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What Can I Do About Adult Acne?

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Updated April 28, 2014

Adult Acne
Serge Krouglikoff Collection/Stockbyte/Getty Images
Question: What Can I Do About Adult Acne?
Answer:

No one expects to be battling pimples after high school, so it's especially distressing when you find yourself with acne in adulthood. Actually, adult acne is fairly common and it is treatable. Good treatment requires a two-pronged approach: daily skin care and the consistent use of an acne treatment medication.

First, and most importantly, don't wait to begin treatment. Too often adults think their acne is just a passing phase that will resolve itself quickly. But adult acne rarely goes away on its own, and the sooner you begin treatment the better off your skin will be.

Many acne treatments on the market today are geared especially toward the teenaged, oily-skinned crowd. But as an adult, sebum production slows down and the skin becomes less oily. So, in this way, adult acne is treated differently than teen acne. Drying acne products can be too irritating for adult skin. It's important for adult acne sufferers to use an oil-free, noncomedogenic moisturizer to minimize side effects like peeling and flaking.

Adult acne can be more difficult to treat than teen acne, so it may take a while before you notice measurable improvement. You may need to use two or more treatments in combination to get the results you want. Your dermatologist will be able to help you decide which treatment medications will work best for you.

Also, you should verify that what you are experiencing is really acne vulgaris, especially if you have never had acne before. Some skin problems, like rosacea and folliculitus, cause acne-like pimples. Getting a doctor's opinion is always a smart idea and will help you properly treat your breakouts, no matter what the cause.

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