All treatments are indicated for all skin types unless otherwise specified.
What is adult onset acne?
Acne is the term used to refer to "pimples or breakouts” broadly. Acne is generally regarded as a condition that involves the Pilosebaceous unit of the skin. It refers to the oil gland in the skin, the tube to the surface of the skin and the pore that allows the skin's natural oil to escape onto the surface. This concept is essential as acne usually involves the entire depth of the skin and, therefore, the long-term damage that occurs (i.e. scarring) is generally quite deep. There are quite a few different ‘types’ of acne.
Adult acne refers to acne that occurs in adulthood (generally after the age of 18) and often in individuals who have never suffered from acne before. The scary part of adult-onset acne is that it tends to be quite resistant and often regular therapies are insufficient in treating the condition.
How do we treat this potentially resistant condition?
The first and most crucial point to take home with you today is that acne is not truly a skin condition. It certainly involves the skin, but most of the time the cause lies deeper, much deeper. Most of the time the causes of adult-onset acne are systemic. In other words, something WITHIN the body is causing an issue. The pimples are more a symptom of the problem.
Think of your face as the dashboard of your car. In the same way that your car has warning lights and instruments to show you when something is not working properly, your face can also act as a warning system to tell you when things are off balance within the body. Our bodies have an amazing coping ability, but at some stage they cannot cope with our lifestyles, the environment and our genetics.
Since acne is one of those warning lights that you can only switch off by fixing the issue. Your acne won't settle unless you find the root cause and fix it. When you consult with the doctor the following will be explained in more detail, but here are the basics:
- The skin. Even though we will focus on the internal causes to assist with the long-term improvement of the condition, we must support the skin with external treatments. Once we see acne on the skin, regardless of origin, we know that we have 4 potential issues in the skin. They are:
- The overproduction of oil (sebum)
- Excess dead skin cells blocking the pores
- Inflammation due to stagnant sebum within the skin
- Potential infection with very specific bacteria
Not everyone gets infected, but every single acne client will have at least some representation of the first three elements. It is therefore critical that when we support the skin, we absolutely must use treatments and products that treat ALL 4 THESE ELEMENTS. Therefore, most commercially available products don't suffice as they only address one or two elements. These products can worsen the problem as many of them focus on bringing the oil levels down. This, in turn, will produce drier skin with more dead cells that end up blocking the pores even more and worsening your acne.
- Internal Causes.There are many potential causes, but 4 are common causes that will be discussed in more detail during the consultation. If these issues are not addressed adequately, a long-term result is almost impossible to achieve.They are:
- Insufficient production of stomach acid
- Bacterial imbalances in the gut
- Hormonal imbalances