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How to Deal With Acne as an Adult

September 28th, 2012 Healthy Living

For the majority of the population, acne problems are long behind us - many of us had breakouts galore as teenagers, but they eventually cleared up on their own. However, according to WebMD, 20-30 percent of adults between the ages of 20 and 60 still have to deal with pimples.

Adult acne is caused by an oily substance known as sebum - if the body produces too much sebum, it can clog the skin's pores, which in turn can attract bacteria, causing inflammation (also known as zits). What makes treating adult acne such a challenge is that most products are designed for the oily skin of teenagers. Adults tend to have drier skin, and you certainly don't want to dry it up even further with products.

The first thing you should do is pick up a mild cleanser like Cetaphil or Aquanil. They're gentle enough for daily use and may help keep your face hydrated and free of sebum. If that doesn't work, try an over-the-counter retinol product. This can be used to treat specific breakouts and may even help previous acne scars fade.

When you wash your face, try only using warm water - if it's too hot, it can dry out your face. Wash for just one or two minutes to avoid irritating the skin and use your hands instead of a rough washcloth. Generally, try to clean your face twice a day.

If you still have a problem, consult a dermatologist. There are prescription medications out there designed specifically for adult acne, and one of them may be suitable to your needs. Certain drugs not related to acne (such as some blood pressure medications) can help regulate hormones that may be causing your acne problems.