Almost everyone experiences acne during their teen years.
But if pimples keep popping up after you have reached adulthood, it can be very frustrating and quite demoralising.
Severe adult acne can also affect your social life and self esteem.
Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to address adult acne.
This guide will share some effective tactics that are guaranteed to improve the condition of your skin.
Causes of male adult acne
Acne is a disorder of the pilosebaceous units, which are structures that sit under the skin.
Each pilosebaceous unit contains a hair, hair follicle, arrector pili muscle and sebaceous gland.
Acne occurs when the sebaceous gland produces too much sebum — an oily substance that is designed to moisturise your hair and skin.
This overproduction of sebum can clog follicle pores, trapping sebum inside the pores and causing your skin to become oily.
Bacteria can also become trapped in sebum-filled hair follicles, causing pimples.
The most common causes of over-production of sebum in adults includes:
Some people are genetically predisposed to having skin that releases high levels of sebum.
That is why multiple people in the same family often suffer from bad acne.
While there is nothing you can do about a genetic predisposition for having acne, you can reduce the other contributing factors listed below.
Poor lifestyle choices
There are many lifestyle factors that can impact the health of your skin and increase the frequency or severity of acne breakouts.
The most common lifestyle factors damaging the health of your skin are drinking too much alcohol, smoking cigarettes, eating unhealthy foods, and not getting enough sleep.
Taking certain prescription drugs can also cause breakouts.
Having very dry skin
If you had very oily skin as a teenager, you may have developed a skin care routine that strips away that oil and leaves the skin very dry.
Unfortunately, when you are an adult, this kind of routine can cause your skin’s sebaceous glands to become over-active — clogging your pores and causing adult acne.
Too much stress
When you experience high levels of stress, the body will release higher levels of stress hormones including cortisol, endorphins, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH).
The release of ACTH also causes the body to release androgen, which is the male sex hormone that causes male traits.
Unfortunately, androgen will also cause the sebaceous glands to become very active and produce a lot of sebum — causing more acne!
Chemicals and toxins
Your acne may become worse if your skin is in contact with substances that cause inflammation.
This occurs because inflamed skin attracts more white blood cells — which results in more pimples.
High intake of simple sugars
Consuming large amounts of simple sugars (fructose and glucose) can cause acne breakouts to become more frequent and severe.
This occurs because of how body processes simple sugars.
When you eat sugar, the body will convert it to glucose and push it into the bloodstream.
It also releases insulin to regulate how much sugar is absorbed by your body’s cells.
The elevated insulin level in your body will cause the levels of insulin like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and other hormones to increase.
These hormones will increase sebum production, which worsens your acne.
Excess consumption of sugar will also cause the liver to begin converting sugar to lipids (fats).
High lipid production can shut down a gene called sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) which reduces the amount of SHBG in the blood.
As a result, more testosterone will be available in the body, which can worsen acne breakouts.
Finally, high levels of sugar in your diet will also increase inflammation, drawing more blood cells to your skin further worsening your acne!
As you can see, sugar can really impact the health of your skin.
The best techniques for eliminating adult acne
Reduce your stress levels
Many people find that their skin breaks out shortly after experiencing a lot of stress.
This is caused by the hormones that flood the body during stressful periods.
There are many ways to reduce your stress levels including exercise, mediation, aromatherapy, spending time with friends, and spending time in nature.
You can also take supplements to reduce stress including valerian root, kava-kava, green tea, lemon balm, and ashwagandha.
Drink more water
Water is essential for maintaining your physical health.
It helps you digest food, eliminate toxins, produce sweat, transport nutrients, regulate your body temperature and much more.
It is water’s ability to remove toxins and create sweat that makes it particularly useful for treating acne.
It helps your body flush out any bacteria and toxic substances through the pores, reducing the frequency and severity of acne breakouts.
Try to drink at least 2 litres of water per day.
Get more sleep
Your body performs many important biological functions when you are sleeping.
This includes restoring your energy reserves, repairing tissue damage, and clearing waste from the brain.
Getting a good night’s sleep will help your body repair any blemishes on your skin.
Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet
Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables will ensure that your body has the nutrients it needs for healthy skin.
By getting enough Vitamin A, D, E, and C, you will help your acne heal faster, reduce skin inflammation levels, and reduce the frequency of breakouts.
Reduce the amount of refined sugar you consume
You could have guessed this tip was coming!
Excessive sugar consumption may dramatically increase the severity of your breakouts.
Avoid soft drink, fruit juice, and other sugary treats.
Improve your personal hygiene
It is important to regularly clean your face to reduce the buildup of bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells.
This will help to reduce the severity of breakouts.
However — it is important to clean your skin appropriately:
- Avoid using harsh or abrasive cleansers, as they can damage your skin, potentially causing your sebaceous glands to produce even more sebum.
- Limit yourself to a maximum of two washes per day, as any more may stress the skin.
- Avoid alcohol and other astringents as they can trigger a negative reaction.
- Avoid touching your face as you will transfer oil from your fingers.
- Wash your face after you workout to remove sweat, oil, and debris.
- Look for products that contain natural ingredients.
Identify your personal triggers
Every individual has different triggers that cause their acne to become much worse.
Identifying these triggers can make managing your acne easier.
Start a journal where you track your diet, stress levels, exercise, face washing routine, sleep, and severity of your acne.
Take photos of your face to give yourself a better overview of how bad your acne was each day.
After a month, review the data you collected.
Examine the photos and look for days where your acne was particularly bad.
When you find a bad day, review your diet, sleep patterns, stress levels, and exercise during the previous 1 to 3 days.
You may be able to spot a deviation from your normal behaviour that triggered the breakout.
Consult with a dermatologist
If your acne is still bad, it may be time to consult with a dermatologist.
They will help you identify the reason for your flare ups and can prescribe medications that will reduce your acne.
We hope that Dealing With Male Adult Acne was helpful.
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