Twacne: Getting Adult Acne in your Twenties and what to do about it
We all expect to to be rather spotty in our teens, what with hormones flooding our body and oily skin par for the course, but I never thought I'd still be complaining about spots in my twenties.
Welcome to twacne, the twenties skincare problem (coined by me as well!). The bad skin that we get in this decade isn't due to the same stresses as when we were younger, so if you invest too heavily in Clearasil you'll actually damage the skin as it isn't just oiliness that's the problem.
So what's the cause of our blemishes, and more Importantly what can we do about it?
First off there are environmental issues, as pollution and smog doesn't do our complexion any favours, and add to that nicotine (naught naughty), alcohol, stress and not enough sleep and you can see where the skin starts to suffer.
A common issue seems to be spots around the chin and cheeks, and these I'm afraid to tell you are down to hormones. Yes, that special time of month also causes an overproduction of sebum and leads to acne build up in the chin area. Moving on to those pesky forehead pimples, and those are mostly down to a bad diet and dehydration. Are you drinking to much coffee and not enough water- well those spots are the result!
So what is acne? The technical answer would be 'inflammation of the small oil glands (sebaceous glands) that surround the fine hairs on the face and chest'. What I think it is though is bloody annoying.
So let's see what we can do about it. I'm going to take you through three steps-
Step 1 is working out just how bad your skin is.
Step 2: What skincare/ topical lotions will work on your skin
Step 3: The big boys- what medication should you try, and what your doctor will give you.
Let's start with Step One shall we?
So what are you seeing on your face? Huge break outs? small whiteheads, or major pustules. You need yo qualify what the problem is before you can treat it,so let's define your level of blemish, shall we?
Stage one Acne spots
Mild outbreaks. Here you'll see a couple of blackheads and whiteheads, and a few bumpy red areas, but nothing that's highly visible, just very annoying. They'll tend to go fairly quickly, but I know that when you have pimples two weeks seems an awfully long time. This is called comedonal or non-inflammatory acne
Stage 2 Acne:
We're talking multiple spots in various locations, possibly going down onto the chest and neck area as well. They'll tend to be larger and redder (papules)and last for longer than a week. Also called mild or inflammatory acne.
Stage 3 Acne:
Inflamed cysts, painful sores and pimples that produce scarring. Not a good place to be, but there is hope, I promise.
You may find that you fall between two sections, as sometimes you're stage 1, sometimes stage 2, so use your common sense when treating your skin.
Different stages of acne need different treatments, from topical washes, prescription drugs and even cosmetic surgery. Watch this space for a guide on how to save your skin.