Acne, like cliques, braces, and questionable hair color choices, is usually associated with adolescence. For many adults, however, this unsightly nuisance never quite goes away, instead hanging around longer than an embarrassing Facebook photo. If you’re a sufferer of adult acne, you know just how painful and embarrassing this condition can be… But did you know that there’s something you can do about it? In recent years, a number of effective adult acne treatments have been pioneered:
- Eat fewer refined carbs.
While the relationship between junk food and acne is not as direct as people once thought (e.g., eating chocolate will not “give” you acne), there’s a strong case for eating more whole foods if you’re battling zits. According to Diagnosis Diet, a diet with high glycemic carbs can cause acne by promoting inflammation, raising androgen levels and causing an overgrowth of skin cells. According to a 2007 study conducted by Australian researchers, eating a low-glycemic index (GI) diet that emphasizes complex carbohydrates and lean protein can lead to a 22% decrease in acne lesions.
- Try blue light therapy.
If dietary changes don’t work, you’ll need to head to your dermatologist and discuss more intensive treatments. One of the most promising of these is blue light therapy, which uses powerful rays to penetrate follicles and kill acne-causing bacteria.
- Ask your doctor about medication.
In recent years, the prescription medication Aldactone (spironolactone), long used to treat high blood pressure, has been reinvented as a surprisingly effective adult acne treatment. It works by blocking androgen hormone receptors and therefore reducing the testosterone surges that fuel acne outbreaks. Other possible treatments available at Abadir Associates are topical creams, microdermabrasion, Accutane, and special facials. Do ask your dermatologist at Abadir Associates which treatment would best suit your situation.
- Use tea tree oil.
If you’re worried about trying intensive light therapies or taking medication, you’ll be glad to know that safe, natural tea tree oil can help to combat acne. Multiple studies, including a review published in the International Journal of Dermatology in 2013, attest to tea tree oil’s effectiveness in treating mild to moderate acne outbreaks.
Above all else, it’s important to remember that as an adult with acne, you’re not alone. Adult acne is actually a fairly common condition, particularly among women: A 2012 study published in the Journal of Women’s Health revealed that acne affects nearly half of all women aged 21 to 30 and fully one quarter of women aged 31 to 40. If you’re struggling with your condition or feel stigmatized by it, reach out to fellow sufferers—Not only will you find acceptance and support, you might pick up a few more key treatment tips as well. Good luck!