Although many consider acne to be a condition mainly experienced by young people, there is a significant number of adults who may experience adult acne. Just like acne experienced during puberty, treating adult acne can be a challenge that can negatively affect your self-esteem. At The Dermatology, Laser & Vein Center in Cincinnati, OH, we know there are several acne treatments for you to consider.
How Do You Treat Adult Acne?
To effectively treat adult acne, you will need a comprehensive treatment plan that includes active skincare you use daily and aesthetic treatments that can target the root causes of the skin condition. Treating adult acne may be more complicated by factors such as stress or hormone fluctuations, but there is certainly an aesthetic treatment that can help you manage your breakouts. Some of the best treatments include:
Laser systems may be an ideal solution for stubborn acne, including inflammatory acne that may be more difficult to treat with other non-invasive methods. Laser systems for acne can improve collagen production, eliminate acne-causing bacteria, control oil production, and reduce the size of enlarged pores. Using laser systems consistently can improve other aspects of your skin appearance for acne-prone skin.
Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive exfoliation treatment that is good for mild acne and comedonal acne, such as blackheads and whiteheads. Because this treatment exfoliates the skin, it may be able to help acne-fighting skincare products work more effectively. Microdermabrasion can be performed frequently as part of your regular skincare routine, and may also complement other acne treatments.
Chemical peels are an ideal treatment for mild to moderate adult acne. Chemical peels can be customized to exfoliate the skin to improve pigmentation, inflammation, active acne, and acne-causing bacteria. As a facial treatment, you can use chemical peels regularly to manage breakouts. Light peels tend to be most effective for reducing enlarged pores, blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples.
Photodynamic therapy combines a light-activated solution with specialized lightwaves that can rejuvenate the health of your skin, including reducing inflammation and acne. This treatment is effective for acne because it targets acne-causing bacteria and excess oil production, while also gently resurfacing the skin. Photodynamic therapy is a perfect option for those who have resistant adult acne, including cystic acne that does not respond to other treatments.
Thermage is a radiofrequency treatment that may help reduce acne and skin inflammation. This treatment works by stimulating collagen production and reducing excessive oil production. This is because the increased collagen production in the skin will reduce the size of oil glands, which may eliminate the source of acne and improve the size of enlarged pores.
Can Any of These Treatments Help With Acne Scarring?
Many acne treatments for adults can also help with acne scarring. Acne scarring can include post-acne marks such as hyperpigmentation or erythema, as well as physical scars that affect your skin texture. The most challenging scars to correct are textural scars, such as icepick scars, boxcar scars, and rolling scars.
To treat textural scars, treatments such as lasers, chemical peels, and Thermage can be highly effective options since these treatments can stimulate collagen production. To treat pigmented scars, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and certain laser systems can also gently resurface your skin to improve your complexion.
Can Skincare Methods Improve Adult Acne?
Along with aesthetic treatments, using effective skincare methods may also be able to improve your adult acne. It’s important to understand your skin type and acne type to find the best skincare methods to control your breakouts.
For example, those who have sensitive skin will need to be cautious about over-stripping the skin to avoid worsening acne inflammation. Ideally, acne-prone skin is balanced with a strong moisture barrier that protects the skin from acne-causing bacteria.
Cleansing is the most crucial step for taking care of acne-prone skin. People who have adult acne should cleanse the skin twice a day to remove oil and bacteria from the skin’s surface. It’s important to cleanse the skin after sweating, which includes washing the body if you have acne in other areas such as the chest or back. Double-cleansing after wearing make-up is also ideal.
As for the type of cleanser you use, it’s best to use a cleanser that is formulated for acne-prone skin and that also includes hydrating agents. Active ingredients to look out for include lactic acid, salicylic acid, and ceramides. Facewash can include cream-based cleansers, gel cleansers, oil-based cleansers, cleansing balms, and foaming cleansers based on your skin type.
Topical products may also be crucial for treating acne-prone skin. There are many topical products that are designed to complement aesthetic treatments and other acne treatments, such as oral antibiotics or oral acne medications. Topical products may include prescription-strength retinoids, azelaic acid, benzoyl peroxide, zinc PCA, and niacinamide.
While topical products may be able to target active acne-causing bacteria and control excessive sebum production, these products may also be able to reduce inflammation, brighten your skin tone, and accelerate cellular renewal to improve scarring. Be sure to discuss the products that are ideal for your skin type with a dermatologist.
Finally, sun protection is a way you can optimize your skin health. Acne-prone skin tends to be more sensitive to inflammation from sun exposure, so protecting your skin from the sun may help reduce redness. Sun protection may also be important if you are using skincare products with active ingredients that increase photosensitivity, particularly retinoids. You must use sun protection after aesthetic treatments that exfoliate the skin.
What Causes Adult Acne?
The root cause of all types of acne can be traced to hormonal fluctuations. During puberty, changes in secondary sex hormones can impact the production of sebum in oil glands, which leads to adolescent acne. During adulthood, hormonal fluctuations associated with pregnancy and menstrual cycles can also affect oil production.
There may be other types of hormones that contribute to adult acne. For example, the stress hormone cortisol can affect oil production and cellular turnover, which is why some people may experience “stress breakouts”. Stress breakouts may be difficult to manage if you lead a high-stress lifestyle or if you can’t identify what triggers a stress response.
What About Lifestyle?
There may be lifestyle factors that can also contribute to adult acne. For example, people who smoke or who have unhealthy diets may experience breakouts more easily. Limiting your consumption of junk food or greasy food may be one way you can reduce breakouts. That said, some people may have acne that is not affected by diet.
Taking a multivitamin that includes zinc and drinking plenty of water each day may also be simple ways you can improve the health of your skin. Water is essential for acne-prone skin since water will flush toxins out of the skin. This is also why exercising is key since sweating is a natural way to detoxify the body and reduce the amount of acne-causing bacteria on the skin’s surface.
Does a Dermatologist Need to Analyze Your Acne Type?
You will need to visit a dermatologist to analyze the type of acne you have. Acne presents in various forms, including excessively oily skin, inflammation, blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, pustules, and bumps. Many people have a combination of several acne types, which can make it even more challenging to identify the best acne treatment for you.
When you visit a dermatologist, a skin analysis will identify your skin type and the types of acne you have. This will help a dermatologist determine the best treatments for your acne, including topical medications, oral medications, and aesthetic treatments.
Are You a Good Candidate?
Candidates who are ideal for treating adult acne include those who want to reduce breakouts and those who have not found success with over-the-counter products. Because each person may react differently to OTC treatments for acne, it may not be possible to find the right combination of skincare ingredients to improve your acne condition without guidance from a dermatologist.
Find the Perfect Acne Treatment
To find the best treatment for your adult acne, you will need to explore options such as aesthetic treatments, skincare products, and even lifestyle changes. Although treating adult acne can be challenging, finding the best treatment can improve your skin health and prevent concerns such as scarring. Get in touch with The Dermatology, Laser & Vein Center in Cincinnati, OH to schedule your first appointment today.