Dermatology Community
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This forum is for questions regarding Dermatology issues, such as: rashes, acne, birthmarks, skin infections, rosacea, and general skin care.

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Adult Acne Treatment

In order to treat acne, it must first be understood.  Adult acne affects 25% of all adult men and approximately 50% of adult women.  Pores, which are commonly called follicles, occasionally will become blocked.  As the oil or serum tries to drain at the skin’s surface, it cannot because of the blockage. 


Bacteria grows; thus whiteheads and blackhead begin as microcomedones.  Adult acne can be successfully treated.  Whiteheads occur when trapped oil and bacteria stay just underneath the surface of the skin.  Tiny white dots can occur.   Sometimes whiteheads are not even visible but are present.  In contrast, blackheads occur when pores open to the surface.  The sebum or oil, which contains the skin pigment melanin, oxidizes and turn a brown or black color.  

The first treatment course is “over-the-counter” products.  These are products that do not require a doctor’s prescription.  There are many options of adult acne sufferers.  Benzoyl peroxide will kill the bacteria that trigger acne.  Salicylic acid helps treat acne by unclogging pores and supports skin renewal.  Other products available for adult acne without a prescription are sulfur and resorcinol  

If your adult acne becomes more severe, you may have to see a dermatologist for more aggressive treatment.  Antibiotics, which require a doctor’s prescription, kill bacteria and diminish inflammation. Typical antibiotics prescribed for the treatment of adult acne are tetracycline, minocycline, doxycycline and bactrim/septra. 


Other treatment includes azelaic acid cream, alpha-hydroxy acid (including lactic acid, gluconic acid and glycolic acid and birth control pills for women.    Topical antibiotics (gels, lotions and solutions) are another option.  Isotretinoin is prescribed for the more severe forms of adult acne.  The most promising treatment of adult acne has been the development of retinoic acid.  

With the help of a dermatologist, adult acne can be effectively treated.

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Start Date
Nov 23, 2009
by ashleymichaelson38
Last Revision
Nov 23, 2009
by ashleymichaelson38
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48