Adult Acne

Real Solutions for Adult Acne

Whether you battled acne in your teen years or you have recently gotten your first outbreak as an adult many people struggle to understand adult acne. This bothersome skin condition can make your skin look unhealthy and appear as if you do not maintain a skin care regimen. At Hess Medical Spa, we understand adult acne and can offer options to keep it under control.

What is acne?

Acne is a skin condition that most commonly occurs in the teenage years but can occur at any age. Pores in the skin are openings for small glands that secrete oil that lubricates the skin. When too much oil is produced, the pore can become blocked. Dirt, debris, bacteria and inflammatory cells build up behind this blockage that may appear as a whitehead or blackhead. Acne near the surface may rupture resulting in red bumps to appear. Inflammation deep to the skin can appear in the form of painful cysts below the surface of the skin.

What causes acne?

The effects of hormones most commonly cause acne. Changes in hormones are thought to increase the production of oil in the glands of the skin. While in teens these changes are the result of puberty, acne in adults can be tied to other factors including:

  • birth control pills
  • menstrual periods
  • hormonal imbalances
  • pregnancy
  • stress

Some external factors can also cause acne breakouts. If you are an adult who struggles with acne, you should take care to avoid:

  • oil-based hair or skin products
  • hormone-based drugs or medications
  • high levels of humidity

How can I treat my acne?

The first step you should take if you suffer from adult acne is to avoid excessive facial cleansing. The mindset of “cleaning more will prevent more acne” is a myth. Actually, only once or twice daily facial cleansings are sufficient. One must also avoid soaps. Soaps are detergents that change the natural acidity of the skin. This in turn causes the skin to produce even more oil. In addition, soaps can extract too much moisture from your skin, again causing additional oil production to compensate.

The best facial cleansers are the foaming variety with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), vitamin C or retinols. These cleansers allow for gentle removal of the oils and dirt while maintaining the normal acidity of the skin. The Image Skincare line of cleansers, available at Hess Medical Spa, provides the perfect combination of AHA, antioxidants and other ingredients to achieve a gentle cleanse.

Additional steps in the treatment of acne include:

  • Being aware of environmental factors that increase your acne
  • Change pillow cases weekly
  • Minimize facial touching
  • Clean cell phone screens several times a day
  • Use make up formulated to be non pore clogging

Some over-the-counter medications and creams can control acne, but are usually best for more mild or infrequent cases. These topical options remove the excess oils from the outer layers of your skin and kill bacteria near the surface.

What can be done about more severe acne?

If you struggle with more frequent or severe acne, our medical esthetician will suggest several treatment options for you. Topical options such as AHA peels and microdermabrasion are often the first line of defense. These are often combined with medical grade treatments such as tretinoin and stronger peels. At Hess Medical Spa, our master esthetician will work with you to develop a unique treatment regimen.

Call Hess Medical Spa in Fairfax, Northern Virginia at 703-752-6608 to discuss adult acne treatment and inquire about an appointment. You can also email us with questions or comments.
Call 703.752.6608 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Hess.
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