One of the biggest lies adults like to tell teens is that their acne will go away when they leave adolescence. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case for everyone. In fact, acne persists for half of all adults from age 25 to 50. Since you have a 50% chance of dealing with acne as an adult, it is important to learn all you can about it.
What Is It?
Acne refers to the bumps on your skin that are caused by blocked hair follicles. Oils, dead skin, and dirt can enter your pores and form these blockages. Once your hair follicles become blocked, bacteria begins to grow and pimples form. These pimples can look like raised red spots, painful lumps under the skin, fluid-filled bumps, and blackheads. Most acne begins and ends in the teen years, but that isn’t always the case.
Boys are more prone to severe acne than girls because their skin tends to be more oily, but it can plague girls as well.
What Causes It?
It is a misconception that acne is caused by poor personal hygiene. In fact, acne is triggered by a number of factors, including frequent touching of the face, wearing oil-based makeup, being over-stressed, eating a diet high in sugar, and just being unlucky when it comes to genetics.
Sometimes acne can be a result of a hormonal imbalance. For women, acne is more likely to develop during pregnancy and menopause. It can also flare up during certain times of a woman’s menstrual cycle.
How Do You Treat It?
If your acne is mild, you might be able to treat it with better skincare habits and by reducing your sugar intake. You can also use an over-the-counter medication, such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. If your acne is severe, your dermatologist can prescribe you something a bit stronger. Either way, resist the temptation to pick, poke, or squeeze your pimples. Doing so will only inflame them and possibly spread the bacteria. It can also lead to infection and scarring. Wash your face every day with lukewarm water and a gentle cleanser and blot it softly with a clean towel to dry. Finally, try to avoid touching your face as much as possible.
Acne is a very common skin issue. Nearly 75% of teens and 50% of adults deal with some level of acne. Still, pimples are never fun. Luckily, there are things you can do to help clear your acne. If nothing you try works, be sure to see a dermatologist.
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