Put an End to Adult Acne
How to Reduce Menopausal Acne
Many people believe menopausal acne is something hormonal teenagers get during puberty. Just as hormones can wreak havoc on a teen’s skin, they can also have the same effect on menopausal women.If you’re menopausal and notice that you are breaking out, you can reduce acne by having a consistent daily skin care regimen. Applying topical products, taking medications and making healthy lifestyle choices.
Using a Daily Skin Care Regimen to Reduce Acne
Cleanse your skin twice daily.Acne is not caused by dirt on your skin, but by oil, dead skin, and other substances.Cleansing your skin every day in the morning and evening can sweep away excess substances that can clog your pores and cause breakouts.
- Use a mild cleanser when you wash your face. Avoid using bar soaps or cleansers with a gritty texture, they can irritate your skin. Aging skin is more susceptible to dryness therefore consider getting a gentle, moisturizing cleanser.
- Rinse your skin only in lukewarm water. Water that is too hot may strip your skin of moisture and cause irritation.
Resist washing your skin too often.You may be tempted to wash your face more often during break outs. Cleansing your face twice daily suffices. Washing your face too with pressure can irritate, strip moisture, and cause more breakouts.
Apply a non-comedogenic moisturizer daily.As a person gets older, the function the skin changes. Adult women are more likely to have dry skin.Use a non-comedogenic, or non-acne causing, moisturizer after cleansing your skin. This will help your skin retain and add moisture, which prevents dead skin from building up. Moisturizing prevents clogging of the skin and aids in minimizing acne.
- Please note even oily skin needs a moisturizer. In addition to choosing a non-comedogenic product, find one that is also oil free.
- Consider getting a moisturizer with a broad-range sunscreen with a high SPF. Not only can sun exposure make acne worse, it also cause sun spots and premature aging.
Exfoliate your skin once or twice a week.Exfoliation removes a layer of dead skin cells and is an important part of any regular skin care regimen. Doing this removes dead skin that can clog pores and cause breakouts. Using a gentle exfoliator once or twice a week can remove dead skin that could make menopausal acne worse.
- Get a gentle exfoliator made of sugar or salt or synthetic beads that are a uniform shape without jagged edges. Although sugar and salt start with square edges, they quickly melt into a circular shape. Harsh scrubs made of fruit seeds and nutshells can tear and irritate your skin. These scrubs can lead to further breakouts and aging. Exfoliation of the skin can also be done with a soft washcloth. your skin.
- Recognize that exfoliators only take away surface skin and will not address the acne.
Choose non-comedogenic and hypo-allergenic product.The word comedogenic simply means a product that does not clog pores. Usually these have a more watery consistency. When buying your skincare products, look for options that won’t clog pores, or cause allergic reactions. These are referred to as hypo-allergenic. These products may help reduce your menopausal acne and prevent irritation of your skin.
- Many products designed for your skin are non-comedogenic and hypo-allergenic. This includes moisturizers, cleansers, sunscreens, toners, and makeup. These products can be purchased at a range of price points in many pharmacies, department stores, and large retailers.
Using Topical Acne Products and Medications
Note any sensitivities.Adult women are more prone to dry skin and rosacea, a common skin condition that causes redness and irritation. Some topical acne medications may cause additional skin irritation. Discontinue use if your acne or skin irritation worsens.
Wash your face and hands before application.It is important to cleanse your face and hands prior to any topical application. Reducing the risk of spreading bacteria that might cause you to have more breakouts.
- Wash your hands with any type of soap and warm water. Then wash your face with your regular facial cleanser.
Pay attention to excess oils.When your skin produces too much sebum, or oil, it can lead to acne. If your skin is oily, apply a topical product or mask formulated to absorb excess oil. This may help reduce your menopausal acne.
- Try an over the counter salicylic acid product. You can also have your doctor prescribe a product that absorbs oil if your acne is severe.
- Consider applying a clay mask once a week. This can also absorb excess oil and may reduce acne-causing impurities.
- Keep some oil blotting papers in your handbag or makeup kit. Placing one on oily spots can also soak up excess oil. This is particularly useful in hot climates or if you are exercising.
Zap acne with benzoyl peroxide.Benzoyl peroxide is an anti-bacterial medication that can reduce acne. Apply a small amount to any areas affected by menopausal acne after cleansing. This may reduce your acne and prevent breakouts.
- Get an over the counter product with benzoyl peroxide in a 5% or 10% solution. Ask the pharmacist if you have any questions about the product or its active ingredients.
- Begin treatment slowly. Apply a 5% gel or lotion once a day after cleansing your skin and hands. Increase usage to twice a day after a week. Change to the 10% solution if don’t see any improvement in your acne within 4-6 weeks.
- You may notice some initial side effects from using benzoyl peroxide. This could be shown by redness, dryness, and scaling which usually gets better after the first month.
- Consider trying products that contain sulfur or resorcinol if benzoyl peroxide is too harsh for your skin.
See your medical health professional.If you are experiencing menopausal acne, then you may wish to make an appointment with a dermatologist. Your local doctor is qualified to diagnose and help you with acne. The medical practitioner can diagnose the acne and formulate a treatment plan based on the severity.
- Inform the doctor as to when the menopausal acne started, what steps you’ve taken to reduce it, and anything that makes it better or worse.
Administer retinoids to your skin.Retinoids are a topical vitamin A prescription your doctor can prescribe to combat and prevent acne. They come in cream, gel, and lotion formulations.Retinoids can also improve skin texture, wrinkles, and reduce brown spots.
- Put the retinoid on your skin in the evening. Start with three times a week and then apply it daily as your skin gets used to it.
- Retinoids increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun. It’s important to apply a high-SPF sunscreen if you’re using retinoids for your menopausal acne.
- Retinoids may also cause irritation, redness, and dryness. They can also make your skin peel.You may want to start with a non-prescription retinoid before using a prescription strength product. Non-prescription products are called retinols.
- Stick with your course of retinoids because the best way to use them is for a prolonged time. Remember it can take a month or more for your skin to get used to the product as well as to see results.
Take antibiotics against bacteria and redness.Your doctor may prescribe a course of antibiotics to reduce your menopausal acne. These pills or creams can kill the bacteria that cause breakouts as well as reduce redness.
- For long term usage of antibiotics ask your medical provider about probiotics or using simple yeast to combat possible yeast infections.
- Follow your doctor’s exact instructions when taking antibiotics for acne. Your doctor may combine your antibiotic with a topical retinoid for the first few months of treatment.
- Some antibiotics, like retinoids, can make you sensitive to sun exposure. Wear a high- SPF sunscreen if you are outside.
Get a prescription for an anti-androgen agent.Androgens are male hormones present in men and women that can overstimulate oil glands and cause acne.Anti-androgens work by blocking the effect of the hormone on your oil glands. If your acne isn’t responding to antibiotics or other treatments, ask your doctor if anti-androgens are a good option for you.
- In pre-menopausal women a blood test to detect the level or hormones is advised. The doctor can then decide whether HRT or hormonal replacement therapy would be beneficial.
- Anti-androgens may cause breast tenderness and the retention of potassium.
Consider isotretinoin for severe acne.If your acne doesn’t heal by using other treatments, consider taking oral isotretinoin. This powerful drug is prescribed only when acne doesn’t respond to other treatment.
- Isotretinoin can come with severe side effects such as ulcerative colitis and an increased risk of depression and suicide. For this reason, it’s important that your doctor closely monitor you when taking the drug. If you are still getting irregular periods and are sexually active, make sure to use protection because isotretinoin can cause severe birth defects.
- Menopausal women can still get pregnant and if that is not desirable then talk to your doctor about the correct method of birth control.
Combine treatments with different therapies.Depending on the type and severity your doctor may suggest combining regular cleansing and treatments with certain therapies. The following therapies are only used in select cases, such as when a person cannot tolerate medication:
- Light therapy, which targets the bacteria that cause acne can be used. It may cause pain, temporary redness and sensitivity to sunlight.
- Chemical peels are not recommended in people with existing acne. The only time they are used safely is under the directed supervision of a dermatologist.
- Extraction of whiteheads and blackheads is a process where your doctor uses a special tool to gently remove acne lesions that haven’t responded to treatment. This therapy can cause minimal scarring, but if it is done by a professional then it may not cause any scarring. This can be a useful tool in the prevention of acne, but it is not a one-time solution and requires multiple visits each year.
- Steroid injection, which is used for nodular and cystic acne. This therapy may cause thinning of the skin, lighter skin, and the appearance of small blood vessels in the affected area. It would take a continual usage of steroid injections to cause thinning of the skin. The dermatologist knows the safe practice of steroid usage. It is most beneficial in severe outbreaks and for short periods of time only. Since the steroid injections are usually only monthly, your doctor will know how to safely administer them.
Decreasing Breakouts through Lifestyle Choices
Take off cosmetics before bed.After a night out, it can be tempting to fall into bed without removing your makeup or washing your face. Wearing cosmetics to bed can clog your pores. Take off any cosmetics with a make-up remover or gentle cleanser before you head to bed.
- Choose a product designed to remove makeup or even your usual gentle cleanser. Most cleansers can effectively remove makeup.
- Wash makeup applicators and cosmetic sponges every other week. Cleaning these tools with some warm, soapy water can remove bacteria that cause acne.
Shower after sports or activities.If you do sports or other physical activities, rinse off when you’re finished. Sweating can promote the growth of bacteria and production of oil that can cause acne.
- If you are susceptible to acne, use clean towels and don't rub your face to dry it but rather pat it dry.
- Remember to use a gentle cleanser on your skin, even in the shower. This can ensure that your skin doesn’t get irritated or inflamed.
Avoid picking at pimples.You may be tempted to pop pimples on your face. This can cause a spread of the acne and will not get rid of the pimples. Picking and even touching your face can spread bacteria and oil. This can cause breakouts or inflame your skin.
- Avoid or limit resting your hands on your face because this can also spread oil and bacteria as well as cause breakouts.
Incorporate foods high in Vitamin A.Eating healthy foods can promote your wellbeing from the inside and out. Choose yellow and orange fruits, which are high in Vitamin A, to increase cell turnover. This can help clear your skin.The following foods are high in Vitamin A:
- Sweet potatoes
- Beef liver
- Red bell peppers
Increase your beta-carotene intake.Like Vitamin A, beta-carotene can increase cell turnover. This can help reduce acne and make your skin appear more youthful.The best sources of beta-carotene are also yellow and orange fruits and vegetables as well as leafy greens. The following foods are a great way to boost how much beta-carotene you’re getting:
- Sweet potatoes
- Winter squash
Avoid too much fat and sugar.Just as certain foods promote cell turnover, there are others that can decrease it. Eating foods that are high in fat and sugar can decrease how quickly your cells turn over, causing clogged pores.
- Stay away from foods such as fatty meat cuts like rib-eye steak. Limit how much you indulge in sugary snacks and desserts.
- As we age, our skin naturally decreases cell turnover. As a menopausal woman, avoiding too much fat and sugar can keep this process from accelerating and help clear your acne.
- Remember that unhealthy foods replace choices that provide the necessary vitamins and antioxidants for healthy skin.
Eat foods high in essential fatty acids.Hydration is key to keeping skin cells healthy. Foods that are high in essential fatty acids have Omega-3 and Omega-6, which can help your skin retain water.Foods high in essential fatty acids include:
- Any canned or fresh fish, such as tuna or salmon.
- Oils including flaxseed, canola, walnut, soybean, and wheat germ
- Mung beans
Keep yourself hydrated.Certain foods can boost skin hydration, but the best way to keep you skin hydrated is to make sure you drink at least 8 cups of water daily. This can promote overall health, which can keep your skin healthy, clear, and glowing.
- Try and drink between 3.5-7 liters of water daily based your activity level.
- Drink plain water or hydrate using other beverages including sports drinks, and 100% fruit or vegetable juice. Be aware that having a diet high in fruits and vegetable will also hydration. Some drinks such as coffee, tea, beer and wine have a natural diuretic effect and can actually cause dehydration.
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