What is Acne?
Acne is one of the most common skin conditions there is. It is characterized by blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, and even cysts. These problems occur when oil and dead skin cells park themselves in your skin’s hair follicles, often leading to inflammation. Acne doesn’t just appear on your face, either. It can develop on your shoulders, neck, chest, and back.
Acne affects many adolescents, tweens, and teens. The sooner you start a skin regimen, the less likely the acne is to leave marks or even scar. Acne often gets worse over time, especially through puberty, and then it can get harder to treat. Social media has led to a big fear of missing out and many trends that lead to overusing products and even using products that are not safe for the face. Different people also can have different types of pimples, so treatment is not one size fits all!
There can also be different triggers for different people that we can help sort through, even though hormones are the biggest bottom line. Did you know skim milk may trigger more acne than 2% milk? Did you know some protein supplements could worsen acne? Even some medications can trigger acne. Most importantly, finding the right regimen only involves a few steps and some good coaching that we love to provide!
Do Adults Develop Acne?
Contrary to what some people may think, acne doesn’t only affect teens. Pimples plague a surprising number of adults. In fact, the incidence of acne in people 20 years old and well beyond is now common, with 40% of people being diagnosed.
Each adult patient’s case is unique, as there are various causes of acne and the different ways it can manifest. A 40-year-old’s acne — and the solutions to treat it — might be very different from a 16-year-old’s, for example.
Acne can be physically irritating and painful, but it can also affect our self-esteem.
What Causes Adult Acne?
Acne can be persistent and is caused by a combination of things:
- Hormonal shifts
- Refined carb and sugar-heavy diets
- Some medications
Adult acne can particularly affect women as they undergo a major hormonal shift each month with their menstrual cycles. And as we get older, new stresses emerge on a regular basis.
We at DermPhysicians of New England employ diverse treatments that are customized to your skin’s needs and your goals. These include:
- Helping you navigate over-the-counter products
- Topical medications, such as retinoids
- Internal prescription medications, both antibiotics and non-antibiotics, including hormonal and nonhormonal alternatives
- Corticosteroid injections for cysts as they appear (always at the worst time!)
- Laser treatments for acne scarring or redness
- Chemical peels
Topicals work with religious use, medications work systemically, and corticosteroid injections destroy cysts quickly, lowering your chances of scarring. Many times we find people are using too many products and maybe not the right ones, this is easy for us to figure out!
If you’re struggling with acne at any age, we can help you execute a treatment plan that clears your skin!