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Information on How to Treat Adult Acne
Free Acne Tips by Dave Lavinsky

Although most teenagers get some form of acne, adults in their twenties, thirties, forties, or even older, can develop acne. Men and women alike experience acne, but men get it more severely. There are many adult acne treatments to choose from.

All acne treatments work by preventing new breakouts, and must be used over a period of weeks or months. Even if you begin to see improvement, continue treatment. Follow the directions on the package or as prescribed by your dermatologist.

There are many over-the-counter adult acne treatments to unblock pores, reduce bacteria and dry out pimples. They contain the acids or antibiotics benzoyl peroxide (such as Neutrogena On-The-Spot), salicylic acid (such as Stri-dex), sulfur or resorcinol (such as Clearasil Adult Care).

Even more numerous are prescription drugs and topicals that curb oil build-up, skin cell shedding and bacteria growth - all while drying and peeling away old acne and stimulating healthy skin growth. For women, there are even drugs that decrease testosterone levels. In cases of unresponsive or severe acne, isotretinoin (Accutane) may be used. Talk to your dermatologist to find out what is appropriate for your case of acne.

Beyond oral and topical medications, there are a number of other options for adult acne treatment.

Microdermabrasion is basically a sand-blasting technique that can clear up minor blemishes caused by acne. Light chemical peels with salicylic acid or glycolic acid help to unblock the pores, open the blackheads and whiteheads, and stimulate new skin growth. Injections of corticosteroids may be used for treating large red bumps (nodules). Birth control pills have the desirable side effect of treating and reducing acne breakouts.

Laser resurfacing can be helpful in treating acne as well, by vaporizing the acne and clearing the way for new skin to grow.

To avoid scarring, you should never pick or squeeze acne, especially inflammatory acne or "pustules." Squeezing forces infected material deeper into the skin, causing additional inflammation and possible scarring. Also, avoid scrubbing your skin. If you do get scars, acne scar treatment is available in many forms.








    Related Definitions, Terms, and Acronyms:
  • Acne caused by - excessive secretion of oils from the glands combines with naturally occurring dead skin cells to block the hair follicles. Oil secretions build up beneath the blocked pore, providing an ideal environment for the skin bacteria 'Propionibacterium acnes' to multiply uncontrolled, causing skin inflammation and producing the visible lesion (pimple).
  • Topical retinoids - include tretinoin (brand name Retin-A), adapalene (brand name Differin) and tazarotene (brand name Tazorac).
  • Inflammation - the first response of the immune system to infection or irritation and is characterized by the following 5 symptoms: redness), heat, swelling, pain and dysfunction of the involved area.
  • Laser acne treatment - using visible light to successfully treat acne. In particular intense blue light generated by purpose-built fluorescent lighting, LEDs or lasers is used.
  • Isotretinoin - a substance shown to be very effective in treating severe acne and is effective in more than 80% of patients.

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