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How Can I Clear Up Adult Acne?

How Can I Clear Up Adult Acne?


Acne is common in teenagers, but it can also occur in adults. According to dermatologist Dr. Jeannette Graf, adult acne can occur when hormones fluctuate. For instance, a woman may get acne before or during her menstrual period, when she is pregnant or during menopause. Adult acne can be treated with an over-the-counter acne wash in some cases. If acne does not respond to over-the-counter treatments, your doctor may prescribe a prescription treatment to help clear up your acne.

Step 1

Wash the afflicted area twice a day with an over-the-counter acne wash containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. If you have acne on your face, wash your entire face. If you have acne on another part of your body, like your chest or back, wash the entire chest or back in the shower.

Step 2

Apply a spot treatment containing the same active ingredient as your acne wash to blemishes before bed. The active ingredient, either benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, will dry out oil on the skin overnight, making the pimple shrink.

Step 3

Consult a doctor about a topical prescription medication if your breakouts are not helped by over-the-counter treatments. Your doctor may prescribe a medication derived from vitamin A, states the Mayo Clinic. These medications may include adapalene, tretinoin or tazarotene.

Step 4

Take an oral antibiotic if acne does not respond to prescription topical treatments alone. Your doctor may prescribe an oral antibiotic for several weeks to clear bacteria on the skin.

Step 5

Consult your dermatologist about isotretinoin if your acne does not respond to any other prescription treatments. Isotretinoin is the strongest acne medication available on the market, but it also may cause severe side effects, like changes in vision, symptoms of depression and suicidal thoughts.

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