Guest Author - Tammy Elizabeth Southin
You are all set for a night out or that important meeting when you notice the pimple as you take one last look in the mirror. Only now, you are not a teenager but a woman who thought skin breakouts were a thing of the past just like those old hairstyles. Yet many women experience adult acne before and during menopause and the accompanying embarrassment of why pimples and why now?
Adult acne is not much different from the teenage variety; both are caused by overactive sebaceous glands. These glands produce sebum, which is an oily substance that helps to keep skin supple. When there is too much sebum, the skinís pores become clogged. Clogged pores trap bacteria under the skinís surface, causing inflammation and ultimately blackheads and pimples.
Similar to the teen years, fluctuating hormone levels during perimenopause and menopause affect sebum production. The resulting breakouts are usually different from teenage acne in that older women will have fewer pimples in number but more difficult to treat.
Older skin is more prone to dryness compared to younger skin, making harsh acne treatments unsuitable for mature skin. Moreover, many adult acne pimples come with increased soreness as pimples tend to become trapped under the skin compared to the white-topped teenage eruptions.
Adult acne is not a sign of unclean skin, nor is it normally caused by foods or stress. Hormone levels that regulate sebum production become more erratic during menopause, making breakouts a reality for many women.
Help for adult acne is more widely available compared to the past when women had to raid their daughterís skin treatments. Now women can choose from a number of products designed to treat acne without damaging or drying out their skin. Coming up with a skin care regimen sounds like a lot of complicated work, but in just a few minutes a day, a little skin care goes a long way to helping treat and prevent breakouts.
Choose a gentle formula cleanser to use twice a day in the morning and evening. Cleansers come in a variety of formulas from foams to creams and for all skin types. Avoid harsh cleansers that will further irritate the skin. Treat skin gently Ė avoid harsh rubbing and tugging during cleansing. If wearing makeup, choose a cleanser designed to remove all traces of cosmetics to allow skin to breathe at night.
Remember the old bottles of astringents that dried out skin as well as pimples? Most women will want to avoid these products, as they are too harsh on adult skin. There are a variety of spot treatments that can be applied directly to a pimple to help promote healing and reduce appearance of redness. Avoid products containing alcohol.
Older skin needs moisture. Again, there are many creams and lotions for all skin types including combination and breakout-prone skin. Apply moisturizer to dry areas of the face, avoiding breakout areas when possible. Avoid the temptation to slather skin with heavy layers of moisturizer. Apply a thin layer and reapply as needed throughout the day to avoid further clogging of the pores.
Skin care during menopause requires more thought and care but will help to keep adult acne breakouts under control and keep your skin glowing and healthy.