'WTF am I going to do about this massive zit on my nose? It's school photo day tomorrow. Has dreamy Charlie noticed it? I never thought a whitehead would make me cry but *tissues*.'
It was hard enough dealing with spots as a teen, right? But what about when you hit adulthood and they return like a bad ex-boyfriend. Well, probably worse because spots and wrinkles! If you suffer from bad breakouts in later life, you could have adult acne.
Studies have shown that the skin condition is on the rise, but what causes it and how can you reduce the massive pimple party on your face?
Why, Oh Why, Do I Still Get Spots?
Adult acne has been linked to SO many factors; hormones, stress, medication, smoking, pollution, cleansing too much, not cleansing enough, food allergies and using the wrong products for your skin, so it's no surprise it's super common. It can also be hereditary (thanks mum and dad) but it seems the main culprit might be our periods.
According to the NHS, over 80% of adult acne cases occur in women so, surprise surprise, it's those pesky hormones. Common flare-ups occur just before menstruation, during the first three months of pregnancy and can be a symptom of polycystic ovary syndrome.
What's The Difference Between Spots And Actual Acne?
If you are concerned about your skin, visit your GP as they will be able to diagnose you. The amount of spots as well as how painful or inflamed they are will determine whether you have acne and how severe your case is; mild, moderate, moderately severe and severe.
How Do I Treat It?
Here's the juicy bit! There are many forms of treatment and all depend on how bad your acne is. If you just have a few blackheads, whiteheads and pimples, you can blitz them with over-the-counter gels or creams that contain benzoyl peroxide. If this doesn't work, antibiotics, special exfoliating formulas, azelaic acid, isotretinoin tablets and even going on the pill could help. If you have loads of swollen and painful pimples or pus-filled sores on your face, chest and back, it might also be worth going to see a dermatologist. In the mean time, here's the best way to cover acne with make-up.
Just remember, most of these treatments can take a couple of months before they start to work so don't get disheartened. At least you haven't got your school photo tomorrow...
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