections can also be used whereby a certain medication is directly injected into the lesion. This is done to reduce inflammation.

You can also use simple home based remedies to treat cystic acne. These are inexpensive and with fewer side effects. While using home remedies, it is advisable to avoid squeezing the pimples since this can leave a permanent scar and mark on your skin.

Eat healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables in order to cure cystic acne naturally. Omega fats can help cure acne within four weeks. Effective fruits include kiwi, tomatoes and avocados. Therefore, you are supposed to choose the best method to get rid of cystic acne from your skin before it spreads.

October 20, 2011 at 9:36 am Comments (0)

Chemical Peels Used for Adult Acne

As a 36 year old woman now, I still will get acne on and off. Although I’ve been able to successfully control acne when it does come calling (which is usually when I’m under stress or I’ve had too many stimulants – ie caffeine), is through natural hormonal acne treatments.

Another favorite way for me to help control both acne breakouts, and help smooth out wrinkles and fine lines, as well as to help further smooth out old depressed acne marks or redness, is the chemical peel.  Chemical peels are a great way to help treat adult acne because they help to really clear out the pores and get rid of all surface debris and dead skin.

A big part of why acne occurs is because of debris that is on the skin’s surface getting stuck in the over abundance of topical sebum (oil) left on the skin.  The debris then gets stuck in the pores, and a resulting infection occurs, with inflammation. This is why the skin becomes inflamed, and a bump becomes large.  Pus builds up, and an acne lesion forms.

Chemical peels that are done regularly simply help reduce the likelihood that your pores will become clogged. They also may temporarily reduce sebum, but they don’t address the actual underlying issue of the problem.

That’s where the natural hormonal acne treatments come in. If you address the root of adult acne, which is an imbalance in the hormones, which causes the oil glands to become overactive, at the root cause, then you have a much better chance of solving the problem on a more permanent level.

A chemical peel can really help refresh your skin and make it look radiant though. It is one of my favorite ways to make my skin look really glowing and fresh since it does take off so many dead skin cells and helps to increase skin cell turnover as well as increase collagen production.

December 15, 2010 at 8:58 am Comments (0)

50% of Adult Women Complain of Acne

I was amazed, although not totally shocked because I am one of these statistics when my skin is not cooperating with me or I’m under a lot of stress, that it has been reported 50% of adult women here in the US actually complain of getting acne. When I say adult, I mean women ranging from their twenties all the way up to the menopausal years.

This is quite a range, and although acne is typically associated with the younger teen years and even early twenties since this tends to be when women’s hormones are more active, it is no longer just a skin condition that affects younger women. That is clear when you see the range of adult acne products that are out there now.

Manufacturers aren’t stupid. They see that adult acne, especially in women who tend to have more hormonal issue throughout life beyond the teen years than men, is prevalent amongst adult women. They see the huge marketing opportunity to address both acne and aging skin issues at once, and laser target a specific audience and need.

Let’s talk a little more about why adult acne is more prevalent in women.  Womens hormones are simply a bit more unstable than mens are. I wish there were a better, more diplomatic way to say that, but there isn’t, and believe me, I’m not bashing women – I am a woman!  Because of this, we are just more susceptible to hormonally driven acne.

Women’s hormones go through a lot of changes because of our biological purpose, which is to get pregnant and give birth. Our periods are a large reason for our hormonal imbalances.  We have spikes and dips in our hormones throughout every month thanks to our menstrual cycles.

And because of the way we are built to be so dependent on our hormones, we also are a bit more susceptible to the hormone balance upsetters like stress and bad eating.

Adult women usually have issue with acne on their chin, jaw and neck, whereas teen women usually can have it in a larger variety of areas, including the body. I’ve noticed that as I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to see more acne in places I didn’t have it when I was younger.

However my personal experience is that I’ve seen more body acne as an adult, whereas most other women do not.

December 12, 2010 at 3:40 pm Comments (0)

PMDD and Your Skin, Your Health

PMS is a fact of life for most women who are of the age where they menstruate.  We almost all experience some way shape or form of the premenstrual symptoms such as moodiness, acne breakouts, exhaustion, cramping and irritability beyond belief at times, but there are some women who actually experience a form of PMS that is way worse and more difficult to endure and to treat, called PMDD.  You may have heard of it before, and it’s a fairly recent “discovery” that some women really do have it worse.  PMDD stands for Premenstrual Disphoric Disorder.

What exactly is PMDD?  Well, it consists of many of the same symptoms as PMS, only they are more severe and may even require medication to control.  Symptoms of PMDD include anxiety, depression, irritability, difficulty concentrating and mental fuzziness, and there may even be a worsening of the skin since this is all hormonally related, and we all know that when your hormones are out of whack, your skin usually will follow suit in some way shape or form, whether it be acne, discoloration, flushing or what have you.

In PMDD though, the focus is on the mental aspects of the disorder, since it can actually paralyze one’s whole life because of the severity of the symptoms.  It can be alarming for some women, which only makes the symptoms worse because of increased anxiety and depression, and some women simply may think they have a worse case of PMS than they usually do, however if it is consistent and life altering, treatment must be sought out via possibly medications that can help the symptoms, and/or psychiatric evaluations.

I know for me as a woman, I usually experience my PMS symptoms about one to one and a half weeks before my period.  I usually have those symptoms, which included moodiness, irritability, sometimes mild blues, difficulty concentrating and formulating thoughts and words, and changes in my skin such as breakouts, as well as occasional night sweats during that time, but they do usually subside within a few days, if that.  Sometimes they might only last one to two days, and the severity just depends on the month.

Some months I could have very mild to almost no symptoms of PMS, and some months it seems worse, and I also happen to notice that usually during the worse months I also happen to lose more blood in the cycle, so I’m thinking that the symptoms may be linked to a heavier cycle that month, even though I am on the birth control pill which helps with heavy periods and also helps with my skin during those periods, as well as the duration of the period itself, which now usually only lasts maybe 2 to 3 days of actual blood flow.

I wonder if maybe being on a low dose pill could help women with PMDD since it may help them to control some of the symptoms and regulate the hormones a little better after a few months of the pill being taken and the body adjusting to the hormone levels.  It’s a thought, I’m sure it could be discussed in depth with one’s doctor.

July 6, 2009 at 10:19 am Comments (0)

Statistics Test Anxiety Leads to Zit

So if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you obviously know how much I talk about the link between stress (aka acute anxiety) and acne.  You also know that the reason that stress causes acne in us, especially those of us who may be a bit more sensitive to stress hormonally speaking, is because stress triggers certain hormones that then displace your male and female hormone activity, and in many people, leads to breaking out.

Well, this has been one heck of a week and a half for me so far. First, we had massive wind storms here in Ohio and our power was knocked out for a few days.  We lost a lot of food and felt displaced and had to stay at friend’s houses, so that naturally lead my anal retentive self to break out – albeit temporarily.  Well, the latest debacle with my overly stress-sensitive skin is this class I’m taking.  It’s Statistics.  I know, if you’ve taken this class in your life then you know what a nightmare it is for someone like myself who is not mathematically or conceptually gifted.

Naturally this class has produced a lot of angst and stress in me, and I had my first test today, where I had to go into an unfamiliar testing center and take it.  I’m also somewhat of a shy person, so that whole experience also created some stress for me, although it quickly subsided when I realized how easy it was and that I was being a loon for being stressed about such a silly thing as unfamiliarity with a testing center.

However, this morning when I was doing my last minute cramming for the test, I realized that I had totally skipped a whole concept in my studying that I needed to focus on for test preparation, and I swear I felt the conception of a new zit on my chin (my face’s favorite place to crop up new zits). 

Well, sure enough, tonight, I grew a new friend on my chin in a matter of hours.  I’m going to treat it with a little TLC and hopefully it will go down by tomorrow.  I notice lots of times now with the quick stress zits I can get them to go away quickly if the stress is short lived and my nerves return to normal in a few hours. 

October 20, 2008 at 10:09 pm Comments (0)

Acne and Pregnancy : What Products Can You Use?

I got this question from a reader, and thought I would share it with everyone since some other women out there may have the same questions. 

Question : Hello,
I was reading some articles on your website and there seem to be a lot of great alternative type products that are successful at treating acne.  I was wondering if you know of a topical product that is safe to use during pregnancy?  I have read that ‘tea tree oil‘ should be avoided as well as salicylic acid (Not sure of the spelling).  Please let me know if there is an article that you can direct me to or if you know of a good product. 
Thank you,

Answer :

Hello.  While I couldn’t find much on why some topical products for acne are not recommended during pregnancy, I was able to find that benzoyl peroxide, and unfortunately like you said, my favorite (salicylic acid) is not recommended during pregnancy. 
Why exactly I’m not sure, but of course someone who knows about chemical reactions, etc. during pregnancy did the research.  I just like salicylic acid better than benzoyl peroxide because I find it has a less drying effect and also does a great job at exfoliating dead skin layers and exposing fresh, new skin. 
However, benzoyl peroxide will do as a second best during pregnancy, I would just use it in moderation.  I was also able to find this product called Belli Acne Clearing Face Wash, that is recommended for acne during pregnancy which uses lactic acid as it’s weapon, and it is a face wash specifically made/marketed for pregnant women with acne. 
Lactic acid is an awesome exfoliant, and also helps to clear the pores of debris, going deep to penetrate and clear the pores of blackhead causing and pore clogging oil and dirt, so I’d give this a thumbs up.  While I know this isn’t a comprehensive answer to your question, I certainly hope it helps some!  Good luck in your search for a pregnancy acne solution! 
August 8, 2008 at 9:47 pm Comment (1)

Salicylic Acid the Better Solution for Aging Skin with Acne

When it comes to OTC acne fighting ingredients that are commonly found in the best products for fighting acne, whether adult acne or teenage acne, there are a few ingredients that really are better at fighting acne while also not drying or irritating the skin too much.  The best one between benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid is, in my opinion, salicylic acid. 

I especially think it’s the best choice for women in their twenties, thirties and forties and higher who are battling both aging skin and dryness, and may also be battling the occasional breakout.  I know, so unfair that we have to battle both aging signs like crow’s feet and fine lines AND acne, but it seems to be the way of the world these days with more and more adult women, and men, getting acne later in life. 

Salicylic acid is a highly recommended ingredient in topical acne treatment products for adults because it not only gets into the pores and unclogs them, but it’s ideal for aging skin because it does not have the drying and irritating properties of many of it’s counterparts, and it also has an added benefit for aging skin that many don’t know about.

Salicylic acid is an excellent natural exfoliant, meaning it sloughs off those dead layers of skin cells that crop up every single day, very easily, leaving a refreshed, glowing layer of skin and accelerating the turnover of the skin cells so that wrinkles look less deep and noticeable and the skin takes on the fresh look that tend to go fade with age as our skin has less tone as well as less ability to turn over because our cells do not renew themselves as quickly as they did when we were younger.

Salicylic acid is even found in many acid peels, and is an excellent peel for those that are treating acne and acne scarring because it is gentle enough, but also gets the job done of getting those dead skin cells to turn over and “forcing” our skin to make new ones. 

July 29, 2008 at 2:21 pm Comments (0)

Old Male Birth Control Pills Caused Acne in Some

Well, it’s on the verge of becoming a new reality, well, a new and improved reality since the first try was a flop due to too  many side effects, including inducing male acne in the men who took them, presumable due to hormone shock and imbalance, but a newer and better male birth control pill is supposedly on the near term horizon as an option in couple’s birth control endeavors.  Many women now take the pill, some for reasons other than birth control alone, but most for reasons that include birth control. 

As we’ve talked about before, many women use the birth control pill in part to help clear their face of acne, and some have had great success in clearing either adult or teen acne by taking specific types of birth control pills that allow the woman’s hormones to be a more controlled level at all times rather than go up and down constantly as they do in nature. 

One of the major complaints with the first male birth control pill was that the men who were taking them broke out a lot, and some got very severe acne, presumably a hormonal side effect of the pill.  The newer male contraceptive pill would be available in several different options, like the female birth control pill, including a daily pill, a gel that would be administered to the skin and utilized transdermally, and a patch.  Still, many men are leary of taking a pill and messing with their hormones, much like women understandably are.  In fact, many recommend women do not stay on the pill for more than ten years.

The reason that acne may have resulted in that the balance of the testosterone and the progestin released in to the man’s blood stream to help turn off sperm production was a little off kilter, and this in turn threw off their oil production, and resulted in hormonally induced acne, but men who have tried the newer versions have seen little side effect, aside from maybe a little bit of weight gain. 

July 25, 2008 at 5:14 am Comments (0)

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