"I have wrinkles and pimples? Ugh. What's going on?" Dr. Diane Wong answers and gives tips on how to treat adult acne.
Adult acne can rear its ugly head at any time, even if you were lucky enough to escape adolescent acne. In Western cultures, acne affects up to 95 percent of adolescents and persists in up to 12 percent of women and three percent of men. It can be very frustrating – and even devastating for some people.
Hormones, diet and stress play a vital role in exacerbating acne. Other triggers can be linked to your menstrual cycle, excess production of testosterone and even polycystic ovary syndrome in severe or resistant cases. If you've recently stopped taking the birth control pill, you may notice an increase in acne. There are some studies that suggest that milk has a negative impact as well.
One of the key things to remember when treating adult acne is that mature skin is different from adolescent skin. It produces less oil, has a slower rate of cellular turnover and may not heal as quickly. Adult acne tends to be chronic and low grade, with closed comedones being the most common type of lesion. A few papulopustules are usually present as well. In adults, rosacea may present with pustules and be mistaken for adult acne. Other signs and symptoms, such as redness of the skin, should alert the practitioner to consider rosacea in a different diagnosis.
There is no known cure for acne, but there are many available treatments. The goal is to control acne and prevent redness, pigmentation and scarring, which may occur if left untreated.
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