Not all acne is created the same, even if all different kinds share their awful inconvenience. When you see a couple (or more) spots on your face, you are probably only thinking about how to get rid of them. And the hell with letting anyone see you with them just hanging out all over your face! But knowing the different types of acne can help you find the appropriate treatment.
1. Teen acne
Teen acne. The great equalizer. No matter who you are, no matter where you are. You will get it. It’s pretty much unavoidable. Your body is changing, producing all these weird hormones, adjusting to a new metabolism… Acne is a byproduct of that. Accept it as a fact of life and focus on treating it. There are things you can do to reduce its impact (like taking good care of your skin), but you will wake up to red spots on your face often enough. You can treat it with over the counter gels and creams. Look for products with Benzoyl peroxide, that will help kill the bacteria that produces acne. Other than that, exfoliate and cleanse your skin regularly, but remember to keep it hydrated and protected from the sun. And wait. Puberty doesn’t last forever.
2. Adult acne
This isn’t fair. You paid your dues. You went through puberty already, you are a respectable member of society, with a job. Probably a blazer or a two-piece suit as well. You are not supposed to get acne anymore! If you want to enjoy the years between spots and wrinkles, you have to pay attention to your skin. Figure out what is triggering your spots. Make sure your make up is non-comedogenic, so it doesn’t clog up your pores. Change your pillow case every night (it really works). Cleanse your skin regularly and hydrate it. And stop touching your face. Your hands are filthy and bring nasty bacteria to your pores. When you do get the occasional spot, because you will, treat it topically. Find an over-the counter treatment that works for you, but avoid Benzoyl peroxide, as it has irritant effects on adults.
3. Chronic acne
Even if suffering from acne is perfectly normal at any age, there comes a point where it becomes a medical problem. The occasional spot is expected, but when you are getting consistent, serious breakouts, it might be time to consult a doctor. Your dermatologist will work with you to determine the causes of your acne and the best course of action to treat it. For this, they might prescribe you strong drugs like Accutane, but make sure to discuss every possible side effect with them, as this is a very strong drug. It might cause liver disease, asthma, diabetes and even an eating disorder. Accutane is so strong that you are required to take two different methods of birth control, as it can be deadly for an unborn child. But most people that took it swear by the results, so it might be worth it.