Adult Acne

There are many reasons why adults may experience acne. Common causes are stress and hormonal fluctuations (i.e. menopause or hormonal medications). Medications such as Lithium, corticosteroids and anti-seizure drugs can also cause acne in adults.

Acne is caused by increased levels of oil in the skin which can increase bacterial growth, resulting in spots of infection. Increased oil can result from hormonal imbalances, and is treated differently from other forms of acne.

Adult acne is usually treated differently from teenage and hormonal acne. Over the counter medications such as Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic acid are not particularly effective for the treatment of adult acne, because it is generally rooted deeper in the skin.

Generally, patients are encouraged to start with a topical gel treatment containing dapsone which reduces the inflammation involved in acne. However, the best acne treatment for adults is often a combined treatment of two or more medications. This could be a combination cream including a cleansing agent (e.g. Benzoyl Peroxide) and antibiotics (e.g. Lymecycline) or a combination of oral and topical treatments. Retinoid creams which help to cleanse pores, oral antibiotics which reduce inflammation are commonly used in the treatment of adult acne. Hormonal treatments, such as the combined oral contraceptive pill or Spironolactone may be used if the acne is thought to have a hormonal basis.

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