Acne is a somewhat frustrating skin condition that affects almost anyone. It is undeniably more common among teenagers. However, adults are not exceptions to this skin condition. Acne develops due to an excess in oil production of the skin, causing a blockage in the pores. Bacteria are not the cause of acne but it may contribute to its development, like when the follicle increases in size, it may result to a rupture which will allow entry to normal bacteria present in the skin thus causing inflammation. This inflammation causes a few types of acne called pustules if the inflammation is near the skin’s surface, and deeper inflammations may result in either papules or cysts. Blackheads and whiteheads are actually types of acne as well which are called comedones. Whiteheads occur when clogged pores are covered by a thin layer of the skin. On the other hand, blackheads occur when the exposed portion of the clog is exposed to air and oxidized.
There is no ultimate cause to acne but there are factors that contribute to the emergence of acne. Hormonal changes contribute to the excess oil production of the skin. This probably explains as to why adult acne is more common among women compared to men. Some medications and cosmetic products also cause or even worsen acne. For some people, having a family history of acne puts them at a higher risk of developing acne.
Treating Adult Acne
There is a wide array of treatments available for acne. How adult acne is treated differs from how it is treated in teenagers. There are quite a number of effective medications in treating adult acne, both topical and oral ones. However, choosing the right medication can be more complicated as one may think. A medication has to be found that will actually be right for the type of acne one has.
Prescription medications that contain retinoids are revolutionary drugs that are highly effective in treating even severe forms of acne. These medications help unclog pores. It is however linked to birth defects therefore strict caution is advised to those who use it. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to help fight the bacteria aggravating the acne. Oral contraceptives are also given as treatments for acne to help balance out the fluctuating hormones.
However if the acne does not seem to respond to medications, acne surgery is an option. Acne surgery is the surgical removal of the different types of acne done by dermatologists. This procedure involves comedone extraction, and draining and extraction of large acne cysts. Comedone extraction is done by putting gentle pressure around the pore opening to extract the contents of blackheads, and a small incision is done before using a comedo extractor for whiteheads. Cortisone injections are also given to flatten out large pimples and cysts in a short amount of time. For inflamed acne cysts, cortisone injections may be given to flatten them out in a short amount of time, reduce pain and probably prevent scarring. For those who develop scars from acne surgery, there are treatments that will help reduce its appearance such as chemical peels and laser treatments.
It is always best to consult an expert to get the proper treatment for the exact type of acne. Squeezing and pricking acne is never a good idea as this may make acne worse, become infected and eventually lead to permanent scarring.