About Adult Acne Treatment for Men
You might think of acne as a teenage disease, and you wouldn't be wrong: about 85 percent of teens in the United States get pimples each year, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. But one-quarter of adult men suffer from acne at some point, as well, and acne in adults often resists treatment stubbornly. Fortunately, if you're an adult male with acne, your dermatologist may offer treatments that can tame your zits.
Your hormones drive your acne, even though it's likely your hormone levels are normal. Male hormones such as testosterone stimulate oil-producing glands deep in your skin, causing production of an oil called sebum, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Sebum can combine with skin cells that have died and flaked off to clog pores and create whiteheads and blackheads. Oily skin also provides a good home to bacteria that cause infection and inflammation in adult acne.
To treat adult acne, you need to interrupt the skin condition's cycle of oily skin, bacterial infection and clogged pores. You'll probably turn first to over-the-counter products. According to the AAD, over-the-counter preparations that include sodium sulfacetamide and sulfur can help adult acne by killing acne-causing bacteria. Skin ointments containing benzoyl peroxide also kill bacteria and help to clear your pores.
If your acne doesn't respond well enough to over-the-counter medications, you may need to consult a dermatologist, who will have a wide array of potential acne medications to offer. You might need to take oral antibiotics to help your body fight off the acne-related bacterial infection, while retinoid medications such as tretinoin and tazarotene can assist in unclogging your pores.
Some physical procedures provided by dermatologists also can help adult men clear their skin, although the AAD cautions that most medical research into procedures' effectiveness in acne didn't focus on adults seeking treatment. If you have a large, swollen pimple, your dermatologist can inject a diluted corticosteroid solution into the lesion in order to clear it quickly and reduce the chances it will scar. Dermatologists also offer laser treatments and chemical peels to treat adult acne.
The Mayo Clinic reports that adult acne in both men and women tends to be harder to treat than acne in teenagers. If you have a bad case, you may worry that you'll never get rid of your zits. But even though you may need to try several treatments in succession or at the same time, some combination of medications and procedures almost certainly will produce a clean complexion.
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