Everyone from your pizza delivery guy to A-list celebrities will get an occasional pimple, but full-blown acne is often seen as the realm of teenagers, a twisted rite of passage we’re all happy to get past. Few people realize that 20% of acne cases occur in adults; not everyone is lucky enough to have it disappear on their 21st birthday! We have some idea what acne is; sebum, an oil you secrete naturally, finds its way into your pores and clogs them. What causes acne, however, remains somewhat of a mystery.
Some will tell you that what you eat causes acne, but the links between diet and the condition are unclear; the same can be said for smoking and acne. What we do know is acne seems to be tightly linked to genetics; they are thought to be the primary cause of acne in 80% of cases. The hormonal changes people undergo during puberty are linked to the higher rates of acne in teenagers. Acne is most commonly found on the face, but can also be found on the back, chest, and upper arms. Sometimes, the amount of sebum found in the pores will cause the walls of the pore to break down, and the sebum will leak into surrounding areas, causing outbreaks.
If you have acne, you should begin to treat it right away, in order to reduce the chances of developing acne scars. A dermatologist will be able to construct a skincare routine with you to help reduce the occurrence and impact of outbreaks; they might additionally prescribe you with antibacterials to reduce the chance of a pimple becoming infected, or acidic cleansers that are stronger than what’s available over-the-counter. You should avoid picking at your acne; breaking a pimple can cause the sebum to spread to other pores, and increases your chances of scarring. Should you experience inflammation in the skin around a pimple, you can reduce the inflammation using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs); inflamed pimples are more likely to cause scarring, because the inflammation affects the surrounding tissues.
Acne scarring can be particularly problematic because breakouts tend to affect a large area; there are individuals who have acne scars along most of their face, their shoulders, or other areas. That’s why it’s important to try and get your acne under control as quickly as possible; the scars a bit trickier to deal with than the initial medical condition. Fortunately, safe, non-intrusive methods have been developed to reduce the impact of acne scars on your day-to-day life, especially relevant if you work in a people-facing career. Microdermabrasion for acne scars can be a great way of reducing their appearance; your dermatologist will gently abrade your skin, removing the outer layer of skin so healthy collagen can replace it. The procedure is so safe, it can be done without anesthetic, and it works on many different types of acne scars. Some acne scars, like icepick scars, are too deep to be resolved with microdermabrasion; fortunately, there are other methods of reducing the appearance of deep acne scars, as well.