Treating Your Adult Acne

Moving into adulthood doesn't mean leaving pimples and blemishes behind. Here's how to treat those unsightly spots for a clearer complexion

Unfortunately, acne breakouts are common among adults

Thought pimples ended with puberty? We’ve got some bad news – even adults get acne

Having acne as a teenager is an expected right of passage, but having acne as an adult seems downright unfair. Still, more than 50% of adults experience break outs at some point in their lives.

Most acne has a hormonal component, which explains why many women have acne at certain times during their menstrual cycle or during menopause. In some adults an overactive immune system can attack the skin’s own follicles and oil glands, producing inflammation.

Persistent breakouts can also be an indicator of an underlying medical condition, or a side-effect of medications (in such cases, see your doctor).

Clearing Up Your Acne

Basic acne-management advice that worked in puberty works in adulthood, too. Eat nutritious foods, get adequate sleep, exercise, cleanse your skin regularly, drink plenty of water and control stress.

Some topical treatments intended for oily teenage skin may not be appropriate for drier adult skin. Try mild skin-care creams and cleansers before trying products with beads or granules that might actually worsen the condition.

In severe or persistent cases, your doctor may prescribe an anti-inflammatory, or topical or oral antibiotic. Some women may benefit from taking birth control pills that contain both estrogen and progestin. A final resort might be laser treatment or various other forms of therapy.

Most adult acne is transient and resolves on its own, but if it persists, see your doctor or a dermatologist.

Originally published in Wellness Matters, Canada Wide Media’s quarterly newsletter on health and wellness.