Acne is no longer a condition that teenagers are afflicted with. Those red and raised bumps are cropping up in older women, where according to a new study from American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) and Dr. Bethanee Jean Schlosser noted that ‘late-onset or adult-onset acne is becoming increasingly common in women in their 20s, 30s, 40s and even 50s.” The study also addressed the complexity of hormones and how hormonal therapies are way to treat this on-going issue. As the study noted, “there is no one single cure that works in all patients with acne, dermatologists can recommend patient-specific treatment regimens to control acne and minimize future breakouts. In women, hormonal therapies are commonly used to treat acne safely and effectively.” To learn more about adult acne Momtrends spoke with Dr. Katie Rodan, dermatologist, Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor and Co-Developer of Proactiv about the complexity of this frustrating condition and what women can do to treat and even prevent it.
The causes of acne are complex. Dr. Rodan noted that acne (in women) is caused by stress, hormones, excess sebum, or oil gland, production, a poor diet or an increased number of the acne-causing bacterium. For some women this is a few breakouts for others it is a constant flow of breakouts. In both cases, Dr. Rodan noted, indicates adult acne. This was interesting to learn since I never associated occasional breakouts as being considered acne.
In terms of treatment, Dr. Rodan suggests starting treatment early by visiting a dermatologist. We are a nation that thinks we know how to treat our ailments, which when coupled with every product available to us makes it easy to think we can find a winning cream right in our drugstore. Dr. Rodan stated that moms can also help their children to prevent acne by visiting a dermatologist as early as eight years old. For women with acne, Dr. Rodan also noted that “women need to understand that it is not their fault.” Adding, “acne doesn’t make you a lesser person.” She also noted that she loves benzoyl peroxide by stating, “this no bacterial formula is really the gold standard.” She also noted that acne is complex and require time, patience and consistency before any changes can occur. Adding, “there are no quick fixes.”
In addition to learning about adult acne from Dr. Rodan, I read over the AAD study, and really enjoyed Dr. Schlosser’s tips and how she advises patients to use non-comedogenic or sensitive skin products in order to reduce the formation of new acne lesions and to minimize skin irritation. Here are some more of her tips for patients with acne.
Tips for Acne Patients:
- Mild cleansers should be used twice a day.
- Avoid cleansers or other skin care products with scrubbing particles or a gritty texture, as they can irritate the skin.
- Use a non-comedogenic moisturizer daily.
- Apply the appropriate amount of topical acne medications (enough for a very thin layer, generally a pea-sized amount for the face) to the skin. Using more medication than is recommended will not produce better results, but may cause more irritation or dryness.
- When starting treatment with topical retinoids, Dr. Schlosser advises that the therapy should only be applied three times a week for the skin to get accustomed to it. Over time, the frequency of the medication should be gradually increased with the goal of using a topical retinoid every night.
- Avoid picking, squeezing, popping or otherwise manipulating acne lesions to minimize trauma to the skin to help reduce the risk of scarring and secondary bacterial infections.
Treatment Options for Acne:
***Note: See a dermatologist before you start any acne treatment program.
Proactiv 3-Step System
Three daily steps can transform acne-prone skin.
- Step 1: Renewing Cleanser – This cleanser contains prescription-grade benzoyl peroxide with advanced micro crystals that quickly penetrate pores to start killing acne-causing bacteria on contact. At the same time, chamomile extract and other soothing ingredients help keep skin balanced and hydrated.
- Step 2: Revitalizing Toner - Glycolic acid, a botanical-rich blend of chamomile, aloe and panthenol combine to remove dead skin cells while hydrating and soothing to help achieve an even-toned complexion.
- Step 3: Repairing Treatment - This medicated lotion absorbs deep into pores and contains prescription-grade benzoyl peroxide, with ultra fine micro-crystals, that go quickly into cleansed, open pores to start killing acne-causing bacteria on contact.
Price: $19.95, available at www.proactiv.com
bliss no ‘zit’ sherlock breakout-busting rubberizing mask
Boost your blemish-battling regimen with bliss no ‘zit’ sherlock breakout-busting seaweed mask, a weekly must for pimple-prone skin. Its unique rubber texture is designed to temporarily envelop skin’s surface to purge pores and absorb impurities and allows the mask’s key ingredients to be optimally absorbed by the skin. Plus, it’s packed with pore-de-clogging, oil-absorbing, super-soothing extracts and nourishing, detoxifying seaweed. Price: $38 (6 masks), available at bliss spas, blissworld.com, Sephora and Ulta.
SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense
A targeted, oil-free approach to treating adult acne and signs of aging, this 1st-to-market acid blend combines 2% dioic acid with an alpha- and beta-hydroxy acid formulation designed to prevent acne, minimize hyperpigmentation, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Specifically created for the concerns of the acne-prone adult, it goes beyond treating imperfections to additionally address signs of aging. Salicylic acid and LHA combat blemishes; glycolic and citric acids treat fine lines, wrinkles, and roughness; and dioic acid fights acne, reduces excess sebum production, and prevents hyperpigmentation that can cause skin to appear prematurely aged. This highly effective, efficient treatment is ideal for acne-prone, aging skin. Price: $78, available at www.skinceuticals.com
Erno Laszlo Total Blemish Treatment
This is an over-the-counter cure for acne and blemishes, promoting the healing process while preventing future breakouts. Total Blemish Treatment addresses the skin, not just acne. A key feature is Phytospingosine Complex, a marine botanical antimicrobial, targets acne’s bacteria causing inflammation, heals blemishes and reduces re-infection. Price: $90, available at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and ErnoLaszlo.com
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