Healthy Living

How to Control Adult Acne

How to Control Adult Acne

Key Takeaways

  • Acne is almost just as common in adults as it is in teens.
  • Teen acne treatments may not benefit adults with acne.

Acne is not only a commonality among teens, it is also very popular in adults as well. However, acne treatments prescribed for teens may not work the same for adults. It is a very common problem in adults and is more likely to be seen in women than in men. Studies show that 30% of women and 20% of men in between the ages of 20-years-old and 60-years-old may get acne. 

Adult acne is caused by the clogging of skin pores by sebum, the substance produced by sebaceous glands. The clogged pores may become infected by bacteria leading to inflammation. One of the most common causes of acne breakouts is the imbalance of hormones. In most cases, acne breakouts are caused by an increase in the levels of the male hormone, androgen. Hypersensitivity and an imbalance of estrogen also may lead to acne. Certain medications, including corticosteroids, and many cosmetic products also cause adult acne.

Normally, available acne medications are made to suit the skin of teens and may not be good for adult skin. Very often, one will have to go for trial and error method to find the one that suits he or she best.

Some of the common recommendations for treating adult acne include:

  • Cleansers – Gentle cleansers are useful to clean the skin without causing much damage. Avoid using strong gels that may irritate the skin.
  • Creams and lotions – Many over-the-counter creams and lotions are now available to clean the pores. Products containing salicylic acid and glycolic acid may be useful in preventing the scars. For a breakout, products with benzoyl peroxide would help in killing the bacteria.
  • Prescription medications – A number of medications are prescribed to control acne, most of them being antibiotics to kill the bacteria. Clindamycin and tetracycline are taken orally. Gels containing antibiotics are also used to fight the infection and to prevent inflammation.
  • Laser and pulsed light treatments – These methods are suggested to treat scars. Blue-light therapy is often recommended for killing the bacteria and to reduce inflammation.

Those who have acne should avoid touching the face often, as it will increase the oiliness. This may irritate the skin and encourage the growth of the bacteria. Avoid oily products for hair care as oily hair may lead to clogged pores on the skin. Try to keep the skin clean during the day. Wash your face with warm water twice a day to have clean skin. Find the right combination of skin care regimens and medications that suits you the best.