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Adult Acne Help

Adult Acne Help Adult Acne Help Adult Acne Help


Adult acne is a form of acne that either continues from adolescence or appears at a later age. Both forms of the disorder occur more often in women than in men. Although you may not be able to successfully treat adult acne with the same methods used for adolescent acne, a number of effective treatment options to still ease or cure your symptoms.

Adult Acne

If you have acne that continues after adolescence, you may develop symptoms that include deep, inflamed nodules or pimples, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) on AcneNet. Common locations for this form of acne include your chin, jawline and the skin around your mouth. If you develop acne in adulthood, you may experience similarly inflamed acne blemishes, even if you did not have acne during adolescence. In addition to blemishes on your lower face, you may develop this form of acne on your back or chest, the AAD reports.

Underlying Factors

The AAD lists potential factors in the development of adult acne that include stress, family history, discontinuing use of birth control pills and using birth control pills that contain progestin without accompanying estrogen compounds. You may also develop adult acne as a result of hormonal imbalances related to menstruation and pregnancy. Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic, however, notes that hormonal imbalance will likely play little or no role in the development of your acne symptoms.

Treatment Options

If you have mild or moderate adult acne, you may gain symptom relief from skin-based medications that combine antimicrobial agents such as erythromycin with benzoyl peroxide, the AAD reports. You may also benefit from treatments that combine the antimicrobial agent clindamycin with vitamin A-based medications called retinoids. In some cases, your doctor may also recommend treatment with nonprescription products that contain sulfur or sodium sulfacetamide. Be aware that your acne may not respond to initial treatment options, and your doctor may need to experiment with different approaches before finding something that works.

Additional Treatments

Your doctor may also prescribe oral contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy or oral antibiotics to treat your adult acne symptoms, the AAD notes. If you use antibiotics, you may obtain superior results by combining them with a skin-based retinoid at the beginning of treatment, then discontinuing the antibiotics after several months. If you have severe adult acne or moderate acne that does not respond to other treatments, your doctor may also recommend oral doses of a vitamin A-based medication called isotretinoin, according to AAD.


In some cases, you may benefit from modern cosmetic products that contain skin-based antiacne medications, the AAD explains. In many cases, however, these products contain medications that do not help fight adult acne. Some modern acne products claim to work by naturally smoothing out hormonal imbalances, the Mayo Clinic reports. Be aware that these products are frequently marketed as dietary supplements and do not receive the same level of oversight or scrutiny given to products marketed as medications.

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