Don't Live With Adult Acne. Find Out Which Treatment Option is Best For You

You’re not alone if you’re living with adult acne. Clinical studies report that up to 55% of adults between 20 and 40 years old are diagnosed with low grade, persistent acne and oily skin. 

Acne occurs when your pores become clogged with oil or dead skin cells. It can also develop as the result of bacteria, hormones, or a side effect of some medications. The cosmetic signs of acne can trigger feelings of isolation, embarrassment, and low self-confidence that can lead to more serious emotional disorders. 

Treatment for acne includes topicals, oral medications, and cosmetic treatments. With so many options, it can be confusing to know which one is right for you. Dermatology specialist Lily Phillips, MD, and the staff of Grace Family Health in Murrieta, Temecula, and Menifee, California, provide expert acne diagnosis and treatment for patients of all ages. After a thorough diagnosis, Dr. Phillips recommends the type of therapy that can give you the best chance of clearing your complexion and restoring your self-image as quickly as possible. 

Read on to learn more about options for acne treatment and getting results that can change the way you look and feel.

Topical treatments

Topical treatments include gels, creams, ointments, and foams applied directly to your skin. You may try to find the best over-the-counter topical treatment on your own through trial and error but you’ll save time and money by consulting Dr. Phillips who can advise the best product, dosage, and treatment schedule for your condition.

Many people have success with over-the-counter topical treatments that contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Salicylic acid opens pores and encourages new cell growth. Benzoyl peroxide kills bacteria. These chemicals are sometimes used simultaneously as part of a complete treatment regimen. Some over-the-counter treatments also include sulfur.

Topical retinoids, keep pores clear by promoting the exfoliation of dead skin cells and preventing oily buildup. They also boost the production of new skin cells. The topical retinoids used for acne include tretinoin topical and tazarotene topical, which are only available with a prescription. Adapalene is the only topical retinoid approved for sale as an over-the-counter treatment for acne. 

Topical medications that contain antibiotics can clear your skin of acne-causing bacteria and reduce inflammation. These prescribed products typically contain erythromycin or clindamycin in solutions, lotions, gels, or saturated pads. Erythromycin and clindamycin may also be prepared in a combination product with another topical such as benzoyl peroxide. 

Oral medications

Prescription antibiotics are the most common oral medications for acne treatment. These drugs are typically used to reduce bacteria and fight inflammation in moderate to severe acne such as cystic acne or nodular acne that produce large, deep, inflamed breakouts. Erythromycin, tetracycline, minocycline, and doxycycline are the most common antibiotics prescribed for acne. 

Oral contraceptives are often used to treat adult acne in women. These drugs suppress androgen hormones, which reduces oil gland secretions. This treatment may work best for women who have adult acne that changes with their monthly cycle. While the FDA has approved some brands of birth control pills for acne treatment in women, most formulations produce the same effect. 

Oral isotretinoin is a powerful oral medication that is prescribed for severe acne. It is often held as a last resource after other treatments have failed. The drug works by shrinking your sebaceous glands to reduce the amount of oil on your skin. This reduces the number of blocked pores.

Using oral isotretinoin requires close monitoring for side effects and potential pregnancy since the drug presents a very high risk of birth defects. Both men and women must enroll in the iPledge program, an FDA-approved program that works to reduce the number of birth defects caused by isotretinoin.

Cosmetic treatments

Some cosmetic dermatology treatments are effective in controlling adult acne and reducing the appearance of lingering scars. LED (light-emitting diode) therapy uses varying wavelengths of red and blue light to kill certain types of bacteria and prompt cell regeneration. Pulsed light and heat energy can also kill acne-causing bacteria. These types of treatment may also help shrink sebaceous glands, which reduces oil production.

Chemical peels can improve your appearance if you have mild acne. Medical-grade chemical peels, which usually contain concentrated glycolic acid, unclog pores and remove dead skin cells, blackheads, and whiteheads by exfoliating the layers on the surface of the skin. The treatment can also generate new skin growth.

A corticosteroid injection can eliminate large, painful blemishes that are deeply rooted in pores. This involves the injection of a steroid solution into the blemish to target the source of the clogged pore. This treatment is used to treat a small number of blemishes at a time.

Start your journey to a clearer complexion today. Learn more about ways to treat adult acne effectively. Call or use our online booking tool to schedule an appointment at the Grace Family Health location most convenient for you.

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