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Will My Adult Acne Ever Go Away?

Adult Acne

If you’ve left your teenage years behind, you may also think you no longer have to struggle with acne. But many adults also have breakouts – including people who never had acne when they were teens. In this blog, the dermatologists at Skin Center of South Miami explain more about adult acne, including how it can be treated:

What is adult acne?

Adult acne can occur well into your 30s, 40s and 50s, and it can happen even if you’ve never had acne before. Men can get adult acne, but it’s more common in women. Your pimples may be similar to the ones that teenagers get, but adult acne also tends to look different. You may develop deep, inflamed pimples and cysts.

What causes adult acne?

The following are some common causes of adult acne:

  • Hormonal changes: These can occur during menstruation, pregnancy and menopause
  • Stopping birth control pills: They can help keep acne away, so if you stop using the pill, you may get acne.
  • Some medications: Anticonvulsants, corticosteroids and some sobriety drugs can cause adult acne. Ask your doctor if you think your medication is causing breakouts, and don’t stop taking any medication on your own.
  • Family history: If you have a close relative who has adult acne, you may be genetically more likely to get it.
  • Stress: Your skin produces more oil when you’re stressed, making acne more likely.
  • Medical conditions: A medical condition such as polycystic ovary disease, which can also cause irregular periods, bald patches or excessive facial hair, can cause adult acne.

What are the treatments for adult acne?

Your dermatologist may recommend one or more of the following treatments:

  • Topical creams, gels or lotions: These prescription medications can include benzoyl peroxide, antimicrobials, retinoids and/or other ingredients.
  • Oral medication: Medications such as oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy can help control hormone fluctuations. Accutane and Sotret can be used for severe acne, but you must use foolproof birth control, since these medications can cause birth defects.

How can you prevent acne as an adult?

The following are some ways to help prevent adult acne:

  • Use oil-free, non-comedogenic makeup, lotions and sunscreens.
  • Find ways to control stress, such as yoga or deep-breathing exercises.
  • Clean your skin gently without over-scrubbing.
  • Regular exfoliation with a gentle scrub can help, but only if you’re not using an acne treatment that exfoliates your skin.
  • Avoid picking at your skin or at pimples.
  • Avoid foods that may be triggers, such as too much sugar.
  • See a dermatologist when acne develops so you can treat it quickly and more effectively.

What is the general long-term outcome for those with adult acne?

The long-term outcome is usually good for adult acne patients who see a dermatologist. With the help of lifestyle advice and medication, you’ll probably see improvement. Without it, you may waste time and money or even make your acne worse with over-the-counter treatments.

If you have adult acne, make an appointment today with Skin Center of South Miami. Our state-of-the-art dermatology center is home to top skin doctors who provide personalized, compassionate care along with the latest treatment options.



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