Acne is tough enough during puberty, but having to go through it again (or for the first time) as an adult can be downright defeating. And, what cleared up your acne during your teens may not work now, or it may make your blemishes worse.
Our board-certified dermatologists at Associated Skin Care Specialists understand how frustrating it is to have acne as an adult. But there’s no need to suffer through the blemishes. Letting us help you with your acne can clear up your skin faster and prevent acne scars.
Here, we want to talk to you about adult acne and what you can do to improve the look of your skin.
Why adults get acne
Like your teenage acne, your adult acne is largely the result of hormones. Women are more likely to experience acne as adults because of hormonal fluctuations related to their menstrual cycle and menopause.
When estrogen (a female sex hormone) levels decline, testosterone (male sex hormone) levels may increase. Testosterone causes the oil-producing glands in your skin to enlarge and create excess oil. The excess oil weighs down the skin cells, trapping them and bacteria in your pores, leading to blemishes.
Stress also causes adult acne. An increase in the stress hormone cortisol triggers inflammation, worsening the appearance of your outbreaks.
At-home care for adult acne
How do you manage adult acne at home? Many effective over-the-counter (OTC) treatments for acne are available. If your outbreaks are mild, you can use these products to clear things up.
However, you want to make sure you choose the product with the ingredient that can best address your specific type of acne.
Here’s a list of active ingredients and the type of acne they treat:
- Adapalene: blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples
- Benzoyl peroxide: mild pimples
- Salicylic acid: whiteheads and blackheads
Apply a thin layer of the medication over the entire area, not just the acne. OTC medications don’t work overnight; they can take 4-16 weeks to clear up your blemishes.
Dermatology treatments for adult acne
If your acne is severe, OTC acne medications aren’t working, you’re embarrassed by your acne, or you have concerns about scarring, it’s time to schedule an appointment with one of our medical dermatologists to discuss treatment options.
We review your medical history and examine your skin to determine the type of acne you have and the severity of your condition. We may also take a specimen sample and send it to our dermatopathology lab for further evaluation.
We may prescribe topical medications specific to your acne type, oral antibiotics, or hormone therapy to treat your adult acne. For severe acne, we may prescribe spironolactone, a medication that reduces the effects of the male sex hormone on the oil glands, reducing oil production and outbreaks.
Chemical peels may also help reduce acne outbreaks and lessen the appearance of any scarring.
If you’re embarrassed by your adult acne, we can help. Schedule an appointment with one of our medical dermatologists today by calling the office nearest you. For your convenience, we offer telemedicine appointments, too.
We provide personalized and comprehensive dermatology care for conditions like adult acne at our offices in Blaine, Maple Grove, Coon Rapids, Eden Prairie, New Brighton, and Minneapolis, Minnesota. We offer cosmetic dermatology treatments like chemical peels at our offices in Maple Grove, Eden Prairie, and Minneapolis.
We also have an office in Fridley, Minnesota, where we do dermatology research and lab work.