“Acne is not just for teenagers”: Need-to-know information about adult acne

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Find out the causes of this annoying skin condition and what you can do to treat and prevent it...


Adult acne is not just irritating, but can also be damaging to a person’t self-esteem

There are many things in life that seem to be intrinsically teenage-related – puppy love, braces, and acne are just a few of these. While most of these things generally disappear upon adulthood, some of them, like acne, unfortunately linger on.

Acne vulgaris, or acne, is definitely not just for teenagers. Many adults are plagued with this irritating skin condition too and are desperate to be rid of it.

What is acne?

There are small, oil-producing glands just under the surface of the skin. Small pores in the skin allow the sebum (oil), which is needed to keep skin supple and smooth, to emerge.

However, some people naturally produce more sebum than others. There are also certain triggers such as hormonal changes and environmental factors that may cause a person to produce more of it.

Dr. Karen Soh, who is the Medical Director of Privé Clinic in Singapore, says that acne often results from the inflammation of pores that may be clogged by an overproduction of sebum, dead skin cells, and bacterial infection.

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According to the Health Promotion Board of Singapore (HPB), there are various types of  acne pimples. For example:

  • Comedones: These occur as a result of hair follicles being clogged with sebum, dead skin cells and sometimes bacteria. When comedones are open, they are called blackheads and when they are closed, they are known as whiteheads.
  • Papules and pustules: These are caused by inflammation in the hair follicles and emerge as small, red bumps.
  • Nodules: The build-up of secretions deep within the hair follicles causes these large, painful bumps.
  • Cysts: These are painful, pus-filled lumps beneath the skin and may cause scars.

Find out the causes behind adult acne on the next page…

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