Treatment plan to control teenager and adult acne

The main steps in controlling breakouts are:
1. Gently exfoliate skin and increase cell turnover to regulate excessive dead cells shedding within hair follicles and prevent dead cells built up and get pore clogged. In case of teenager acne we are concerns about exfoliating and de-greasing effect (like glycolic acid and ets) and in a case of adults exfoliating and hydrating effect (like lactic acid and ets) together with speeding up cell turnover effect of retinoids (depends on skin sensitivity) and resorcinol.
2. Control sebum production (with ingredients like salicylic acid, cinnamon bark, astringent toner, licorice extract) for both teenager and adult acne with additional hydrating effect (like urea, glycerin, hyaluronic acid) for adult acne.
3. Control P. acne bacteria proliferation with ingredients like salicylic, azelaic, lactic, kojic acids, benzoyl peroxide, and tea tree oil. In a case of adult acne try to avoid too drying effect of alcohol of benzoyl peroxide.
4. Protect and hydrate the skin with appropriate moisturizer and UV rays’ protection. For the best result both teenager and adult acne should be treated professionally (in office) every two weeks till breakouts subsides, then treatments can be moved to every three weeks, then to four for maintenance. Treatments like Deep Pore, Oxygen or Medical facials, LED (Light Emitting Diod) , Microdermabrasion, Chemical peels with appropriate solutions will be beneficial to control breakouts.
Results are also dependent on appropriate home care. As such, facial cleansing and product application twice a day is crucial for result, but excessively washing oily skin is just as detrimental as not washing, causing skin to overproduce oil trying to protect skin from dehydrating, which leads to more potential for breakouts.
And the most important is to understand that your skin is not your enemy, it is as confused as you are. Try to understand, to help it and you will be surprised how it will respond wonderfully.

Difference between teenager and adults acne.

Hormonal fluctuations are a key contributing factor to acne in all age groups.

Androgen hormones, including testosterone stimulate overproduction of oil secreted by sebaceous glands located in every hair follicle, leading to clogged pores and P-acne bacteria proliferation. To read “Acne, why and how it happens” click here.

Although androgen hormones are more dominant in men, women may experience also their acne-causing effects. As estrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate throughout the days, months and life, an imbalance of testosterone can take place, leading to more potential for breakouts.

During puberty (from age 9-14 in girls and 10-17 in boys) lots of biological and physical changes occurs together with changes to the skin. Because of its role that testosterone hormones have in the onset of acne, the condition is more severe in males during puberty. However it normally clears up or get much better by mid 20s and is not as reoccurring throughout life as in females.

About 45% of women suffer from menstrual cycle breakouts, because this 28 day process involves constant fluctuation of different hormones, which can improve or worsen the skin condition. During days 1 to7 of the cycle, estrogen hormone level increases clearing up the skin and during days 15-28 it begins to decline again which increase the potential of blemishes. In addition to a drop in estrogen, the progesterone level increases causing follicles to swell, compressing pores which in combination with the increased oil production create an ideal environment for acne.

Peri-menopause and menopause period begins when ovaries production of estrogen and progesterone slows down, while testosterone becomes more dominant, stimulating sebaceous glands produce more oil. In addition, surface hydration decreases with age (due to decreased surface lipids), trapping oil beneath the surface, this leads to a higher potential for breakouts. Menopause acne sufferers’ skin is considered water dry, not oily dry.

Another hormone cortisol (released in response to stress) stimulates sebum production and inflammation and thus contributing to severity of acne.

In summary even though acne pathology remains the same, adult acne is typically drier and similar to menopausal acne than teenager acne, due to decrease of surface lipids. To create an appropriate treatment plan both teenager and adult acne should seek advice from a professional

For my next article “Treatment plan to control teenager and adult acne”. (click here)