One of the most common misconceptions about skin care and acne is that breakouts will minimize or disappear after passing through the teenage years.
However, according to the American Dermatology Association, more than 17 million adults are diagnosed with adult acne each year.
In many cases, adults may experience skin blemishes in their 20s, 30s and even 40s. Although the cause of adult acne is not known, it is believed to be the result of hormonal changes, increase or decrease of natural oils, medications, medical conditions, cosmetics and stress.
The Difference Between Adult Acne and Teenage Acne
At first glance, acne experienced as an adult seems no different than teenage acne. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Acne that appears during the adult years tends to be more aggressive, difficult to treat and may not respond to over the counter medications.
But before you head to the dermatologist – review the products used for regular skincare, try over the counter medications, check your cosmetics and examine environmental, medical and physical changes that may be occurring.
Regular Skin Care Routine
Getting adult acne help starts with maintaining a basic skin care routine. However, not all products are created equal – and some products may increase the number of breakouts instead of treating them. Choose face washes, cleansers and moisturizers that are non-comedogenic (does not block pores), alcohol-free and perfume-free.
Over the Counter Acne Treatments
In many cases adult acne can be successfully treated with over the counter treatments in conjunction with a regular skin care routine to keep skin blemish free. Effective treatments usually contain peroxide or salyic acid, and the amounts vary between products.
However, the results will depend on regular usage, skin type and environmental conditions. In some individuals these products can result in excessive dryness and peeling skin. Either result can be just as (or more) embarrassing than the adult acne being treated, can aggravate and increase the number of breakouts being experienced.
Treatment by a Dermatologist
If the above treatments do not influence your acne, or if you are experiencing severe acne consider scheduling an appointment with a dermatologist to obtain adult acne help. During an appointment, you will be asked a series of medical questions regarding your current health and skin care routine.
Depending on the responses, additional medical testing may be required by a regular physician – indicating an underlying medical condition is the cause of the adult acne symptoms. Other treatments may be explored to treat skin blemishes – such as antibiotics, topical creams, laser and chemical peels.