If acne has hit you later in life, and you now have more pimples in your twenties or thirties then you ever did as a teenager, you should know you’re not alone, and you should also know that the same things that work to fight acne on teenagers usually work for adults too.
You thought you were done with pimples because you haven’t been a teenager for years when suddenly your face (or neck, back, arms, chest, or buttocks), looks like you should get a marker and connect the dots. Well, don’t lose hope. As I stated above, treatment when you’re an adult isn’t all that different than when you were younger, just maybe a little more refined.
Treatment for adult acne is more common than one might think, as the condition is more prevalent than people realize. Options for treating adults with pimples include topical (lotions, creams, and washes) as well as antibiotics prescribed by doctors, along with chemical peeling in the case of scarring.
Face-washing is a self-prescribed and often overdone (think less is more) technique, which is a must but should not be done more than twice a day as any more can cause irritation and possibly even more skin-related problems.
A solution or lotion containing benzoyl peroxide is usually put on the affected area immediately after washing followed by a mild, noncomedogenic moisturizer to counteract some of the drying properties of the peroxide. Sometimes there is a mild to severe reaction to benzoyl peroxide in which case you will need to discontinue use and see your doctor.
Salicylic acid (a metabolite of aspirin), is also used as a topical treatment for acne. It’s available over the counter, and is often found in lotions and solutions that also contain benzoyl peroxide. This topical treatment should also be monitored for adverse reactions.
Chemical peeling is done by a doctor, and is usually performed when outbreaks have led to scarring. The chemicals used in this process cause “controlled” damage to the skin, thereby initiating re-growth and rejuvenation, which in turn minimize the appearance of acne scarring.
Other treatments that can be prescribed or initiated by your doctor are, blue light therapy, laser therapy, photodynamic therapy (PDT), Radiofrequency therapy, microdermabrasion, various antibiotics, and Accutane.
Accutane is very effective but is generally a last resort, and in the case of women capable of child birth it must only be taken under strict supervision of the prescribing doctor, and in conjunction with two specific forms of birth control, as severe birth defects can happen.
If you’re an adult with acne, don’t lose face (yes, terrible abstract pun intended), as very effective treatment is available whether it be from the local drugstore or your doctor. Whatever you do, don’t delay treatment just because you’re ashamed of your outbreak. Instead try and remember my rather lame attempt at a memory retention trick regarding treatment of acne…”If you delay, the scars will stay”. Yeah I know, reading that probably hurt worse than having adult skin problems but when you’re done cringing over it, don’t forget to treat your condition!