If you suffer from adult acne, you are not alone. Many men have had acne problems since high school and they are now experiencing adult breakouts. Maybe as an adult, this is the first time you have experienced this frustrating but very common skin condition.
The medical term for acne is acne vulgaris and I am sure you will agree that the word “vulgar” pretty much sums it up. Ance is not only embarrassing and affects your self-esteem but it can leave permanent physical scars.
Who Is Affected By Acne?
Both men and women are equally affected by acne during their teen years but men tend to have more severe cases of acne and it tends to last a longer period of time. The great news is that acne can be successfully treated and many of the after-affects of acne can be eliminated.
What Causes Acne In Men?
Many times, there is no obvious cause of acne. Dermatologists claim that heredity, stress, diet, changes in hormone levels, not enough sleep, or a reaction to medications can all be triggers that create or aggravate acne. Men typically experience acne on their face and back.
Changes in hormones can create oils that can clog pores and result in the growth of bacteria. Breakouts often get worse in hot weather and after exercising since sweating seems to make the condition worse.
Some men use anabolic steroids to build muscle mass and studies have shown that approximately ⅓ of men who use these steroids get acne and about ½ of those men develop a severe form called cystic acne.
Dermatologists say they can tell by the look and placement of the acne if it is caused by steroid use. Normally this acne goes away when the steroid use stops.
Some men get bumps and skin irritation after shaving. This is not acne but a condition called folliculitis, or ingrown hair. Men with curly hair tend to have more issues with ingrown hairs than other men. Proper shaving techniques and products can alleviate folliculitis.
Breaking Down The Breakouts
Looking at your skin with the naked eye, it may appear smooth but it is covered in tiny, almost invisible, hairs each set in a follicle. Each follicle is a small canal that contains an oil gland, a sebaceous gland, which helps keep the skin lubricated and helps remove old skin cells, by secreting a substance called sebum. Sebum is composed of 57% triglycerides and fatty acids, 26% wax esters, 12% squalene, and 5 % cholesterol.
The amount of sebum an individual’s skin secrets is what delineates the categories of oily, dry, or combination skin.
When the skin is functioning properly, sebum is secreted and our skin is kept moisturized and our follicles clear. When the follicle gets “clogged up” for any reason that is when whiteheads, blackheads, and acne breakouts occur.
A Balancing Act: Eliminating Male Acne
One of the best strategies in treating acne is a good skincare routine. Keeping your follicles clear and the amount of sebum secreted under control is the first step. The challenge is not overtreating, causing the sebaceous glands to kick into overdrive to replace the oil that was stripped away. This can produce too much oil and make your acne worse.
For men, taking proper care of the skin does not take a lot of time or a plethora of products. Most men only need to properly cleanse and moisturize in the morning and before bed.
How To Treat Male Acne At Home
Thoroughly cleanse your face using a gentle cleanser made specifically for that purpose and follow up with a moisturizer.
Exfoliating twice a week with a gentle but effective product will help keep your pores clear without triggering excess sebum production.
You can find some excellent skincare products, highly recommended by Dr. Angelina from SurgiCare Arts & Aesthetics here.
In looking for products to help treat acne, look for ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, which targets infection-causing bacteria, and salicylic and glycolic acid, which helps unclog pores.
If your acne requires stronger treatments, there are several other treatments a dermatologist can prescribe:
- Antibiotics taken orally or directly applied to the skin to control bacteria;
- Vitamin A derivatives can help keep pores unclogged;
- Anti-inflammatory medications can be injected directly into an inflamed cyst to combat severe eruptions.
Professional Male Acne Treatments
For some men, breakouts have been left behind in their twenties but they have a diary of the past scarred on their face and other gentlemen are still battling this malady.
The good news is professional acne treatments can help. Dr. Angelina Postoev, MD, FACS, a triple board-certified cosmetic surgeon, and Christopher Ibikunle, MD, FACS, offer acne treatments for men and women in Lawrenceville, Suwanee, Johns Creek, and the surrounding areas of Atlanta, Georgia. Some options offered are:
- Microdermabrasion can be a good treatment for certain types of acne and acne scarring. This treatment allows us to reduce the number of comedones from forming and remove oils and dirt that can cause pores to become clogged and form breakouts.
- Chemical Peels are chemical solutions that are applied to the skin to remove dry and dead skin, deep clean, smooth facial lines and wrinkles, improve acne and acne scars, even out skin tone, and remove skin pigmentation.
- Microneedling utilizes an instrument with a series of microneedles that penetrate the skin to a specific depth. Age spots, stretch marks, acne, and wrinkles are just some of the problems that can be addressed with microneedling treatments.
- IPL® Photofacial is a laser treatment that causes the blood vessels and collagen in the skin to narrow and compress. It can help with current acne, post-acne scars, and sunspots.
- Fractora Facials uses radiofrequency energy to penetrate the skin and gently heat the deeper layers. It diminishes the appearance of acne scars and evens skin tone.
- ORI-OR is a medical skincare line by Dr. Angelina Postoev. Face care products are designed to deliver science-based anti-aging, moisturizing, antioxidant, nourishing, and anti0acne effects for the skin.
If you have scars or other issues left behind as a result of acne or are plagued with blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, or other types of acne that make you self-conscious, professional acne treatments can help.
Angelina Postoev, MD, FACS, a triple board-certified cosmetic surgeon, and Christopher Ibikunle, MD, FACS, offer acne treatments for men and women in Lawrenceville, Suwanee, Johns Creek, and the surrounding areas of Atlanta, Georgia.