Aging & Acne Prone Skin
Not everyone who gets acne is a teenager. Although some 85 percent of teenagers wind up with pimples each year, adults get their fair share too, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, or AAD. Fortunately for those adults who have acne-prone skin, several acne treatments effectively fight acne and the signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles.
Hormones appear to drive acne development, especially in adults, but they aren't the sole cause of pimples, according to the Mayo Clinic. Hormone fluctuations force the skin's sebaceous glands, which produce the oil in your skin, to make too much oil, which then helps to block your pores. Once your pores are blocked, bacterial infection can set in, causing eruptions and inflammation. Adult acne can be especially persistent, the Mayo Clinic says.
Over-the-counter acne treatments containing the active ingredient benzoyl peroxide may help stop your breakouts, but they won't mix well with retinol, a form of vitamin A that can help tone your skin and reduce your wrinkles. If you want to use both products, try applying one in the morning and one in the evening. You might want to consider using over-the-counter retinol products to combat both your acne and your aging skin. Retinol can help new skin form, which eventually will clear your pores and reduce your wrinkles.
If you don't get the results you want -- either for your acne or your aging skin -- with over-the-counter remedies, the next step is a visit to a dermatologist to seek professional help, according to the AAD. Dermatologists can prescribe topical retinoids, which are prescription-strength versions of vitamin A. Retinoids, which include tretinoin, adapalene and tazarotene, clear acne and improve skin tone and color by unclogging your pores, encouraging new skin cell growth and preventing acne lesions from forming.
For those who have particularly stubborn acne or signs of aging, dermatologists also offer different physical procedures that can help, according to the AAD. Laser therapy can erase fine lines and age spots, and also can kill the bacteria that contributes to acne. Chemical peels, meanwhile, can both loosen pore blockages and encourage new skin growth. Dermatologists use them to treat both acne and aging skin.
Adult acne can take years to treat effectively, the Mayo Clinic warns, and patients shouldn't expect instant results no matter which treatment they try. However, acne patients who opt for a treatment that also helps with the signs of aging may be pleasantly surprised at how good their skin starts to look. All treatments have side effects--even those available over-the-counter--so you should carefully consider all the pros and cons and possibly talk to a dermatologist before choosing a therapy for acne and aging skin.
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