Adult Acne Pimples
Half of all adult women and 25 percent of adult men break out with acne pimples, according to the Acne.org information site. Pimples can occur through age 40 and sometimes beyond. They can appear whether the person had problems during adolescence or whether he never had a blemish in his youth. They are just as ugly and unwanted in adults as they are in teens. Fortunately, they are treatable at any age.
Adult acne pimples usually take the form of nodules, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. The Mayo Clinic says this pimple type is deep and solid, extending below the skin's surface. Nodules are generally inflamed and tender to the touch.
Adults usually get acne in the facial area because the skin is rich in oil glands. The American Academy of Dermatology says commonly affected areas include the chin, jawline and around the mouth. Acne.org warns that 1/3 of affected adults also get pimples on their bodies. The usual places are the neck, chest, back, shoulders and arms. Pimples under clothing can get inflamed because of trapped sweat and fabric rubbing against them.
Adult pimples have the same basic cause as teenage acne. Skin oil and dead cells blend together and plug hair follicles. Bacteria sometimes gets trapped and inflames the pimple, which can become infected. Acne.org states adults have other causal factors. They are not dealing with the hormonal changes of adolescence, but many women get outbreaks linked to their menstrual cycles or birth control pills, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Cosmetic use is common among adult women, which contributes to follicle blockage and pimples. Stress causes hormonal changes that may trigger pimples, and adults' acne-causing bacteria is often more resistant than it was in their teen years. This reduces the effectiveness of certain treatments.
Most adults with pimples get results from over-the-counter remedies. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends products with benzoyl peroxide, clindamycin, erythromycin or a combination of sodium sulfacetamide and sulfur as the active ingredient. Doctors sometimes prescribe oral contraceptives for women with hormonal acne who also want to prevent pregnancy or topical retinoids for patients of both sexes who do not get relief from store-bought products. Cosmetics users can prevent pimples by using makeup labeled “non-acnegenic" or “non-comedogenic," according to the American Academy of Dermatology. These products don't contain follicle-clogging oils.
Adult acne pimples do not usually cause long-term medical harm aside from potentially the skin. However, the American Academy of Dermatology says that acne can be a sign of a more serious medical problem in adult women, such as polycystic ovaries, an adrenal gland disorder or a hormone-secreting tumor. A doctor should evaluate women with pimples who also experience excess hair growth on the face and thinning hair or bald spots on the head.
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