Who Has Adult Acne and How Best to Treat it?
According to news reports, adult acne is on the rise, particularly for females. A 2008 study from the University of Alabama showed that more than 50 percent of women ages 20-29 have acne and over 25 percent of ages 40-49 have acne. A 2011 clinical survey from Massachusetts General Hospital showed that 45 percent of women 20-29 and 12 percent of women 41-50 suffer from acne. Adult acne can be a result of hormonal changes. When women age, their levels of androgens rise. The androgen hormone directly affects sebum production and how quickly the skin sheds its cells, which can lead to acne flare-ups. Adult acne and acne in teens have the same basic causes, though different factors can play a greater role in the development of acne at different ages. In addition, treatment needs are different for adult and teenage acne. Adults often have drier skin, so it is important to keep this in mind and choose acne products that have an emollient cream base. Adult acne patients are also often looking for a combined anti-aging treatment, which retinoids can help accomplish.
The Top Treatments to Treat Adult Acne
Many patients at Schweiger Dermatology are noticing new acne flares even past the age of 40. This can affect both male and female patients and some of these patients didn’t experience acne during their teenage years, which makes this particularly frustrating. Adult acne can be treated in a variety of ways, including oral antibiotics, oral anti-androgen pill, isotretinoin (Accutane), topical retinoids and topical antibiotics. One new antibacterial agent, topical dapsone (Azone®) has been specifically marketed as an adult acne product. This is a great prescription option for adults with sensitive skin who do not tolerate benzoyl peroxide products. In addition, adults often respond very well to laser and light-based acne treatments, such as photodynamic therapy, blue light therapy and the Isolaz treatment.
Which oral antibiotics treat adult acne?
Tetracycline antibiotics, such as doxycycline, Doryx, minocycline and Solodyn, are the most commonly used oral antibiotic treatments for acne. In addition, Azithromycin is sometimes used for acne treatment, particularly during the summer months when excessive sun exposure while taking tetracycline antibiotics can lead to sunburn.
Can oral contraceptive pills help to treat adult acne?
Oral contraceptive pills can also be effective in treating adult acne in female patients. A few oral contraceptive pills, such as Yaz and Yasmin, have an FDA indication for the treatment of acne, though many oral contraceptive pills may be beneficial when treating female adult acne. However, women who are hoping to become pregnant need to find an alternative treatment for fighting acne.
Which laser treatments are best for adult acne?
Adult patients with acne benefit most from photodynamic therapy and the Isolaz laser treatment. Both of these non-invasive treatments decrease the p. acnes bacteria, halts sebum production and is anti-inflammatory. The Isolaz laser treatment uses a gentle vacuum to clear out the pores and a light to kill the p. acnes bacteria inside the pores.
What is the best quick fix for adult acne?
Adult acne can strike at any time. For most adults, getting a pimple is just as embarrassing as when teenagers are hit with a breakout. For adult acne, the best quick fix is an in-office cortisone injection. It is the most effective method of getting rid of acne quickly. The medication injected into the pimple is anti-inflammatory and flattens it out in 48 hours.