One of the great myths everyone wants to believe when they are a teenager is that acne goes away once you become an adult. Who knows who started the myth, but many people believe it, or at least want to. The truth is that plenty of adults deal with acne on a regular basis. Although the things that trigger the development of pimples might change as you get older, the fact that acne and pimples put a damper on things doesn’t. Whether you get the occasional pimple or regular break-outs, there are a few things you can do to treat or prevent them.
What Causes Acne
In simple terms, acne is a type of skin condition. People develop it when their hair follicles become clogged, usually with oil, dirt or dead skin cells. The clogged follicles lead to pimples, which typically form on the face but can also develop on the neck, back and other areas of the body. Usually, it develops on the parts of the body that produce the greatest amount of sebum, or oil.
Acne comes in three major forms. Whiteheads develop when a follicle or pore becomes clogged and the clog causes the wall of the follicle to protrude. Blackheads develop when the oil trapped in the pore oxidizes. Bacteria in or around the pores can cause the inflammation commonly associated with bright red pimples.
One of the major causes of pimples is fluctuating hormone levels. Depending on how high levels of certain hormones are, such as androgens, the body produces more sebum, increasing the chance of a person developing pimples or acne. Some medicines, stress, and certain foods can also make acne worse.
While you might not be able to fully prevent every single pimple, there are a few things you can do to reduce the occurrence of breakouts. One of the most important things to do if you want to reduce pimples is to keep your skin clean. Bacteria can make acne worse, causing inflammation and scarring. Washing your face and skin twice a day helps remove excess sebum, dirt and bacteria.
But, washing your skin might not be enough to keep pimples away. Bacteria can get on your skin throughout the day. It’s also important to limit how much you touch your face and to clean items, such as your cell phone, that come into contact with your skin on a regular basis.
Choosing the products that go on your skin with care can also help prevent pimples and breakouts. Any makeup or cosmetics you use shouldn’t contain oil or clog your pores. Additionally, it’s essential that you wash off any makeup or other products before bed and that you keep the brushes and sponges you use to apply those products clean.
Although you probably won’t break out after eating fries or greasy foods, despite the old wives’ tales you’ve heard, some foods are more likely to trigger a breakout. Typical culprits include foods that are high in added sugar and dairy products. If you’re battling acne regularly and you eat a lot of dairy or sugary foods, it can be worth it to cut those foods out and see if you notice an improvement in your pimples.
It’s often tempting to try and find a magic cure-all for acne. While a number of over-the-counter products can help reduce breakouts in some cases, your best option is to work with a team of professionals to treat current breakouts and keep new ones from occurring.
Treatment Options for Acne
You have a variety of options when it comes to treating acne. Your plastic surgeon can help you pick the best one, based on your current skin conditions, history of pimples, and a number of other factors.
Deep cleaning the skin using a tool such as the Clarisonic at home or by receiving in-office clarifying facials can help remove excess dirt and sebum from deep in the pores. Medical grade skincare products can also provide a deeper and more effective clean than over-the-counter and drugstore cleansers.
Some patients with pimples benefit from chemical peels, which help control current breakouts and can help remove scarring and marks left by previous breakouts. Peels encourage exfoliation of the skin, which helps remove dead cells, oil and dirt. Along with helping to improve acne, chemical peels also help minimize the appearance of fine lines and dark spots.
If your acne has left a number of scars or marks, laser treatments can help. Intense pulsed light treatments, such as LimeLight, use the energy created by laser light to gently remove scars from the face and body.
Treating pimples and acne is often a two-pronged approach. First, you and your surgeon need to figure out what is triggering your breakouts. Once you’ve found the cause of your breakouts, treating the pimples and scarring can help you get clearer skin. When the current breakout has cleared up, you can work on preventing further ones from happening.
If you’re tired of having acne interfere with your life, help is available. Dr. Vitenas and the team at Mirror Mirror Beauty Boutique in Houston, Texas, offer a variety of acne treatments customized to each patient. To schedule your consultation, call 281-810-9083 today.