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Why am I still getting acne as an adult?

Health

Why am I still getting acne as an adult?

Seeing blackheads, whiteheads and pimples in the mirror even though your teenage years are well behind you?
“It’s more common than many people think,” says Tidelands Health internal medicine physician Dr. Michael Remines, who offers care at Tidelands Health Family Medicine at Pawleys Island. “Luckily, there are medicines available over the counter to treat acne. We can do so much more for it now.”

Causes

Acne can occur for a number of different reasons, including:

  • Hormonal imbalances during a woman’s menstrual cycle, pregnancy, perimenopause and menopause.
  • Stress, which can create excess oil production.
  • Abnormal exfoliation of skin cells.
  • Overgrowth of bacteria.
  • Inflammation in the body caused by diet or certain medical conditions.
  • Hair and skincare products that clog pores.
  • As a side effect of certain medications.

How to avoid flareups

Although acne breakouts can occur out of the blue, there are things you can do to reduce the likelihood. Dr. Remines offers the following tips:

  • Clean your face thoroughly, especially before bedtime.
  • Choose skin care products that say “non-comedogenic,” “oil-free” or “won’t clog pores.”
  • Avoid hair care products that contain oil.
  • Avoid foods that cause inflammation in the body such as fried foods and sweets.
  • Reduce sun exposure and regularly use sunscreen.
  • Remove dead skin cells with occasional exfoliation.
  • Refrain from picking at or popping pimples, which can worsen inflammation and acne.

Treatment options

There are a number of over-the-counter products that can treat adult acne. Dr. Remines recommends using medications that contain the following ingredients:

  • Retinoids, which reduce clogged pores and promote cell rejuvenation.
  • Benzoyl peroxide, which kills bacteria and fights inflammation.
  • Salicyclic acid, which exfoliates and unclogs pores.

Depending on the cause and severity of acne, some people may benefit from prescription medications, as well.

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Dealing with adult acne can be frustrating and embarrassing, but it is treatable and manageable, Dr. Remines says. Knowing what causes it, how to avoid flare-ups and practicing good skin hygiene can help you get the upper hand on the condition. And if you feel like you’re losing the battle, consult with your primary care provider for help.
“So much of our society is based on our looks, but I always remind people that we are all different, and it’s part of who you are,” he says. “If you are frustrated and have been dealing with it longer than you’d like, don’t suffer in silence. We are here to help.”

Tidelands Health internal medicine physician Dr. Michael Remines, who is accepting new patients, offers care at Tidelands Health Family Medicine at Pawleys Island.

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