Acne can be a problem in adulthood for some. Experts believe that hormones that influence the production of oil are the main culprit. While adult acne can be frustrating and persistent, there are many effective treatments. Here are the proven treatments dermatologists recommend for adult acne. To learn more, and to protect your health, check out these sure signs you’ve already had COVID.
There are three types: Adult-onset acne can appear in anyone who has never had it before. Persistent acne may occur in someone who had acne in their teens and it persists into adulthood. Recurrent acne is a condition where the skin becomes red again after having cleared it.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, adult acne is more common in women due to fluctuating hormone levels. Adult acne is most common on the lower third of the face, which includes the jawline, chin, and upper lips.
Dr. Mary Sheu (MD), a dermatologist at the Johns Hopkins Dermatology and Cosmetic Center recommends four things to clear adult acne:
- To remove makeup and oil, wash your face at least twice daily.
- Use a topical retinoid cream on the skin to unclog pores, exfoliate and remove dead skin cells. She says that retinoids have anti-inflammatory properties and increase the rate of skin cell division. This helps the skin heal faster.
- Topical anti-inflammatory medication (such as dapsone gel) or an oral prescription medication called Spironolactone can be used to reduce the effects of male hormones.
- Sheu also suggests that chemical peels and blue-light therapies can be used to clear acne faster.
Low-glycemic foods are best. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, studies have shown that simple carbs (such as sugar and refined grains) are associated with increased acne. However, a low-glycemic (one that emphasizes complex carbs or whole foods such as fruits and vegetables) diet can be beneficial because it’s anti-inflammatory.
Avoid cow’s milk or reduce your intake. According to the AAD, some research shows that dairy milk can worsen acne breakouts.
Reduce stress. According to the AAD, “Researchers found a link between stress and acne flare-ups.” Our bodies make more androgens (a type of hormone) in response to stress. These hormones can stimulate oil glands and hair follicles, which can cause acne.
Sheu suggests that you consult a doctor if your acne persists for longer than two months.
Alok Vij MD, the dermatologist at Cleveland Clinic, says it is a good idea for adult acne to be seen by a doctor if your over-the-counter treatments aren’t working, if scarring appears, or if it bothers you. He says that while many people think of acne as a matter of a few pimples but it can have long-lasting psychosocial consequences.