If you’re an adult, you’ve probably already figured out that acne isn’t something that only adolescents and teenagers deal with. Ask any of your friends, and you’re probably not alone in stressing over fighting breakouts and wrinkles at the same time. Fortunately, we know how to treat adult acne at Skin Pharm — it’s as simple as identifying the cause and adhering to the right skin care treatment regime. This could include a mix of over-the-counter products, prescription medicine and in-office procedures.
Whether you’re dealing with the occasional annoying pimple or chronic breakouts, we’re here to help! We suggest starting with a consult so we can learn more about your skin care needs, what products you’re currently using, what procedures you’ve tried and what plan will best fit your lifestyle. For now, we’ll explain some of the common culprits that may be causing you to break out.
1. The Culprit: Bacteria
Yes, it’s gross, but holding a dirty phone to your face transfers bacteria to your chin, cheek and jawline. Holding a phone to your face for an extended period of time can also cause oil to build up, and when you combine that with bacteria, you’ve got pimples. This is an easy fix — it’s safe to clean most phones with isopropyl alcohol wipes or other disinfectant wipes, and you can use a headset or headphones to avoid direct contact.
You can also transfer bacteria by touching your face — a habit you may not even realize you’re doing throughout the day — so try to keep your hands clean and off your face to avoid spreading bacteria.
2. The Culprit: Your Diet
What you put into your body affects how your skin looks, so think about foods you eat on a regular basis. Even if you have no known food allergies, certain foods can trigger acne. Dairy products cause breakouts in some people (this may be related to natural and artificial hormones in cows), while refined carbohydrates cause blood sugars and insulin levels to rise rapidly, resulting in more active androgen hormones and excess sebum production. Even a sensitivity to common ingredients like wheat, gluten or even chocolate (so unfair, we know) may cause a reaction in the skin.
But don’t throw out all the chocolate yet! If you’re worried that what you’re eating is causing your skin to react or suspect you may have an actual food allergy, talk to your doctor about ways to identify your trigger foods, such as an elimination diet.
3. The Culprit: Products You’re Using
We’ve explained that introducing a new skin care product into your routine can cause reactions (read more about that here), but any product that comes into contact with your face could be contributing to breakouts. If you’re suddenly experiencing acne, think if you’ve introduced any new products into your daily routine: shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, makeup, sunscreen, and even toothpaste! Stop using the new product to see if there’s a change in your skin.
And while this should technically be filed under the bacteria category, also think about how you apply these products. What else comes into contact with your skin? Makeup brushes, washcloths, towels, pillowcases — keep all of these items clean so they don’t run the risk of transferring bacteria to your face.
4. The Culprit: Your Lifestyle
Perhaps you’ve been going to bed without washing your face or wearing makeup while you exercise. We’ve talked about why cleansing your skin is so important and why you need to wash your face before AND after you exercise, but let’s recap here: Cleansing your skin is incredibly important, even if you’re not wearing much (or any) makeup.
Here’s why: Your skin is exposed to environmental pollutants and bacteria during the day, even if you don’t go outside. Washing your face with a cleanser that is suited for your skin type is the only way to get these pollutants and bacteria off your face.
Think about other parts of your lifestyle. Are you stressed? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you drinking enough water to stay adequately hydrated (again, what you put in your body affects how it looks on the outside). We’re big believers in balance at Skin Pharm — when life starts to feel unbalanced, it can have visible effects on your skin.
On the flip side, let’s say you’ve been doing everything right: You properly cleanse, moisturize and protect your face every morning and evening, but you’re still breaking out. Either you’re using the wrong products (talk to a Skin Pharm provider to help you with that!) or you’re dealing with the elephant in the room … hormones!
5. The Culprit: Hormones
Hormonal changes are a major cause of acne, which you may remember from your adolescent years. But you don’t have to suffer through this again! Whether you’re breaking out due to birth control, premenstrual hormone fluctuation, menopause or being pre- or post-partum, we can help treat hormonal breakouts.
Hormonal breakouts occur when excess androgens — like testosterone — build up in the body. If you suspect hormones may be to blame for your breakouts, you can have your hormone levels checked with some simple bloodwork.
No matter the culprit, the board-certified, advanced practice providers at Skin Pharm can help you say goodbye to acne for good. Give us a call at (615) 582-6726 (Nashville office) or (404) 314-4545 (Atlanta office) or book an appointment here.