Tips to Manage Adult Acne

As you move towards the end of your teenage years, you may realise – to your dismay – that your acne condition doesn’t seem to get any better. This is because not everyone outgrows acne. It is a skin condition that may follow you well into your adulthood.

According to some studies, acne was estimated to affect about 633 million people globally in 2015, making it the 8th most common disease worldwide. Although it affects mostly teenagers, statistics have shown that more than half of the people in their twenties and thirties suffer from some form of acne.

It is not entirely clear why some people are more susceptible to acne than others. Doctors say that how susceptible someone is to acne depends on several factors such as sebum production and hormonal fluctuations.

radium medical adult acne problem

Causes of Adult Acne

Most people outgrow acne as they hit their 20s. However, there remains a small population of people who continue to battle acne even in their adulthood. In fact, some people may experience acne for the first time as an adult.

“It is possible for you to get acne as an adult for the first time.” says Dr. Siew Tuck Wah, Medical Director of Radium Medical Aesthetics. If you have adult acne, it is probably due to one or more of the following reasons:

You may think “Why would menopause cause acne?”. Truth is, during menopause, the level of estrogen (female hormones) decreases while the androgen level (male hormones) remains constant. This causes your body to experience an ‘increase’ in male hormones. This leads to acne outbreak and other male-related problems such as hair loss.

When you are undergoing a stressful period in your life, you may get acne outbreaks. Our bodies react to stress by producing higher levels of male hormones. These hormones are largely responsible for issues like overactive oil glands which may clog the pores, which may lead to acne.

Women experience changes in hormone levels at some points in their lives. Events such as monthly periods, pregnancy, menopause, and even taking taking birth control pills can cause changes in hormone levels, which explains the acne outbreaks.

Cosmetic and skincare products play a big role in determining your skin condition. Whether it’s hairspray, concealer, sunscreen, or moisturizier, there products can cause your pores to clog. If left on the skin for a long period of time, it may trap acne-causing bacteria, resulting in red, inflamed acne.

Many off-the-shelf skincare products may seem beneficial for your skin initially, but take a closer look at their labels. Some of these products may contain the following ingredients may aggravate the acne condition on your face:

  • SD alcohol, denatured alcohol, ethanol, isopropyl alcohol
  • Petroleum
  • Mineral oil
  • Sodium or ammonium lauryl sulfate

When choosing good skincare products suitable for your skin type, make sure you read the labels properly and ensure that they don’t contain compounds that may clog your pores. 

Certain medicines can sometimes trigger acne outbreak. Some medicines that are known to cause acne outbreaks are:

Certain medicines can sometimes trigger acne outbreak. Some medicines that are known to cause acne outbreaks are:

  • Some antidepressants and anti-epileptic drugs
  • Thyroid medications
  • Immunosuppressant drugs
  • Tuberculosis medications
  • Steroids

Check with your doctor if the medicine you are taking may trigger acne as a side effect.

Treatments and Solutions for Adult Acne

There is no strong relationship between diet and acne, as there is no high-quality evidence to establish the link between them. However, it has been shown that high glycemic foods have varying degrees of effect of acne severity.

There are studies to show that lower glycemic diet seem to be more effective in controlling and reducing acne breakouts.

A common advice people may dish out is that acne sufferers should abstain from consuming milk. Milk contains whey protein and hormones. These components in milk are said to promote the effects of insulin, and thereby increase the production of androgen hormones and sebum.

Eating greasy foods does not increase formation of acne, however you should control your intake of greasy foods for your overall well-being.

It may sound painful to remove the top layer of your skin when you have acne outbreak. Truth is, whether your acne is mild or severe, regular exfoliation helps to reduce breakouts by keeping your pores unclogged so that dead skin cells and sebum don’t accumulate in your pores. If you have sensitive skin, go to a clinic to have your exfoliation facial treatment performed by the experts. 

Medical-grade LED light treatment has been shown to treat acne effectively. However, it does not work on all types of acne. Patients with severe acne may only see minimal improvement with LED blue light therapy. However, studies have shown that patients with mild to moderate acne have reported improvements of up to 55%. 

LED blue light

It may sound counterintuitive to moisturize your skin even though you have oily skin and acne breakout. Most of us try to wash our face more than twice a day when our face starts to become oily. By doing so, you are sending a signal to your body that your face is dry. Your body responds by secreting more sebum to moisturise and protect your skin. Apply a lightweight moisturizer after you wash your face daily will regulate the oil production on your face. If your face becomes oily in the middle of the day, blot the excess oil using a blotter.

radium skin self defence revital day creme

AGNES is an effective acne treatment that permanently eliminates recurring, stubborn acne. AGNES targets the root problem of acne by destroying the sebaceous glands. The doctor uses an insulated micro-needle to deliver radiofrequency waves to destroy the sebaceous glands. The needles are insulated so that it protects the surface of the skin, preventing thermal injury to the sensitive skin. With the sebaceous glands destroyed, acne will not come back – permanently.

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