How to Get Rid of Acne in Adult Women
Acne can be embarrassing for women, especially adults who thought they were past the teenage acne "horror." There are many treatment options available to target multiple causes of acne, and there are different major ingredients that target different causes and aspects of acne, making it easier to get rid of acne in adult women.
Use a mild over-the-counter acne medication. There are different medications to choose from, some with different active ingredients. Benzoyl peroxide is a popular ingredient that reduces the bacteria that causes acne--P. acnes--and works to remove dead skin cells. Salicylic acid is another common ingredient that works to reduce the excess shedding of skin cells. Other over-the-counter ingredients available include alcohol and acetone, resorcinol and sulphur.
Consider a natural acne treatment. There is not much in terms of evidence to natural treatment's effectiveness. Mayo Clinic states that a study suggests gels containing 5 percent tea tree oil are as effective as lotions containing 5 percent benzoyl peroxide. Tea tree oil may take longer to work. There is a risk of contact dermatitis with tea tree oil, as well as breast development in young boys. Tea tree oil can also worsen acne rosacea. Zinc supplements work to heal wounds and reduce inflammation, and may be another natural alternative. Glycolic acid is a natural acid that is found in sugar cane and helps remove dead skin, unclog pores and can possibly help with acne scars. Glycolic acid can cause redness, mild stinging and skin irritation.
Talk to your doctor about birth control. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, oral contraceptives work to suppress overactive sebaceous glands and are able to be used as long-term acne therapy. You should not take birth control pills if you are over 35, smoke or have a blood-clotting disorder.
Ask your doctor about other prescription options, if other therapies fail. Corticosteroid injections can help with inflammation. Oral antibiotics target P. acnes and decrease inflammation. Isotretinoin is a strong oral retinoid--a treatment derived from vitamin A--that is reserved for treatment-resistant cases. Other retinoids are available for acne treatment as well.
Look into physical procedures, such as chemical peels, drainage and surgical extraction and laser and light therapy. Chemical peels use glycolic acid and other chemical agents to loosen blackheads and decrease acne papules. Drainage and surgical extraction is an "acne surgery" that reduces pain and decreases chances of scarring. Laser and light therapy treatments are becoming more popular and work to treat acne and acne scarring.
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