Acne Treatment for Adults and Teens
An acne treatment for adults and teens can be very different. There are many different types and grades of acne, and there are many different acne treatments and products available. How do you know which ones will improve your skin and which acne treatments or products will make it worse? In order to determine the correct acne treatment for adults and teens, many factors have to be taken into consideration – type of acne, age, lifestyle, allergies and sensitivities and other health conditions.
When deciding on the right acne treatment for adults and teens, I always advise to start with the least aggressive path first. Many times, if you control inflammation, you can get acne under control without causing other problems to the skin and body that are associated with aggressive acne treatments such as Isotretinoin (accutane) or antibiotics..
- Home care program – In many cases, just starting on good home use products and using them consistently will help clear mild to moderate acne conditions. Knowing what ingredients to use based on the type of acne is the key to success. Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide kill P. acnes, but have little residual action. Glycolic acid, salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide can reduce congestion at the follicle opening, but have no impact upon sebum production. Salicylic acid and glycolic acid still play a large part in acne controlI products, but results are better when other ingredients are added. Cinnamon bark is a unique ingredient for acne control because it inhibits the production of sebum and also has the additional benefit of killing P. acnes bacteria. Marjoram and green tea helps reduce the redness and inflammation associated with acne to promote healing. Without reducing inflammation, long term clearance is difficult.
- In spa acne treatment for adults and teens – Exfoliation treatments are beneficial for most acne cases. By exfoliating the skin, oils can get out and products can get in. For whiteheads and blackheads and minor non-inflammed pimples, manual exfoliations, such as microdermabrasion and HydraFacials are very effective. During these treatments, the dead layer of skin is removed and blackheads and whiteheads can be suctioned out or extracted. For more inflamed acne, chemical and enzyme exfoliations can be performed to remove the dead layer of skin and kill P. acnes, the bacteria that causes acne. Blue LED light after an exfoliation is also beneficial in treating acne as it kills P. acnes bacteria, reduces inflammation and speeds the wound healing process.
Factors Contributing to Acne
- Stress has a strong relationship to acne. When our body is under stress, it produces hormonal steroids, such as cortisol. These hormonal steroids target the skin in a disruptive manner and acne flare-ups may occur. While limiting stress is difficult, during times of stress, step up your skin care regimen to offset the skin’s response to stress.
- Limit coffee which can stimulate the production of cortisol and act like stress in the body.
- Acne can be wheat induced, which makes treatment difficult. Eliminating all wheat and gluten from the diet for two to three weeks helps to determine if the acne is due to a wheat sensitivity.
- A small segment of the acne population may be reacting to milk and/or dairy products.. Milk contains hormones which can promote the potential for acne infections. Eliminating dairy from the diet for two to three weeks will help determine if dairy is a problem. It is helpful for a female to perform this elimination test three to five days before her period and continue into the week following.
- Hormone supplementation can trigger adult acne. If taking hormone supplements or birth control, speak with your physician about your acne.
Tips for Acne Control
- Eating well is an important tool in controlling acne. Foods with high antioxidant content (colorful fruits and vegetables) are helpful in promoting the healing of acne infections.
- Flax seed oil added to the diet can often help people with multiple whiteheads and/or blackheads.
- Cleansing the skin morning and night is important. Teenagers and very oily adults should also cleanse their skin late afternoon or early evening when sebum production is at its greatest.
- Linens and headgear such as washcloths, towels, pillowcases, hats, helmets, sweatbands, etc. should be changed and cleaned frequently. If possible, after every use.
- Acne that follows the hairline may be caused by sebum and fatty acids that are generated in the scalp. Using a shampoo designed for oily hair may help, even it the hair is not oily.
- Myths about unprotected sun exposure being beneficial in reducing acne are ill advised. Sunlight produces free radicals within the skin which promotes acne and reduces the skin’s ability to heal and repair.
- And, last but not least, do not pick. This introduces more bacteria to the skin and can leave permanent scars.
When dealing with acne, it is helpful to consult a professional who can guide you through the process of improving your acne with the proper products and acne treatment for adults and teens.