Acne isn’t just a teenager’s problem. In fact, acne is the most common skin condition in the United States. If you have acne and are an adult, you are not alone! Around 50 million Americans deal with acne every year. Fifty percent of adult women and 25 percent of adult men suffer from acne. Sadly, acne cannot be cured, but it can be effectively treated. In the United States, $3 billion is spent annually in the United States on acne treatments. There is no one treatment for this condition. With different genetics, skin types, hormones, and environments, it’s easy to understand why people respond differently to treatment strategies.
Even though an adult is far past puberty, there are several factors that can lead to people developing acne, including: overactive oil glans, genetics, hormones, menstruation, stress, depression, medications, and foods with a high glycemic index (white bread, sweets, white rice). Each person has the bacterium Propionibacterium on their skin. When this bacterium gets into the pores, it can cause a person’s skin to breakout. Killing this bacterium doesn’t always work to clear up everyone’s faces. It’s not necessarily the bacteria that is causing a person’s skin to develop acne per se, it’s how his or her skin reacts to that bacteria.
Acne, which is a chronic inflammatory skin condition, can appear in many forms, including blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, and nodules; it can be found on the face, back, shoulders, chest, arms, buttocks, and neck. Acne is unsightly and can be quite embarrassing by many who have it.
What is the best way to treat your acne? Well, this may take some trial and error, but it’s also best for you to discuss this topic with your primary care doctor or a dermatologist. He or she can exam your skin and listen to your symptoms to determine the best treatment plan.
- Washing acne-prone areas of skin daily, especially after exercising or sweating, can help reduce your breakouts. Scrub gently.
- Purchase oil-free cosmetics and lotions.
- Don’t pick at acne or pop pimples, because it could lead to scarring.
For mild acne, topical creams (benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, and salicylic acid) will work. For more severe cases, a person most likely will take an oral antibiotic (tetracycline, doxycycline, trimethoprim/sulfa). If you are taking a medication or acne product prescribed by your doctor, wait about 4 to 8 weeks to see full results.
The anti-inflammatory isotretinoin has been known to work wonderfully on people with severe acne, but there are claims it can lead to depression and suicidal thoughts, as well as irritable bowel disease. Although, the relation has not been scientifically proven, not all doctors will prescribe this medication for those reasons. Chemical peels, dermabrasion and laser resurfacing help with acne scaring, but you should talk to your doctor about acne scar treatment.
Eating greasy pizza won’t give you acne, and tanning beds won’t clear it up for you. Unfortunately, acne is a part of life, and around 95 percent of Americans experience it at some in their lives. If you’re currently suffering from acne or scars, it’s best to talk to your doctor about the best treatment plan.
Dr. Kordonowy of Internal Medicine, Lipid & Wellness of Fort Myers can exam your skin and work with you to come up a plan to treat your acne. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Kordonowy, call 239-362-3005, ext. 200 or click here. Dr. Kordonowy offers direct patient care membership and concierge services including the unique Inpatient Advocate Service™