Adult acne

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:49 pm
While acne usually subsides by age 25, in some individuals, it may continue or even appear during the 30's and 40's. Men can experience adult acne, but the problem is more common among women due to female hormonal changes. For this reason, low-dose birth control pills or other hormonal drugs may help some women. In general, adult blemishes are more a result of dead skin cell buildup than an excess of oil. Thus, you may benefit from products like alpha hydroxy (hy-DRAWK-see) acids that encourage skin cell turnover rather than those which dry out the skin too much. Salicylic (sal-uh-SILL-ick) acid also helps keep pores clear. Products with benzoyl (BEHN-zoil) peroxide can be drying and are best used as spot treatments only. Retin-A® (REHT- ihn A) is now believed to be only mildly effective for acne, though it will reduce superficial wrinkles. To prevent future breakouts, use only those lotions or cosmetics on your face that are labeled non-comedogenic (coe-mee-doe-JIN-ick), meaning their ingredients won't clog pores. Also, watch out for hair sprays and gels that contact your face. These can block pores and lead to localized breakouts. Acne that's confined to the chin and jaw may be caused by frequent phone use. To avoid this, clean your receiver with alcohol and don't let the phone rest against your face.

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