How to Get Rid of Adult Acne
Compared to teen acne, the adult form tends to be milder yet more stubborn, especially if previous bouts of acne have left the skin’s microbes more resistant to treatment. Dermatologists might give sufferers prescriptions containing benzoyl peroxide (an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory agent), retinoids (vitamin A derivatives that help prevent pore plugging) or antibiotics to eradicate excess bacteria.
Many common acne creams and pills initially cause dryness, flaking, redness or flare-ups, and it can take up to eight weeks to see any improvement. Some patients stop treatment before it has the chance to start working, so make sure you understand how to use your prescription and what to expect from it.
While you’re waiting, don’t pick or scrub aggressively at your acne—it could cause scarring. Instead, wash it gently, no more than twice per day. If first-line treatments don’t work, your doctor can help you explore other options. For instance, oral contraceptives (suitable for women only) can be used to dial back the hormones that are causing the skin to produce excessive oil. Adult acne requires patience, but with professional help, virtually every case can be controlled.