Adult acne is something that is rarely discussed, but it should be. Adult acne is much more common than many people think. In fact, 80% of 11 – 30 year olds suffer with blemishes, and 5% of women (and a smaller 1% of men) will continue to have outbreaks throughout their life, according to the NHS. The good news is that adult acne doesn’t have to impact your day-to-day life, and there are some very effective ways to minimise the appearance of spots and reduce the frequency of outbreaks.

7 FAQ About Adult Acne

valuable answers about adult acne

At Medical Cosmetics, we’re here to answer all your adult acne questions, and help you to feel happy and confident in your appearance.

What Causes Adult Acne?

The truth is that adult acne is pretty much caused by the same things that cause acne in adolescents. Contrary to popular belief, diet and hygiene are not risk factors, but adult acne can be caused by genetics or through hormonal changes which affect the amount of sebum that the body produces. Excess amounts of sebum can result in blocked pores, and the presence of whiteheads and blackheads. Hormonal changes are perhaps one of the more significant causes, which is why more women suffer from adult acne than men. Women may notice that their outbreaks become worse during menstruation or pregnancy, and those with PCOS may also experience blemishes.

Can I Pick Spots?

Picking spots may reduce the appearance of the blemish in the short term, but it is not a recommended form of management. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, opening up a wound on the face increases the risk of infection. Secondly, spots that are picked or popped are more likely to result in permanent scarring, leaving long term marks. While difficult, it’s best to leave acne alone and look at other forms of management.

Do Over-the-Counter Creams Work?

adult acne treatments

Some types of over-the-counter creams, especially those containing benzoyl peroxide, can be beneficial. However, these sorts of creams are most commonly recommended in temporary adolescent acne in cases that are expected to resolve by the age of 25. For adult acne which is more of a long term issue, men and women may experience better results through dedicated skin treatments which offer a more direct approach.

What Treatments are Most Effective?

One of the best forms of treatment for adult acne is exfoliation. However, it is vital that physical exfoliants such as gritty lotions are not used. These lotions can remove scabs from healing blemishes and cause permanent scarring, as well as pain and bleeding. Instead, alternative forms of exfoliation are recommended. At Medical Cosmetics, we offer two different forms of skin resurfacing that can minimise the appearance of acne:

Microdermabrasion uses crystals and suction technology to remove dead skin cells from the skin. The process not only helps to fade acne scarring, but can also prevent the formation of blemishes by removing dead cells and stopping them from blocking pores.

microdermabrasion procedures to treat adult acne

Skin peels achieve similar results. With these treatments, non-toxic acids are applied to the face to chemically remove dead cells and resurface the skin. The type of acid that’s applied will be determined by skin type, with AHAs and BHAs being most popular.

Do I Need to Follow a Specific Skincare Routine?

Good skincare is very important when dealing with adult acne. However, many soaps and moisturisers can be too harsh for damaged skin. Instead, it is best to use medical grade skincare products, such as Alumier MD and ZO Skin Health which contain effective yet gentle medicated ingredients to keep delicate skin clean and healthy.

Does Makeup Make Adult Acne Worse?

Some makeup can make adult acne worse as the cosmetics can clog pores. However, we understand that makeup that masks the appearance of blemishes can make women feel more comfortable and confident. That’s why we recommend using high quality, non-comedogenic cosmetics that are less likely to block the pores in the skin.

Do I Need to See a Doctor?

Mild to moderate acne during adulthood is more common than you think, and in most cases acne can be managed excellently by creating a good skincare routine, minimising the use of harmful products, and by scheduling regular exfoliation appointments at your local clinic. However, in cases of very severe acne or cystic acne which is inflamed and painful, it is always best to see your Doctor who may be able to prescribe anti-inflammatory products to minimise pain and aid the healing process.

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