Thursday, February 25, 2010

Adult Acne


Swati, a reader wrote to me with her skin problem: 
“I just hit 30 and am following a skin care regimen. But I have tried at least 15-20 sunscreens and all of them give me pimples…. I do not have acne prone skin....never had it in my life even in teens...but most products..Even moisturizers etc...Make my skin break out. pls help!”
Swati, I think you are probably suffering from a condition known as Adult Acne.
What?
Adult Acne is well, acne that strikes you when you are in your late twenties and thirties. Nearly 20 percent of men and 30 percent of women over the age of 20 have some sort of breakout
But Why?
Stress – This is the number one cause of adult acne. This is caused by the body producing extra androgens, a type of hormone, in response to stress. In turn these androgens stimulate oil production in the glands of the skin causing acne to flare up.

Hormones: Experts aren't sure why, but oil glands seem to be more sensitive to hormonal shifts during your 20s and 30s.
Family history - many of us have a genetic predisposition to adult acne. Studies have shown that up to half of adult acne sufferers have a parent or sibling that have also suffered from the same condition. 

Birth control pills - the combination of hormones contained in most birth control pills, progesterone and estrogen, often helps to prevent acne in women. Ceasing to take the pill can cause an outbreak of adult acne. On the other hand, progesterone only birth control pills can trigger adult acne, so stopping these may help to clear your skin.

Medication - many medications can cause an outbreak of acne, or cause it to flare up if you are already acne prone. Never stop taking medication because of an acne breakout without consulting your doctor first.

Oily products - hair greases and oily sunscreens can trigger something called acne cosmetica when they come into contact with the skin. Buying products labelled ‘non-acnegenic’ or non-comedogenic’ should help to avoid this type of adult acne.

Pollution and Hormone Fed Meats are also being cited as possible causes, but there is no conclusive research on this yet.

CAUTION: There are times when adult acne, particularly in women, can be a sign of an underlying medical condition such as polycystic ovaries, adrenal hyperplasia or a hormone secreting tumour. However, in these cases there will be other symptoms such as increased facial hair and thinning hair or bald patches on the head, as well as irregular periods. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms in conjunction with acne, you should consult your doctor to begin tests.

What be done?
1.      Visit the dermatologist. This is important. Adult acne is often mistaken for rosacea, a condition where a person's skin reddens around the cheeks, nose, chin and forehead. In addition to the reddening, many rosacea patients experience pimples. The derm should be able to help you not only identify the real condition, but also the causative agents as well as products that can help you clear it. 

2.      Get a cleanup done: Sometimes acne flares up due to clogged pores. Get a gentle clean-up done from a trusted beauty advisor to help unclog them

3.      Use a good quality cleanser and moisturizer meant for acne prone skin. Neutrogena has a wide variety of face washes as oil-free moisturizers that can help clean and nourish your skin but not aggravate the acne. 

4.      Take a break: The no. 1 cause of acne is stress. 20s & 30s can be a trying time for most adults as we begin to settle down and take on more and more responsibilities. Take some time out for yourself everyday – even 20 minutes is good. Do something you like – go for a walk, read a book, dance around to some hip-hop. Anything you like, but just chill. 

5.      Exfoliate 2-3 times a week: with a gentle cleanser. In our 30s, the cell turnover reduces drastically. Layers of dead cells on the surface make our skin look dull and can contribute to acne by blocking pore openings. Don’t use those crushed apricot and walnut granules. If you can’t find anything just rustle up a mixture of equal amounts of honey(anti-bacterial, soothing), lemon (anti-bacterial and helps lighten scars) and sugar granules (exfoliant). Use immediately. 

6.      Eat right: Acne is also a symptom of lack of certain nutrients in the body like Vitamin A and Zinc or of the liver is unable to remove toxins from the body.  Make sure your diet is nutritionally balanced. 

7.      Ayurvedic remedy: Mix 5 powdered grams each of neem, turmeric, amla, sandalwood, and multani mitti with a little of water to create a smooth paste. Apply in the morning and evening, only on affected areas, let dry, then wash.
Swati, I hope this helps you.
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16 comments:

  1. Hey Tanveer, Nice post...Pls do one of your other make up routines...want to try a diff look dear makeup guru :)

    Shweta

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  2. Thanks for the nice post Tanveer. even i have the same problem sometimes. i think its coz of the hormone imbalance.

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  3. @Shweta: I am working on tht look :D.. Will be posting it soon :D

    @ Ani: In that case u shd visit a doctor, as hormonal imbalance can have far reaching repercussions that are more severe than just acne.

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  4. i am done with pimply-ness in my teens and keep my fingers crossed that it doesn't recur as i turn older.

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  5. @Rima: Same here ya, I had some acne in my teens tht left behind a lot of blemishes. It was a lot of hard work to get rid of them..

    In any case u mention you have dry skin, so I think u shd be ok. :D

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh nice post. I read these pointers on adult acne scars a few days back. :)

    Thankfully I don't have scne prone skin and my mom used to be after my skin when I used to have tiny pimples during my teens.It used to be irritating then but now I can't thank her enough. :)

    So all's great now. :P

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  7. By the way I forgot to tell you I tried your curd and lemon wala bleach and it worked nicely. It didn't really colour my hair or anything but it gave a nice light effect on my skin.Liked it a lot. Thank you so much for suggesting. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. @Rati: Even my mom was like that.. & I remember even I used to get so irritated at her then.. But yes, even I am thankful today :D

    I am glad the lemon - curd worked for you :D :D

    I myself use this lemon- curd once every two weeks.. & also lemon - honey almost every alternate day.. Keeps skin soft and smooth better than any lotion I have bought :D

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  9. Very well researched and relevant post!!
    Adult acne is way more common than ppl think- normally ppl jst dismiss it saying u'll grow out of it.But in many ppl it req doctor's attention

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hey Tanveer,

    Thanks a ton for this great response. It covers pretty much everything. I think eating right and exfoliation is the solution for me.

    And stress yes...with two boys aged 5 and 2 you can imagine my stress levels!!

    will certainly follow you advice on ‘non-acnegenic’ or non-comedogenic' products.

    But then if this is adult acne how come when I stop using all products my skin clears up immediately with no trace of scars or anything?? it has been like this since teenage...but i do want to use atleast a moisturiser and sunscreen.

    Is there any particular sunscreen you would suggest for my sensitive skin??

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  11. @Simran: Thks :D

    @Swati: Yea, kids can be stressful.. It is essential you eat right & take good care :D

    I am confused now Swati - In yr earlier query, you wrote that "I do not have acne prone skin....never had it in my life even in teens..."... so maybe u'd like to explain again to me if did or didn't have acne in yr teens :D

    If you read the post I have mentioned a type of acne that flares up when you use cosmetics "Oily products - hair greases and oily sunscreens can trigger something called acne cosmetica when they come into contact with the skin"

    I suggest you refer to a dr. for your moisturizer and sunscreen reccos. You seem to have sensitive, acne prone skin and it is best if a doctor advices you on the same after an examination of yr skin.

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  12. Tanveer...Sorry I confused you there. What I meant was that since teenage I never get acne as long as I do not use any products atall on my face. As soon as I use a moisturiser or sunscreen I start breaking out. And then as soon as I stop using them my skin gets clear within days. So all my life i have never used any moisturiser, scrub or sunscreen or anything ever and my skin has been fine.
    But I do have dry skin and now as I hit thirty I wanted to start a skin care routine and started to try some moisturisers and sunscreens. Again the same thing happened.

    So I meant that I get acne only for the duration that I use these products. When i discontinue use, the acne dissapears..:) Hope I have explained clearly :))

    So maybe it is 'acne cosmetica'..but will surely check it out with a doc.

    Swati

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  13. Tanveer...Sorry I confused you there. What I meant was that since teenage I never get acne as long as I do not use any products atall on my face. As soon as I use a moisturiser or sunscreen I start breaking out. And then as soon as I stop using them my skin gets clear within days. So all my life i have never used any moisturiser, scrub or sunscreen or anything ever and my skin has been fine.
    But I do have dry skin and now as I hit thirty I wanted to start a skin care routine and started to try some moisturisers and sunscreens. Again the same thing happened.

    So I meant that I get acne only for the duration that I use these products. When i discontinue use, the acne dissapears..:) Hope I have explained clearly :))

    So maybe it is 'acne cosmetica'..but will surely check it out with a doc.

    Swati

    ReplyDelete
  14. oh I posted this twice...sorry:)

    Actually is there a problem with the site?? Sometimes when i write a post I get error message saying 'your request could not be processed'...and the whole thing dissapears so I post it again...:)

    Swati

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  15. Tanveer,

    Sorry to hear about your hubby. Hope he gets well soon..Take your own time with the responses and do take care :)..until then will be enjoying many of the other great posts on your blog..

    ReplyDelete
  16. @Swati: Hey, U shd ask the doctor to chk u out.. maybe u just have sensitive skin. or need a clean-up. Sometimes we have blocked pores that flare up when ever something oily is further added.. I hope the doctor is able to help you out :D

    My hubby is fit & fine now :)

    Do let me know wht u enjoyed reading so that I can do more posts of the same kind :)

    ReplyDelete

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