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Adult Acne: That Certain Something

You can wear your cutest dress, best bag and even a fabulous hat. But unless you have a veil to go over it all, there is nothing to keep everyone's eyes off that blaring addition to your look, your zit. Fifty-four percent of adult women and 40 percent of men have acne. Acne is an inflammatory skin condition involving the hair follicles which can cause pimple-type of lesions involving the face, sometimes the chest, or the back. There is no specific cause for acne. An individual can have a predisposition, or a hereditary tendency. And external factors may aggravate acne, such as topical oils which occlude the hair follicle. Diet is really not known to cause acne. There is no cure for acne, but acne naturally tends to regress with time, so one's acne tendency will disappear, except if you have acne rosacea, a skin tendency which presents in childhood and persists through adulthood. However, with treatment, that tendency can be reduced or brought into remission. We typically do not recommend that you pop an acne pimple because one of two things can happen. You could actually rupture the follicle and cause a deeper pimple. Or you could overdo it and cause a deep scab or sore that may lead to a permanent scar. There is a progression of therapy. You can start out with topical acne medications. These are available over-the-counter. Probably the best one over-the-counter solution would be a benzyl peroxide based topical. Then there are prescription topicals including retinoids, which are a Retin-A type of topical that helps open up the plugged pores and reduces blackheads and whiteheads. There are also topical antibiotics that can be used. The next step in treatment would be oral antibiotics. Outside of medication, you want to avoid anything that may be irritating to the skin. Harsh soaps, vigorous scrubbing, and frequent washing may aggravate the skin. And anything that aggravates the skin may aggravate the acne. Using oil-free topicals will help prevent aggravating an acne tendency. This way you can lift the veil on clear skin.