Adult Acne Specialist Duncan OK
Graduation Year: 2007
Broken Bow, OK
Medical School: Tulane Univ Sch Of Med, New Orleans La 70112
Graduation Year: 1970
Hospital: St Francis Hospital, Tulsa, Ok
Medical School: Univ Of Ok Coll Of Med, Oklahoma City Ok 73190
Graduation Year: 1963
Hospital: St John Med Ctr, Tulsa, Ok
Group Practice: Tulsa Dermatology Clinic Inc
By Trisha Gura
Once puberty had come and gone, I thought my pimples had followed my prom dress into the back closet. But the joke was on me. At 31, days after giving birth, my face began breaking out in a freak show that could rival any teenager’s.
Apparently, adults get acne too. In the October 1999 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), researchers reported that 54 percent of women and 40 percent of men surveyed had facial acne and they didn’t see it diminish until they turned, on average, 44.
What’s more, adults don’t suffer those zits in silence—they demand treatment advice. An online survey conducted in February 2008 by Harris International found that two-thirds of dermatologists reported that they currently see more adult acne patients than they did a year ago and the mature set now represents nearly half of their acne caseload.
Why so many pimples in the over-30 mix? The answer involves a complex jumble of hormonal, dietary, and environmental triggers that blend into a recipe for breakouts at any age.
Harsh treatments debunked
When it comes to pimples, people tend to think that dirty, oily skin is the main instigator, so the first instinct is to scrub those big, ugly whiteheads with abrasive cleansers and daub on harsh chemicals such as the benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid found in many over-the-counter acne remedies. Big mistake.
“Certain soaps contain surfactants, which strip away the ‘good oils’ along with the ‘bad,’” says herbalist and aromatherapist Barbara Close, president and founder of Naturopathica.
Harsh cleansing devitalizes skin—and it backfires. The skin struggles to rebalance the outer lipid layer by pumping out more oil to make up for the loss. That means more breakouts. And more acne lasting later in life.
Add up the damage over time, and you get premature aging. “I have so many patients tell me, ‘I cannot believe I am dealing with acne and wrinkles at the same time,’ ” says Richard Fried, MD, PhD, author of Healing Adult Acne (New Harbinger, 2005). The psychological effects can be so devastating, he notes, that 34 percent of acne sufferers sink into depression (see “Beyond Vanity: Acne Dysmorphia” below).
Perhaps a few lessons in how acne works will help you avoid this scenario and give you gentler, more holistic ways to counter future outbreaks.
Acne 101: Clogged Pores
Deep in the pores of the skin lie special cells that divide constantly to replace dead cells sloughed off by daily washing and environmental factors such as wind. If the cells reproduce too often or become too “sticky,” they clump together and plug the pore (also called a follicle). Whiteheads are clogged pores sealed off from the air. Blackheads are clumped cells exposed to oxygen.
Many factors control cell reproduction and stickiness: diet, genetics, hormones, and even stress. You can’t change your genes, but you can manage “misbehaving cells,” says Fried.
Your lifestyle: In a study published in the F...
Author: Trisha Gura
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