Charleston Dermatology Blog

Adult Acne Getting the Best of You? Four Solutions to Try!

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Many people mistakenly think that acne is limited to puberty. In reality, millions of adults have this inflammatory skin condition. Acne is one of the most common skin diseases in the world. 

One study suggests that 85% of women and 15% of men have adult acne. Some have had it since youth, others experience a recurrence and still, others develop it for the first time as adults. 

Many adults are susceptible to blackheads, whiteheads, papules and pustules (also called pimples) well into their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. To reduce the frequency and severity of breakouts, it’s important to know the causes of adult acne. 

What’s Causes Adult Acne?

Acne can sometimes run in families. Yet, even when genetics play a part, there are usually other acne triggers.  

Trigger#1: Clogged Pores 

When dead skin cells, dirt and natural oils produced by the body combine, what do you get? Clogged pores! 

This often sets the stage for an acne breakout. Once bacteria invade and awaken the skin’s inflammatory response, acne ensues.

Trigger#2: Hormone Fluctuations

Women are especially prone to hormonal changes. Periods, pregnancy, stopping or starting birth control and menopause can all cause fluctuations. 

Yet, other hormonal changes such as pH imbalances and excess oil production can cause breakouts in both men and women.

Trigger #3: Increased Stress

Whether physical, emotional or environmental, stress can cause acne for several reasons. 

The body responds to stress by producing cortisol. This can cause imbalances in the skin. Weakened immunity and exposure to irritants can also make a person more prone to adult acne. 

Trigger#4: Medication 

Certain medications can cause acne. If you take prescription medications, it’s wise to ask whether this may be one of the side effects.

Now that you know some of the most common triggers for those dreaded acne attacks, what can you do about them? 

Four Solutions For Adult Acne

While not all treatments work for everyone, below are four solutions that you may want to try. 

1. Over-the-Counter Treatments

There are plenty of treatments you can try without a prescription. These include cleansing brushes, gels, creams and body washes. 

What if these don’t work for you? Then it’s time to visit your dermatologist! He or she will be able to determine which of the following three treatment types will be best.  

2. Topical Treatments

You may be prescribed a cream, astringent or other topical treatment to apply to your skin. Some kill bacteria that cause inflammation and acne while others reduce the buildup of excess oil on the skin. Your dermatologist will recommend the appropriate treatment for you. 

3. Systemic Treatments

What if topical medication doesn’t address your acne? Some need medicine that works from the inside out. 

Your dermatologist may prescribe antibiotics, Isotretinoin, Accutane or medications that can balance fluctuating hormones.

4. Acne Treatment Procedures

Laser or light therapy and chemical peels are another option for acne treatment.  

Or, in less common cases when a large acne cyst doesn’t respond to other treatments, it can be injected, drained or extracted by a dermatologist. This can reduce pain and potential scarring.

There are many treatment options for adult acne. If you want to know what it’ll take to get your skin under control, make an appointment with us at (843) 872-3015 or visit charlestondermatology.com

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