Acne? Seriously? Why now?

Contributed by Cathe Fricke, Skin Care Specialist 

Acne(152171285)Eighty percent of all people get acne at some point in their lives. While it’s most common in adolescents and young adults, it can appear at later ages, especially in women. There’s no way to prevent or cure acne but it can be treated effectively especially with recent advances in prescriptive medications.

Acne affects men and women differently. Acne in young women tends to be linked to hormone changes, such as the menstrual cycle. As women get older, acne often diminishes. But some women have it for years. Some even get it for the first time at age 30 or 40.

Many things can trigger acne in women:

  • Hormone changes during puberty can cause the glands to get larger and produce more oil. The menstrual cycle can trigger acne lesions to form a few days before the cycle begins and go away after the cycle is completed. Other hormone changes associated with pregnancy and menopause improve acne in some women. Whereas in others, it worsens. Stopping use of birth control pills can also play a role.
  • Certain medicines.
  • Make-up.
  • Pressure or friction on the skin.
  • Family history. If other people in your family have acne, there is a greater chance you might have it. Poor hygiene, stress and eating chocolate or greasy foods do not cause acne.

You can help prevent acne flare-ups and scars by:

  • Cleaning your skin gently with a mild soap or cleanser twice a day — once in the morning, once at night and after heavy exercise.
  • Avoid strong soaps and rough scrub pads. Scrubbing your skin may make acne worse.
  • Do not squeeze or pick at acne. Doing so can cause scars.
  • Avoid sunburns. Many medicines used to treat acne can make you more prone to sunburn. Many people think that the sun helps acne. But, too much sun can increase your risk of skin cancer and early aging of the skin. We recommend using an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen each day.
  • Choose make-up and hair care products that are “non-comedogenic” or “non-acnegenic.” These products have been made in a way that they don’t cause acne. You may also want to use products that are oil-free.
  • Avoid wearing things that rub the skin, such as backpacks and sports equipment.
  • Talk with our skin specialists about what treatment methods can help improve the appearance of your acne.
  • Take your medicines as prescribed. Let your prescribing physician know if you think the medicines you take are making your acne worse.

Skin specialists and physicians at the Women’s Center have the expertise and resources to offer medical grade skin care services and products to help improve skin tone, texture and overall skin health. Among the most widely successful treatments and services include chemical peels, microdermabrasion and laser technologies. Check out our specials on skincare products and services.

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