One would hope acne would finally go away on its own by the end of our teenage years. But if you’re in your '30s, '40s, or even '50s and are still concerned about acne, rest assured you are not alone.
According to a survey done by dermatologists at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, although as we grow older we are indeed less prone to acne, you can actually find yourself concerned about it at any age. The study shows that 50% percent of women will battle acne at some point during their adulthood.
Dr. Doris Day, a clinical associate professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center and the author of 100 Questions & Answers About Acne explains that when it comes to differentiating adult from teenage acne, it’s all about location.
"The pattern of acne is usually different in adults than it is in teens. In teens, it's usually on the forehead and cheeks while in adults it tends to be mostly on the lower face, along the jawline and neck," says Doris.
So, what can we do about it?
Here Are 4 Tips to Get Rid of Adult Acne
Change your diet
Food can make you or break you. First, try eating fewer refined carbs.
"Eating chocolate or a lot of junk food doesn't by itself seem to cause acne, but not having a balanced diet and eating too many refined carbs can cause problems," says Albert Lefkovits, MD, director of the Park Avenue Center for Advanced Medical and Cosmetic Dermatology in New York City.
The second thing you can change in your diet that will help you minimize adult acne is consuming less dairy products. In 2006, a Harvard study revealed that girls who drank two or more glasses of milk every day had a 20% increased risk of acne in comparison to those who had less than one glass every week.
Thirdly, cut back on salt. Although there’s no scientific evidence, some dermatologists believe there is a link between your sodium intake and your skin because the iodine found in table salt and some seafood is suspected to worsen acne breakouts.
Try Tea Tree Oil
A more natural alternative to benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil, has a long history of being used topically to manage acne breakouts thank to its antiseptic properties. Use soaps, cleansers, and topical solutions containing a concentration of at least 5% of the oil.
Lower Your Stress Levels
"Stress doesn't create skin disease on its own, but it can make any existing issues worse," says Beth McLellan, MD, a dermatologist at NYU Langone's Joan H. Tisch Center for Women's Health in New York City.
Researchers haven't proven this connection yet, but some strongly believe stress hormones such as cortisol are the main culprits of increasing inflammation levels in the body and stimulating oil glands. Exercise and meditation are two very effective tools for managing your stress levels… There’s no harm in giving these a go!
Schedule a visit to your dermatologist to discuss prescription drugs to help improve your adult acne. Some alternatives are topical antibacterials, retinoids and oral antibiotics.
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