Living With Adult Acne
Spots. Disgusting bumps that can keep you under constant fear of eruption. Of course, I know that there are far worse things in life. I am truly grateful for my overall health and wellbeing. But for such tiny things, the presence of spots can have a huge unwanted impact.
What is Acne?
Acne is a well-known skin condition, as it affects most people at some point in their life. Pimples appear on the face, chest and back.
Acne pimples vary, from whiteheads to blackheads, cysts and pustules. Though acne can be mild, it can develop into deep inflamed spots that can scar the skin.
Acne occurs when hair follicles get blocked. It sounds so simple. And it is.
Tiny sebaceous glands close to the surface of the skin are attached to your hair follicles. We have hair follicles all over us, except for our palms and soles. Each follicle is a microscopic hole in your skin. Our hair grows through each hole. The sebaceous glands lubricate the hair and skin with sebum to keep both from drying out.
When someone has acne, they produce too much sebum. This extra serum mixes with tiny fractions of dead skin cells, forming a plug that blocks the hair follicle. This plugged follicle may bulge and become a whitehead, or it may become wider, causing a blackhead.
Why do people get Acne?
Teenage acne is linked to an increase in testosterone during puberty. Acne also runs in families, so if one of your parents has had it, you are more likely to develop it too. Studies show that if both parents had acne, you are more likely to develop adult acne.
80% of adult acne occurs in women. This is linked to the hormones present in their bodies during menstruation and pregnancy. Many women suffer from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, and one of the symptoms is acne.
Smoking is known to cause adult acne.
Can I catch Acne?
Acne is not infectious, you cannot catch it from anyone. Acne is not caused by eating chocolate, or because someone is dirty.
Acne is simply caused by over active sebaceous glands.
To Squeeze or Not to Squeeze?
All medical advice states that you should NEVER squeeze a spot. Ever. No matter how awful you think it looks. Squeezing spots leads to scarring. I have personal experience of this – a spot will last a maximum of a few days. A scar is for life.
How do I get rid of Acne?
Now, if I knew the definitive answer to this question, I would be a rich woman indeed! Alas, just like we are all unique, our acne is unique as well. Treating acne successfully may take several months, so give your treatments an adequate chance to fix it.
There are hundreds of products available. In my experience, over the counter cream containing Benzoyl Peroxide should help enormously.
Don’t be tempted to wash your skin very often, as this will just make the sebaceous glands work even harder.
Use blood temperature water when you do clean your skin. If the water is too hot or too cold it will make your spots even worse.
Always remove your make up before you go to sleep!
Will I grow out of Acne?
Happily, most people grow out of acne. It is something that they leave, as a distant memory, in their teenage years.
However, some people continue to have acne throughout adulthood.
How I deal with my Acne
Despite my best hopes and efforts, my acne isn’t going anywhere. I have learned to stick with the same products, as chopping and changing things makes my skin go haywire. I have got in to the habit of wearing full make up each day. I wish I didn’t have to, but my skin shows such varying colour and texture, I feel that I have to even things out.
I hate that people might think I only wear make-up because I am vain – I genuinely just wear it as a mask.
I have dry skin as well as acne, so I have a constant battle happening on my face! Going ‘Poo Free’ has absolutely helped my acne. I don’t use shampoo anymore, I just use silicone free conditioner to wash, then condition, my hair. I also do a final hair rinse with apple cider vinegar, and I think that this really helps my acne as it trickles over my face. I try not to let it get into my eyes – it stings!
The One Good Thing About Acne
The one good thing about having teenage skin? I am ageing far less quickly than women my age! My face has far fewer lines and wrinkles than my friends’ faces.
Perhaps those over active sebaceous glands are good for something after all.