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Reporter: Time now for a look at your health. It is the season of skin with summer just around the corner and our faces make a first impression that’s why acne can be particularly traumatizing for adults who have it, it’s not just a teenage problem. The average age for an acne sufferer is 26 years old. Dr. Goldman from UCSD is here as he is every Tuesday to talk about causes and treatments. Thank you for being here.
Dr. Goldman: Great to be here.
Reporter: How common is it for adults to have acne?
Dr. Goldman: So common, forty to fifty thousand people get acne every year. What we’re seeing is that the age limit for acne is going up and up and up, so that 5-10 years ago the average age of acne was 20 now it’s 26
Reporter: Why is that would you suppose?
Dr. Goldman: I think it’s a combination of two things— hormones and stress. The more stress you’re under, the more your body release cortisol, which excites hormones.
Reporter: Well let’s talk about some of the causes because first before we get into that are some of the myths that people believe are the causes and we have a list of those you say you’re telling your patients all the time this is not the case.
Dr. Goldman: You know, eat chocolate. The only study that showed chocolate causes acne or doesn’t cause acne was done by the Hershey’s chocolate company so it is maybe of a few things plus or minus, but you’ll find some foods cause it, some don’t. Caffeinated beverages, no problem with acne. Milk, there was a report two years ago saying because cows have a lot of hormones the milk could increase acne, turned out not to be true. The stress I really think sometimes it can cause acne more often than not, and then it’s very important that anemia does not cause acne.
Reporter: Ok, so what are the real causes then?
Dr. Goldman: The most common cause is the stuff we put on our skin, whether it’s our face with dirt that we put our skin or a number of different products, you know people these days use a lot of different moisturizers. We were talking before the break about sunscreen can cause acne, absolutely certain things can cause acne, most things don’t so you just have to play around and find the skincare products that are best for you.
Reporter: And these are pretty much the standard causes whether you’re a teenager or an adult, correct?
Dr. Goldman: It is, but the good news is we can prevent acne and get rid of it and so
Reporter: and I love this, you’re going to show us how to properly wash your face. You know I have a son going into his teenage years and really it’s important to know how to wash your face correctly
Dr. Goldman: And I do too, you know Liam is 11 going on 30 and he’s getting acne too so it’s very important. The first most important thing is don’t scrub your face. Don’t use a washcloth. The more you irritate your face, you’ll actually irritate it causing acne. So, I’ve shown this a few times on the air it’s called the Clarisonic skin brush- no stock in the company unfortunately- but it actually uses an ultrasonic energy to wash your skin so it’s not like you’re scrubbing, it doesn’t scrub it was developed for people with sensitive skin, it lifts the bacteria off the skin
Reporter: And what do you apply on there?
Dr. Goldman: You apply one of the cleansers. I brought a few cleansers with us today. The active ingredient in cleansers for acne is salicylic acid, 2% salicylic acid there are other companies that have glycolic acid and what those do is they literally dissolve the dirt in the pores and cause it to come up to the surface.
Reporter: Interesting, so we’ll have to remember those ingredients. Let’s also talk about the difference for teenagers. Is there any?
Dr. Goldman: Yes and no. I don’t think that we should treat teenagers and adults any differently. Another treatment that we can do, with some of the before-and-after pictures that we’re showing, are treatments called photodynamic therapy and these are new treatments so you don’t have to just take antibiotics your whole life, you can actually have a treatment from your dermatologist or doctors office where we put a chemical on skin, it goes down destroys the acne- causing lesions and the before-and-afters speak for themselves
Reporter: Now do you have to be a certain age to be eligible for this because that looks like a pretty young person?
Dr. Goldman: No, not at all. That person is actually 14 when we did that. But you can be young, old. Again, my son Liam, 11-year-old, we’re doing a treatment to him called isolaz, we showed that once on the show as well, and that can also literally just make the acne disappear.
Reporter: And again what is the treatment called in this case?
Dr. Goldman: That one was photodynamic therapy. So there are a variety of different lasers that your doctor can use to help you clear your skin because I don’t particularly like kids being on antibiotics for long periods of time. And we now have the technology, the skin care products, and the lasers in order to take care of acne.
Reporter: A lot of really important advice. It can have a huge effect on self-esteem especially in the teenage years, but I also know people in my family who have struggled with it in their adult years so, thank you so much for the advice.
Next, read our blog, Treatment for Acne Scars.