Acne When You're Older
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Acne isn't supposed to follow you to college but some people can't find a way to get rid of those pimples, even with great skin care. If you're trying to understand why your skin hasn't cleared up or looking for acne treatment
Transcript: They've pestered you as long as you can remember, but you thought they'd go away when you went to college....
They've pestered you as long as you can remember, but you thought they'd go away when you went to college. No, we're not talking parents-we're talking pimples! While it's true that acne is more prevalent during teenage years, early adulthood doesn't always give you a get out of acne free card. Here's why: As a teen, your body makes extra androgens, which are sometimes called male hormones. But don't let the name fool you: both men's and women's bodies produce androgens, just in differing amounts. In fact, androgens are key to more than 200 functions in women's bodies! Thing is, increased androgens can ALSO lead to pimples!As you finish developing, androgens, and therefore pimple production, slow down. Not all students are fully developed upon going away to college, which can account for some cases of college acne. And since androgen production increases during a woman's period, it makes sense that more college women than men deal with acne. Plus, a recent Stanford University study showed that acne worsens during times of serious stress-like that final exam. While it's a bummer, pimple production does slow down significantly by the time you hit your twenties. And only some adults over thirty deal with recurrent acne issues. If you're not willing to wait it out, your adulthood treatment options go even further than the pharmacy's over-the-counter aisle. Moderate acne may require prescription antibiotics in pill or cream form, like Cleocin or BenzaClin. These are designed to kill acne-causing bacteria and reduce inflammation. Very severe acne may need a doctor's touch, either with drainage of pimples, or surgery to remove them. You have options, so there's no need to live with persistent acne. Talk to a doctor at your college's health center about your best treatment choice.More »
Last Modified: 2013-03-14 | Tags »
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Everyone knows that a zit can ruin a seemingly perfect day. But do you know that popping zits can be like playing with fire? Check this video out for tips on minimizing the appearance of your zits and blemishes.
Transcript: It's the morning of your class presentation and you've got a DISTRACTING pimple on your face. STOP....
It's the morning of your class presentation and you've got a DISTRACTING pimple on your face. STOP. Don't pop it yet! Listen to the words of pretty much every dermatologist out there and Put. Your. Fingers. DOWN. Sure, closed comedones-or whiteheads, as we call them-are ugly, but picking a zit can make it stick around your face MUCH longer. That's because dirt from your fingers can make its way into your pimple, causing a bacterial infection. Plus, picking at your skin can force a temporary pimple to turn into a permanent scar. So to properly banish a blemish, washwith a cleanser containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. For double the dosage, you can also use an acne treatment with the same ingredient listed, as both of these agents can kill the bacteria that cause acne, and even cut down on the redness. Feeling particularly oily? Cut down on the sheen by using a gentle astringent post-washing. If oil keeps up, try a glycolic-acid mask. This will gently exfoliate the outermost, and the oiliest, layer of skin. While you wait for your pimple to pass, minimize its appearance by applying redness reducing eyedrops to the area. So if you STILL can't wait it out, there are safer, smarter ways to pop a zit than just digging in with your bare fingers. For starters, wash your face and hands with warm water and soap. Then, wet a washcloth with warm water and hold it to the affected area for 30 seconds. Grab two cotton swabs or tissues, and use them to gently press on either side of the pimple in a down and in motion. The zit should pop with little effort. If it doesn't, STOP! Your pimple simply isn't ready, and if you persist, you could be left with an unsightly memento of your ill-fated attempt. After popping, apply a dab of hydrocortisone cream before going hands-off again. Remember though, poppers never prosper. If you are concerned about the severity of your acne or the potential of scarring, see your dermatologist for a PROFESSIONAL evaluation and treatment.More »
Last Modified: 2012-11-17 | Tags »
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If you have scars, blemishes and annoying reminders of acne then laser acne scar removal treatment might be just what you need. Check video for more details.
Transcript: As if dealing with acne isn't hard enough, many people who experience severe outbreaks are often left...
As if dealing with acne isn't hard enough, many people who experience severe outbreaks are often left with scars as unwanted souvenirs. Before you get too down, though, take comfort in the fact that there is a treatment method that can be up to 80-percent effective in removing acne scars! It's called laser acne scar removal, and it involves using a laser beam to burn away scarred skin so that new, clear skin can form. Dermatologists use topical anesthetics as well as nerve blocks, so you shouldn't feel pain. There are several types of laser acne scar removal. The newest kind, and this is something that dermatologists like me are VERY excited about is called FRACTIONATED laser technology. With each fractionated laser pass, small little tunnels are burned into the skin with areas of normal skin AROUND them, which limits the amount of skin exposed to the laser. Because therapy is completed in "fractions" like this, skin can more RAPIDLY bounce back-recovery is 2 weeks or less. There are LESS side effects with fractionated lasers as well-they include mild redness, swelling, crusting, and/or hyperpigmentation. Four to five treatments may be needed to achieve your desired results. Now, a CO2, or carbon dioxide, laser, has been around longer-and this older standby has great results. On the downside, recovery time can be a lengthy two weeks to 21 days, during which you might experience redness, crusting and oozing, dilated blood vessels, and new outbreaks of acne. Up to 45-percent of patients will also notice temporary hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin) or HYPOpigmentation, which is LIGHTENING of the skin. One cosmetic CO2 laser treatment costs a hefty $3,000 to $6,000, and is generally not covered by insurance. Another procedure, the YAG laser treatment - YAG standing for yttrium-aluminum-garnet -- has similar side effects, but they are milder and may last for a shorter time. If you have a YAG or a CO2 laser treatment, you will probably have to wear an ointment, and possibly bandages, on your skin during your recovery time. Other than price tag, the biggest downside of laser acne scar removal is that it doesn't work for very deep scars, which may require surgery to fully disappear. Still, lasers have been shown to be super effective at shedding skin of acne scars. So if you're affected by them, talk to your dermatologist about your options. For more skincare tips and treatments, check out other videos in this series!More »
Last Modified: 2012-11-17 | Tags »
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Would you believe that preventing acne is almost always possible? Here, we'll explore acne prevention in detail, starting with stuff you already know about skin care (like the importance of washing your face) and ending with a few surprising tricks.
Transcript: Acne always seems to form at the worst times: like before a big date or a business presentation. Luckily,...
Acne always seems to form at the worst times: like before a big date or a business presentation. Luckily, there are some things you can do to prevent blemishes from affecting a big day. Acne is a skin condition caused by hormones which targets nearly all teenagers and more than half of adults. While it's impossible to avoid acne entirely-hormones will do what they do-there are ways to reduce your chances of breaking out. The most important thing you can do to prevent acne is to develop a cleansing ritual for use in the morning, at night, and after exercise. Using a mild soap, gently wash your face from under your jaw to your hairline. Rinse thoroughly. Talk to your dermatologist about which kind of cleanser to use. Astringents, rough scrub pads, and strong formulas all have the potential to dry out your skin, making your acne worse, instead of better. Be sure to cleanse your scalp daily as well. Plenty of people get acne along their hairline and on their scalp, and a gentle shampoo can help prevent the oil buildups that can lead to zits. As much as possible, avoid touching your face. Squeezing, popping and even grazing blemishes can spread the bacteria-laden contents, prolonging your breakout. And breaking that zit may lead to scarring. Nicking a blemish while shaving is tantamount to popping it: Your breakout can spread! To avoid this, clean the area to be shaved with soap and warm water, and then coat it with shaving cream. This makes shaving smoother, so you're less likely to irritate your acne. To keep acne at bay, women should look for makeup that is oil free. Scan the labels for the phrase "non-comedogenic," which means the product is less likely to induce a break-out. If you're determined to stick with your favorites, swap cream blushes and shadows for powdered or mineral ones, and go easy on the foundation. This will minimize skin irritation. Acne can also be brought on by environmental irritants, like high humidity, smog, cigarette smoke, and excess sunlight. All of these factors can bother your skin, increasing bacterial activity. But the worst of the environmental irritants is airborne grease, from, say, the fryers at a fast-food restaurant. That extra oil that lands on your face contributes to already clogged pores. While you may have to avoid the sun, the good news is that you can enjoy that chocolate bar! Studies have found that eating junk foods doesn't prompt breakouts. While that doesn't mean you should give up fruits and veggies, the occasional candy bar won't harm your skin. Because acne can result from the elevated hormones that come with stress, take a deep breath ... and relax. Meditate, take a break from work, do something to uplift your mood - and simultaneously reduce your chances of breaking out. Changing your daily behaviors can help prevent acne breakouts to some extent. Unfortunately though, most sufferers of the hormone-induced skin condition will still need help in the form of over-the-counter or prescription medications.More »
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Understanding acne and other types of blemishes is important, as they can lead to scarring if not treated properly. Watch our video to learn about common causes and treatments.
Transcript: Acne affects nearly all teenagers, as well as 25 percent of adult men and 50 percent of adult women!...
Acne affects nearly all teenagers, as well as 25 percent of adult men and 50 percent of adult women! In this video, dermatologist Hadley King discusses what you may see in the mirror. Acne is a skin condition in which hormonal changes cause the pores and their oil-producing glands to become clogged. Pores cover most of our entire bodies, so almost every body part is a target for acne. Although teenagers are the most prone to the condition, people of any age can be affected. Men are most likely to develop severe cases of acne. That's because male hormones, called androgens, have the greatest effect on the skin's oil glands. On the other hand, women's monthly hormonal changes make them more likely to experience occasional acne well past their teenage years. Even the hottest celebrities aren't immune to acne's effects. Brad Pitt still bears scars and pockmarks from his teenage acne, and Jessica Simpson has openly talked about her struggle for clear skin. Acne's no fun, that's for sure - so why on earth do we get it? During puberty and times of stress, the body's hormone levels elevate. This causes sebaceous glands in the skin to produce more oil. In addition, when hormone levels are high, skin cells shed more rapidly. When dead skin cells build up inside pores, they catch around hair follicles and block the pore's openings. With no place to go, the skin's oil, dirt, and bacteria get trapped in the pore. This causes the surrounding cells to swell, turn red and become painful to the touch. The type of acne that results - blackhead, whitehead, pimple or cyst - will depend on how much oil accumulates, and how your body responds to the oil. And while you can't get rid of acne entirely, there are some factors that may increase your likelihood of breaking out. It's no coincidence that a pimple will show up just before a hot date, big meeting or other important event. Studies have shown that people under stress are actually more likely to break out. So calm down - stressing out about that zit may make things worse! Sometimes, excessively good hygiene can actually be a hindrance to good skin. Washing your face too much, or using harsh cleansers and scrubs, can irritate the skin and make acne worse. Opt instead to gently wash with mild soap twice a day. Cosmetics, particularly liquids, creams and gels, may block pores, causing acne. Medications that affect your hormones can also cause you to produce more oil, and prompt a breakout. Even humidity and overexposure to the sun can prompt a zit or two. Both irritate the skin, making it easier for acne to take root. Because acne is a skin condition caused by fluctuating hormone levels, it can't be entirely avoided. The good news is, mild and moderate cases of acne will diminish with over-the-counter medications and cleansers.Remember, you should see a dermatologist if your acne is particularly painful, leads to scars or resists treatment.More »
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Once pimples go away, treating acne scars might be your next issue. For information on your options, watch this video.
Transcript: That nasty pimple finally faded-but it left a tell-tale mark. If an acne scar is marring your complexion,...
That nasty pimple finally faded-but it left a tell-tale mark. If an acne scar is marring your complexion, a variety of cosmetic options can minimize its appearance. Acne, a common skin condition, occurs when pores become blocked with dead skin cells and oil. These blemishes usually disappear over time, but occasionally, one will leave a scar in its place. Let's look at the ways in which scars can form. When a blemish appears, the body's white blood cells rush to the site to repair tissue and fight infection. A scar can form as a result of the healing process. Note even the hottest celebrities are immune to the scarring caused by blemishes. Cameron Diaz bears pockmarks and scars from past bouts of acne, yet the actress is still admired for her unique features. Popping, picking, or even touching a blemish can send bacteria deeper into the skin, increasing irritation. This greatly increases the likelihood that a scar will result. Scarring can also follow a bout of severe acne. Nodules and cysts, the more intense forms of blemishes, penetrate deep in to the skin, and are therefore more likely to leave behind scars. A common type of acne scar is actually caused by a loss of tissue. These scars are characterized by depressions in the skin surface.Excess collagen can also cause scarring. When the body needs to heal a blemish, it creates new layers of collagen, a protein found in connective tissue. When excess collage is produced to compensate. This can transform into a hypertrophic scar, a smooth mark raised above the skin's surface. Your cosmetic treatment options depend on the type and the severity of scarring, as well as your current skin condition. One way to improve the appearance of a scar is via injection. A dermatologist can inject collagen into a depressed scar, filling out the hollow area. The injection process can also be done by using fat from another part of the body. In both cases, the cosmetic benefits are temporary, lasting no more than six months A dermatologist can also inject corticosteroids into a hypertphic scar to flaten and soften the raised area.. Another scar reduction technique, laser treatment, reduces redness and evens out scar tissue. The results are permanent, but can be tough to achieve. Laser treatments are expensive, and can require multiple visits. In severe cases, skin surgery may be used to remove scar tissue or to elevate it as necessary. Another treatment option for removing acne scars is dermabrasion. This procedure uses a high-speed brush to remove surface skin, eradicating superficial scars and reducing the appearance of deeper ones. If acne has left you with embarrassing marks, there are plenty of options available to remove scars. However, it is always easier to prevent scars than to treat them, so try to not touch your blemishes and talk to your doctor if your acne is severe.More »
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Severe acne don't respond to over-the-counter treatments. You'll need a dermatologist to recommend prescription treatments, or even surgery. Watch this to learn about the options.
Transcript: You've tried just about every cleanser and ointment at the drugstore, but nothing seems to clear up your...
You've tried just about every cleanser and ointment at the drugstore, but nothing seems to clear up your severe acne. In this video, we'll look at your other options. Acne is a skin condition in which the body's pores become blocked and inflamed. Nearly 40 percent of acne sufferers have what is known as severe acne, which results in chronic, painful lesions that spread over the entire face. These blemishes don't respond to over-the-counter treatments. Most sufferers of severe acne are men. That's because male hormones called androgens send the skin's oil glands into overdrive, generating even more blemishes. Severe acne sufferers may have blemishes known as nodules or cysts. Nodulcystic acne penetrates deeper into the skin than milder forms, and is usually more painful and inflamed. Your dermatologist will help determine the best course of action to treat your severe acne. You may need to be patient during this process, because it can take time to find a treatment method that works for you. Prescribed oral antibiotics fight acne by killing the common bacteria usually found on the skin, and decreasing inflammation. Your doctor may prescribe one of any number of common antibiotics, like Tetrocycline and Doxycycline, gradually reducing your dosage as your acne clears up. Another long-term prescription treatment for acne is only available to women: oral contraceptives. Some birth control pills suppress the skin's oil-producing glands, resulting in reduced acne. If prescription methods prove ineffective, there are several in-office procedures that can help particularly resistant blemishes. Injecting diluted corticosteroids into an extremely inflamed blemish can prevent it from rupturing and causing scarring. A single injection of diluted corticosteroids works over a few days to reduce swelling and promote healing. Your doctor may also drain individual lesions that don't respond to medicinal treatment. This "acne surgery" is not unlike popping the pimples, but it is performed with sterile tools in a safe way that won't spread the blemishes or leave scars. While severe acne can be painful and embarrassing, these blemishes are treatable. Remember, no matter what acne therapy you use, it's imperative to follow your dermatologist's instructions carefullyMore »
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For most of us acne means pimples, but did you know that there are different types of acne? Hence different treatments for them. Watch video to learn more.
Transcript: Could it be? ... Yep, that red sore probably means you're developing a zit. But if you know what kind...
Could it be? ... Yep, that red sore probably means you're developing a zit. But if you know what kind of acne is cropping up on your body, it will be easier to treat. Acne, a common skin condition, comes in several varieties. The type you develop depends on where the acne forms, and how your body reacts to it. Here's a rundown that will help you understand and treat that unwelcome blemish! The least severe-and most common-forms of acne are called comedones. Comedones include both blackheads and whiteheads and usually crop up on the face, targeting the nose in particular. Blackheads occur when a pore becomes blocked with oil, dead skin cells, minute hairs and bacteria. A blackhead has an engorged opening which hides just below the surface. Whiteheads are similar to blackheads, A whitehead except the pore's opening is much narrower. A whitehead stays the whitish tint of the oil inside plus skin cells of the blemish. The most severe kinds of acne, nodules and cysts, are significantly more painful than other types. Because they're often found together, dermatologists call them nodulocystic acne. A nodule is an inflammation of the hair follicle that penetrates deep into the skin. Nodules are firm to the touch. Cysts, like pustules, are formed of bacteria, dead skin and white blood cells. But they're much larger than common pimples, go deeper into the skin and are usually more inflamed. Because they penetrate so deeply into the skin, nodules and cysts are more likely to leave scars, and are also harder to treat. They usually require the aid of a dermatologist and prescription medication. No matter what type of blemish you have, you'll need more than patience to get rid of it! There are plenty of over-the-counter and prescription medications to treat the full gamut of acne classifications. Because acne comes in so many different forms, it's good to know what you're seeing in the mirror, so you can treat it effectively. And remember, please see a dermatologist if your acne is particularly painful, leads to scars or resists treatment.More »
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Mild acne can be treated with over the counter products packed with salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. Watch this to see how these medications work.
Transcript: Want to know the secret to getting rid of mild to moderate acne? It's right there on your drugstore shelves!...
Want to know the secret to getting rid of mild to moderate acne? It's right there on your drugstore shelves! In this video, we'll look at simple treatments for those annoying blemishes. Americans spend more than $100 million every year on over-the-counter acne treatments, and it's little wonder! Most mild to moderate cases of acne can be treated effectively with drugstore cleansers, scrubs and ointments. The treatment that is best for you will depend on the severity of your acne, your skin type and the kind of blemishes you have. While scanning the drugstore shelves, it's important to read the ingredient labels. You'll want a treatment that contains one of five proven acne-fighting compounds. A popular acne treatment product, salicylic acid, draws the oil from blackheads and whiteheads, and slows the shedding of skin cells that can block pores and cause acne. Salicylic acid is the most versatile over-the-counter acne-fighter. You'll spot it in everything from cleansers and scrubs, like Stridex Triple Clear Acne wipes, to acne-safe makeup, such as Neutrogena SkinClearing Oil-Free Makeup. The strongest and most effective over-the-counter acne treatment contains benzoyl peroxide. Applied as a cleanser or lotion, like ProActive, benzoyl peroxide kills harmful bacteria and clears oil and skin cells from pores. Benzoyl peroxide can bleach fabric, so take extra care when using it-and, for your sheets' sake, remember not to apply products with this active ingredient right before bed. No matter what product you use, remember that what works well for a friend may not work for you-and vice versa! Just look at the case of siblings Bo and Katherine. Bo and Katherine both had teenage skin plagued by blemishes. To help treat their acne, their mother bought them a tube of Clean and Clear. After trying the cream, Bo's skin cleared up instantly, but Katherine's looked even worse! Distraught, Katherine went to see a dermatologist who recommended an over-the-counter medication containing salicylic acid. To Katherine's delight, it worked! In mere weeks, her skin was as clear as Bo's! Another acne-fighting agent, resorcinol, breaks down the structure of blackheads and whiteheads and removes excess oil. It's most often used in ointments, like Clearasil, which are meant to spot-treat individual blemishes. Sulfur, which aids in acne breakdown, can be combined with other acne-fighting ingredients. Scientists aren't sure why it's so effective, but, unfortunately, sulfur's rotten-egg smell limits its uses. Two ingredients used in combination, alcohol and acetone, eliminate oil and kill acne-causing bacteria. The acne-fighting duo is usually found in astringents and facial washes like those made by Clean and Clear. No matter what active ingredient is in your acne-fighting agents, you may notice some redness or skin irritation at first. If this does not diminish after several days, discontinue using the offending products. Use over-the-counter acne treatments on all acne-prone regions, not just individual blemishes. Doing so will clear up blemishes and can help stop them from forming in the future. Continue your daily treatment even after your face clears. If you stop cleansing your skin, the blemishes will usually reappear in a matter of weeks. Remember, most acne will go away with the help of over-the-counter medications. If your acne doesn't respond to these treatments after four to six weeks, make an appointment with your dermatologist to consider prescription options.More »
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Interested in cosmeceuticals for skin care? The latest clinical skin care solutions promise beautiful and clearer skin, but you should know what you're getting into. Watch this video to learn more.
Transcript: With so many lasers on the market, it can be confusing to figure out which systems are effective, safe,...
With so many lasers on the market, it can be confusing to figure out which systems are effective, safe, and reliable. Wendy Lewis, an international beauty consultant and expert, and author of America's Cosmetic Doctors, is here to help explain some of the newest technologies available. Different types of lasers can be used to treat a variety of skin conditions. Lasers can be used to reduce the size of birthmarks, remove tattoos, minimize veins and redness, and reduce wrinkles. The most common laser application used today is for hair removal. New techniques can also be used to remove brown spots caused by sun exposure. The most commonly used systems are non-wounding lasers that work beneath the surface skin layer to improve tone, texture, pores, and fine lines. Because they work on a deeper level of the skin and do not heat or peel away the top layer of tissue, they have very few side effects. Some Light-based devices, known as IPLs, produce a broad spectrum of light that can be set for each person's skin type and condition. This technology works well for redness and brown lesions, hair removal, and skin rejuvenation of the face and body. Treatments are typically done in a series of three or more to achieve good results, and can repeated at any time. Another type of device uses radio frequency or infrared energy to shrink the collagen and elastin fibers deep below the skin's surface, this causes the skin to tighten and improves the appearance of wrinkles. These treatments are growing in popularity because of their ability to having a subtle lifting effect on the skin of the face, neck, and body areas. Your doctor will carefully evaluate your condition and choose the appropriate type of laser or light-based system to achieve the outcome you are looking for. For best results, skin resurfacing procedures should be performed by a board-certified dermatologist, plastic surgeon, or cosmetic doctor. Aside from skin resurfacing and rejuvenation, laser systems can be used to treat active acne, acne scars, and skin discoloration. The next frontier for laser technology is stretch marks and cellulite. Great strides have been made towards targeting these all too common beauty afflictions. Non-invasive treatments are the fastest growing category of cosmetic enhancements because they offer benefits without the recovery time needed after bigger procedures. Most laser and light based treatments can be performed right in your dermatologist's or plastic surgeon's office. Recovery can take from a few hours up to a week, depending on what system is used. To learn more about what lasers and light therapy can do to improve your skin, consult with a qualified laser surgeon in your area. For more on what to expect from laser and light treatments, check out the other resources on our site.More »
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