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While many associate suffering from acne with those troublesome teenage years, adult acne is a common problem. According to research by acne.org, 20.5% of men between the ages of 20 and 70 will suffer from adult acne, and that figure rises for those in their 20s to over 40%.
Whilst suffering with acne as an adult can feel embarrassing and isolating, seeking help and finding the right treatment for you and your skin can transform your life.
In general, the causes behind acne are the same regardless of gender.
Excess oil/sebum produced by the sebaceous glands in the skin trap bacteria and dead skin cells, which causes redness and inflammation – spots. These oily conditions can help certain bacteria to thrive, increasing the severity of the inflammation.
Acne in men can be caused by various factors, including these as outlined by Dr Seth Rankin for GQ magazine:
Fluctuations in hormone levels associated with periods of stress can increase sebum production and trigger an inflammatory response. With the pressures of modern daily life, stress is a common cause of adult acne.
Whether this is endless late nights of partying and unhealthy takeaway food or the opposite end of the spectrum and spending hours sweating in the gym or using performance-enhancing steroids to bulk up, unhealthy lifestyle choices always make themselves known – usually through our skin.
More men than ever are taking a proactive approach to skincare and male grooming. However, using too many products that strip your skin of its natural oils, and using creams and washes containing too many chemicals can irritate the skin. Skin irritation from shaving with a razor can also cause skin bumps and ingrown hairs, and worsen existing acne.
While there is no single treatment that will fix all cases of male acne, there are some good daily changes you can make to improve the look of your skin. If these aren’t effective, your aesthetician will be able to help.
Get rid of the products containing excess ingredients and look for medical grade cosmeceutical products. Wash your face morning and night using a fresh washcloth to avoid re-contaminating your skin. Using a light, water-based moisturiser can help keep sebum production levels stable.
If you want to keep using a razor for a clean shave, speak to your GP about getting an antibiotic foam that you can mix with your shaving foam to help reduce irritation. Alternatively switch to an electric razor, which can be less aggravating to the skin.
A long handled cleansing brush can help you reach round and make sure your whole back is getting the attention it needs. Changing bed sheets often, thoroughly cleansing and showering after sweating, and wearing natural, breathable cotton t-shirts next to your skin can help reduce irritation on your back too.
If your acne is severe and the changes to your washing and shaving routine aren’t making an impact after four weeks, it’s time to seek professional advice and a doctor may prescribe you with antibiotics.
If you’re not keen on taking medications or you aren’t finding them effective, alternative skin treatments such as plasma shower and facial peels can have long-lasting results and won’t have any of the side effects associated with medical acne treatments.
Our acne clinic aims to help men feel confident in their skin, treating adult acne with dignity and using the best technology on offer. If you want to see how our acne treatments can change your life, contact the friendly team at Skintique today.