Adult Acne & Sensitive Skin
Most adults consider acne to be a problem for teenagers, but if you have adult acne, you know that acne can occur at any age. Many people with adult acne also have skin that's especially sensitive to irritation and hormonal shifts. Over-the-counter products may help, but treating adult acne, especially if you have sensitive skin, often requires help from a dermatologist.
When pimples erupt, it's because oil and dead skin cells blocked one of your pores. According to the Cleveland Clinic, hormonal shifts often stimulate the skin's oil-producing glands to manufacture too much oil, which both clogs pores and provides an ideal environment for bacteria to live and grow. Most adults who get pimples have normal hormone levels. However, their skin is especially sensitive to normal hormonal shifts, which can cause acne.
If you have adult acne and sensitive skin and you want to try an over-the-counter product to combat your pimples, you should look for over-the-counter options formulated specifically for adult skin, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). Newer options include cosmetics with acne-fighting ingredients such as salicylic acid built in. Many of these cosmetic products will help fight pimples but won't dry out your skin, a bonus if your skin is especially sensitive.
Prescription medications can work well to curb adult acne, but many of them irritate the skin, so you'll need to consult with your dermatologist to determine your best options. Topical retinoids such as tretinoin can help clear your pores quickly and often erase small wrinkles at the same time. Retinoids, which are versions of vitamin A, have a deserved reputation for irritating the skin, but according to the AAD, newer formulations don't cause as much irritation. In many cases, retinoid-caused irritation lasts for less than a month.
Oral medications intended to combat acne are less likely to irritate your sensitive skin, simply because they work from the inside as opposed to the outside. According to the AAD, oral medications effective in treating adult acne include birth control pills, oral antibiotics and proven acne-fighter isotretinoin. All come with a list of potential side effects, however, so you should research and consult with your dermatologist before deciding to take an oral medication for your acne.
Regardless of what route you take to treat your adult acne, if you have sensitive skin you need to adopt an excellent cleansing and skin care routine to make the most of your acne treatments. Dermatologists recommend only mild skin cleansers, especially for those with sensitive skin, because anything more aggressive can irritate the skin more and potentially cause additional breakouts. Also, you must avoid popping or squeezing your pimples because it can lead to infection.
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