Acne-Prone Skin Over 40
Acne is a common condition that, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, affects at least 50 million people. However, most people associate acne with teenagers, even though it can affect anyone of any age. Adults over 40, especially women, can suffer from acne, too. But it's important to approach treatment in a way that deals with your blemishes and your aging skin, not just one or the other.
Acne is a skin condition that causes blemishes to form on the face. These blemishes can take many different forms and occur when the pores become clogged with dirt, oil or dead skin cells. Though it is possible to treat acne with over-the-counter products, if it persists, you should seek out professional dermatological help.
Acne on adult skin can appear as blackheads, whiteheads or cysts. Often, the skin is dry where topical creams have been applied and may even be peeling. The T-zone area, which includes the forehead, nose and chin, might be oily. For many, controlling oil without drying out the skin is the biggest challenge of treating acne after you've passed the age of 40.
Several types of acne can affect skin over 40, including papules, pustules, nodules and cysts. Papules are lesions that are solid and very small. It might look like a small rash. Pustules are larger and contain a whitehead, which releases pus when popped. A nodule is solid like a papule but is red and irritated. It sits deeper in the skin and could cause scarring. Cysts are the most severe form of acne and are characterized by very large lesions that are filled with fluid. They will be very red and irritated and will likely scar.
Having acne-prone skin over the age of 40 can make you feel like the odd one out in social situations and at work. It can make you self-conscious and uncomfortable or hesitant to meet new people. Lacking confidence could cause you to miss out on important work opportunities or from forming intimate relationships.
Treating acne-prone skin over the age of 40 is similar to treating acne in your teens; however, the focus needs to be different. You can still use over-the-counter creams that contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, but you'll need to supplement this treatment plan with a good oil-free moisturizer. As your skin ages, it gets drier, meaning acne treatments will tend to give you a flaky, peeling complexion, which can actually make acne worse. Prescription treatments like Retin-A or Differin may also be used, but close monitoring of your skin's reaction will need to occur.
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