You made it all of the way through high school without a single pimple; so, why are you experiencing acne breakouts as an adult? Adult acne is a common condition, and can present for the first time at nearly any age. It is important to visit your dermatologist for treatment of adult acne, as it can result in scarring if left untreated. Additionally, adult skin may be less oily than teenage skin, so it is important to visit an acne expert who is experienced in treating adult acne.
Acne is a multifactorial condition, meaning that it is caused by a combination of multiple factors, which results in the development of acne. The main causes of acne are excess sebum (oil) production, acne-causing p. acnes bacteria, and irregular shedding of dead skin cells in the follicles. Dr. Schweiger explains that, “Adult acne is often caused by hormonal fluctuations. Increased androgen hormone activity can causes increased sebaceous gland activity, which results in increased sebum in the follicles. This excess sebum attracts the p. acnes bacteria, and inflammatory acne lesions can develop.”
Treatment of adult acne often includes a combination of prescription medications and in-office therapy. In-office therapies for adult acne include the Isolaz acne treatment, Photodynamic Therapy (PDT), and Red and Blue Light Therapy. These treatments are very effective for the treatment of adult acne and often work more quickly than prescription medications.
Prescription treatments for adult acne include topical retinoids (which are also anti-aging!), oral antibiotics, and oral anti-androgen medications.