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Effective Treatments for Adult Acne

Effective Treatments for Adult Acne Effective Treatments for Adult Acne Effective Treatments for Adult Acne

For many people, the end of adolescence does not mean the end of acne. According to the American Academy of Dermatologists, many adults well into their 40s continue to suffer with pimples, blackheads, whiteheads and deep lumps on their face, neck, back and shoulders. While acne is not a life-threatening condition, it is a cosmetic condition that, left untreated, can cause permanent scarring.

Over-The-Counter Treatments

Creams and ointments that are available in over-the-counter medications can serve as effective treatments for adult acne when they contain specific ingredients that dry up the offending acne source. Treatments that contain alcohol and acetone kill or eliminate the bacteria that can cause acne, while degreasing your skin. Benzoyl peroxide is the most effective ingredient, according to dermatologists. It removes dead cells and prevents lesions. The main side effect of products containing benzoyl peroxide is dry skin, so use it sparingly, according to the directions.


Dermatologists often remove blackheads and whiteheads using an extraction process. A sterile, pen-sized instrument is placed over the spot and squeezes out the puss. More complicated acne surgery can be performed on large pimples that don't respond to other treatments. Experts at the College of Family Physicians of Canada say that acne surgery is an effective tool to help patients avoid picking and popping unsightly pimples. The area is drained and the whitehead removed with a very fine, sharp instrument. Antibiotics may then be injected into the sight to prevent further bacterial growth.


Cosmetic surgeons offer a variety of effective treatments for adult acne that range from laser therapy to chemical peels and dermabrasion. Dermabrasion and chemical peels remove the top layer of skin and are most effective on shallow pimples that can be eliminated with the procedures. New skin can then be allowed to breathe, free of acne. Lasers also remove the top layer of skin, utilizing amplified light directed in high-energy pulses to the affected areas. Lasers work best to remove the scarring that often follows a serious case of adult acne.


A number of prescription medications are available to treat acne orally. Oral antibiotics started a high dosage and gradually decreased over a period of time. Enthromycin is a common antibiotic used to treat acne, as it is effective in killing the bacteria that causes pimples. However, digestive disorders can result from this treatment. Tetracycline effectively reduces the inflammatory lesions common to adult acne. Protocols for treating acne with tetracycline also call for initial high doses that decrease over time. Pregnant women should not take tetracycline, as it can affect the growth of the fetus.

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