Photo Credit: [Unknown child] (N.D.) retrieved on 3/10/16 from http://blog.doctoroz.com/you-wanted-to-know/you-wanted-to-know-acne

So you’re standing in the mirror well past your teenage years looking at a bump smack dab in the middle of your chin. All you can think is “I just know this isn’t a pimple!” Well, ladies I hate to break it to you, but yes it is. As I’m sure most of you know by now increased age doesn’t mean no more acne. In fact, some woman experience very little acne as a teen but when they get older…BOOM! Acne everywhere. This is usually due to a hormone imbalance which is similar to what happens when teens are going through puberty. For example, during a menses or menopause. This is known as “inflammatory acne,” meaning the blackhead, or whitehead, becomes inflamed. Truth is, most acne is hormonally charged due to an androgenic hormone that typically become active during  hormonal influxes.

Photo Credit: [Unknown woman] (N.D.) retrieved on 3/10/16 from http://noskinproblems.com/how-to-treat-a-white-head-pimple/
Photo Credit: [Unknown woman] (N.D.) retrieved on 3/10/16 from http://noskinproblems.com/how-to-treat-a-white-head-pimple/

I know, I thought the same thing “GREAT! My hormones not only affect my attitude but skin, hair and body too. Can a sister get a break?!”See, when our hormones flux our skin typically changes to being oilier, dryer or sensitive. The location of the breakout is typically being dictated by where we have bacteria built up in our skin. For older woman a great indication of hormonal acne would be bumps around the jaw or chin area. Acne can take on three forms: comedonal, cystic and inflammatory.

Photo Credit: [Chart] (N.D.) retrieved on 3/10/16 from http://theacneproject.com/types-of-acne-pimples-07/
Photo Credit: [Chart] (N.D.) retrieved on 3/10/16 from http://theacneproject.com/types-of-acne-pimples-07/

How do you treat it you ask? Great question! This could get kind of gross so bear with me. First you need to understand which of the three your bump is.

> A whitehead would have that raised pus bump look, like you could pop it. (DON’T!)

>A blackhead is normally under the skin, but still visible. It will look similar to a little piece of pepper that is stuck on you.

>A cystic is a raised bump that hurts, but does not appear to have anything that will come out of it

Photo Credit: [Unknown woman] (N.D.) retrieved on 3/10/16 from http://www.scoopwhoop.com/news/human-body-facts/
Photo Credit: [Unknown woman] (N.D.) retrieved on 3/10/16 from http://www.scoopwhoop.com/news/human-body-facts/

Once you identify your pump you can treat it. Some people prefer to use over the counter prescriptions like birth control or antibiotics. Others are happy to use a medicinal cleansing system. There are even some that do both. Whichever category you fit into make sure that you see a Dermatologist to rule out any other underlying issues that could be causing your break out. Sometimes acne could be a reaction to other things like diabetes, prescriptions, or something in your environment. There’s no point in spending money on a bunch of products if the root of the problems stems from more than just hormones. Once you’ve crossed that off your list I recommend using products with high levels (30%) of Salicylic Acid, Glycolic Acid and AHA. All three of these work on a chemical level to break down build up in your skin and get rid of bacteria. These will also help minimize scaring left from the bumps. There are also plenty of medical treatments you can use like microderm, chemical peels, phototherapy, fraxel, radio therapy and much more, however, those can be pricy so it all depends on what’s in the budget.

Lastly, those who are into more holistic options should consider taking anti-inflammatory supplements like Turmeric and eating a less oily diet.

Written By: Shahara McGee

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