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Acne is a sign of puberty for the majority of teenagers. It can even be thought of in the same light as beginning to shave your legs or getting your first bra. As your teen years fade, you begin to walk into womanhood and a new set of the rules of life.


Hopefully by this stage acne has seen its last days of living on your face and sometimes your body. This is not the case for everyone though.


Teens usually develop the condition due to hormonal changes relating to androgens. Androgens are dominantly sex hormones produced by the testes in males and ovaries in women.


“Androgens increase in both boys and girls during puberty. Androgens make the skin’s oil glands get larger and make more sebum,” according to WebMD. Once the body adjusts into adulthood and maturation, the hormones begin to level in most cases and the acne clears as well.


Changes in hormones can cause acne to reappear in almost any age. “Some adults continue to get acne well into their 30s, 40s, and even 50s,” according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).


Types of acne include whiteheads, blackheads, papules (small, red pumps), pustules (papules with pus tips), nodules (solid lumps beneath the skin) and cysts (pus filled lumps beneath the skin) according to the Mayo Clinic.


There are several causes for acne in the adult years. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, causes can include hormonal changes due to menstruation, pregnancy, birth control use or menopause. Causes can also include chronic illness and the medication used to treat acne, use of cosmetics and skin treatments, as well as friction on the skin and a family history of acne.


Treatment of acne is at the heart of the matter and can relieve a great load of stress from the shoulders of any woman experiencing it. The course of treating and clearing acne is something that can be different for each woman.


Over the counter creams and washes can be effective. The AAD recommends a product that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. It is also recommended that the treatment be used at least four to eight weeks for an improvement to be seen.


Severe acne including nodules and cysts beneath the skin can warrant a visit with a dermatologist to find the best treatment. The AAD cites different options you can discuss with your dermatologist. These include topical creams and medications that are applied to the skin, oral medications such as antibiotics, birth control and isotretinoin.


Even though acne can seem like a curse to beauty, it can always be treated with the right game plan and, in some cases, the help of a dermatologist.

The AAD has more information on prevention, causes and treatments. Visit www.aad.org for more information.

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