NYC dermatologist shares skincare advice he gives his patients
- What Causes of Adult Acne?
- What Ingredients Should I Look For?
- What Causes Scarring?
- How Do I Prevent Scarring?
- What is “Purging”?
- Why Do I Get Body Acne?
Adult acne usually begins in the late 20s to early 30s and has several causes including hormonal fluctuations, stress, and genetics. Acne is brought on by the skin’s own oils being too heavy for its own good – instead of flowing freely through the pores, it forms a plug. It is an oil quality issue, not quantity. Adult acne is also often associated with dry skin, because dead skin cells flake off and block pores. If there’s already have an oil flow problem, the blockage allows bacteria to grow, leading to acne.
To treat acne most effectively yet gently, start out by using over-the-counter anti-acne remedies that contain either exfoliating, pore-clearing salicylic acid or bacteria-banishing benzoyl peroxide. I recommend looking for products that contain bisabolol, an active ingredient derived from Chamomile Extract that helps soothe redness and reduce inflammation. Sulfur is also a powerful ingredient that controls the oil that feeds the bacteria.
Acne scars result when the body sends too much collagen to a skin injury, in this case a blemish. The scar will often occur within our dermis, where the original inflammation was formed. Sometimes the inflammation of the acne is so intense it actually destroys cured skin cells and leads to scarring.
The best thing to do is prevent acne from forming in the first place. The next best option is to treat the acne as soon as it develops and do not squeeze, pop or prod at pimples to avoid inflammation, which may lead to scarring by causing further trauma to the skin and causing the infection to spread deeper into the pore, which could permanently enlarge pores. You should never pop a pimple on your own.
Sometimes acne does get worse before it gets better as there is congestion in the oil glands and it’s being released as part of the treatment. This can make acne appear worse temporarily, but after the pores have purged their blockages, skin will improve.
The skin on the body is thicker with more oil glands, so acne is deeper and more difficult to treat. Both hormones and stress can aggravate and cause body acne. If you wear very oily hair products like pomades, this could possibly contribute to the condition known as backne, as the oil can transfer from the hair to the pores on the back. It is always a good idea to shower right after the gym as bacteria can develop from sweat and trap dirt and oil into the glands.