adult acne medication and products

Adult Acne Medication and Products (continued…)
Please read part one: cure adult acne first.

Other factors contributing to adult acne:


Dermatologists still deny that there is a connection between diet and adult acne just like they once denied that stress was a factor. The fact is that many people find certain foods trigger their acne (milk anyone?) and that cutting these foods out of their diet helps immensely. More importantly, diet can have a big effect on regulating hormones, and, as we have seen, acne is all about the hormones. Some very effective adult acne cures have a dietary component and these therapies should be considered before looking at harsh treatments with serious side effects like Accutane.

Skin care Products:

Okay, this is a bit different from the other contributing factors because adult acne triggered by skin care products is called “acne cosmetica” as opposed to “acne vulgaris” which is what we are usually concerned with on this website.

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Acne cosmetica is caused by using products such as oily sunscreens and hair products that clog the pores on their own. If you have acne prone skin, you must always use skin products that are labelled “non-comedogenic” or “non-acnegenic.”

Serious Medical Conditions :

If women have other symptoms such as excessive facial hair, bald patches or thinning hair and irregular periods, there might be a more serious medical condition causing her break outs. See a doctor if you have any of these other symptoms.

Adult Acne Medications

There are several adult acne products on the market that you should consider. Here is my overview of your treatment options.

Topical Treatments

These include gels, creams and lotions that contain an “active ingredient” that you spread on your skin. Many topical adult acne treatments contain Benzoyl Peroxide and/or antimicrobials such as clindamycin or erythromycin. These adult acne products can be somewhat helpful to mild adult acne sufferers by reducing the P. acnes bacteria but they do not attack the underlying cause of adult acne. Topical retinoids (vitamin A derivatives) can treat blackheads and small bumps but over-the-counter retinoids are not powerful enough so a prescription is required for effective retinoids. An adult acne product containing retionids may irritate the skin and also greatly increases sun sensitivity. You must wear sunscreen if your dermatologist prescribes you retinoids.

Recently there has been a proliferation of over-the-counter cosmetic adult acne products. Traditional adult acne medications such as salicylic acid are added to moisturizers and foundations. Because adult acne sufferers have drier skin that teens, these adult acne products are less drying than those aimed at younger acne sufferers. Unfortunately, they have not been shown to be effective. I doubt there are many of you who will clear your acne by using these cosmetics but they might be worth a try if you have very light acne.

As a side note… talking cosmetics makes me think of spa treatments. Don’t get facials! They will inflame your acne, not improve it.

Oral Medications

Since adult acne is caused by hormonal imbalances, adult acne products that address this issue are, naturally, going to be more effective than topical treatments and cosmetics. Women can be prescribed birth control pills, spironolactone (warning: side effects!!!) and hormone replacement therapy. Read my article on hormonal acne treatments for women.(opens in new window) Obviously these treatments are not for everyone. Women who might want to get pregnant should steer clear. Hormone replacement therapy as an adult acne treatment is really only for menopausal women.

Oral antibiotics are often prescribed for adult acne suffers but as I have pointed out countless times on this site, they are not very effective because they don’t treat the root cause of acne. Bacterial infection is only one contributing factor. Hormone imbalance is the real cause of acne so in my opinion oral antibiotics are not only an inconvenience but they can do more harm than good by depleting the “good bacteria” from your body. I never recommend oral antibiotics to acne sufferers.

Oral isotretinoin is a very effective adult acne medication. Accutane is the most well known adult acne product. I do recommend Accutane (I took it myself) to adult acne sufferers only as a last resort. The side effects are severe – this is a powerful drug. In my own experience, Accutane makes your acne symptoms much worse for up to six months before starting to improve. This can be very difficult for an adult acne sufferer to endure. My adult acne took over a year to be cured using Accutane and on top of the inconvenience of regular blood tests to make sure my liver wasn’t damaged, the minor side effects of severely dry irritated skin and lips, sun-sensitivity and frustration with the pace of treatment took its toll. Again, turn to Accutane only if all other adult acne treatments have failed.

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I recommend that before you think of a drug like Accutane, you look at the one treatment that I know can get rid of adult acne: Acne No More. Mike Walden’s groundbreaking acne “bible” shows you how to cure acne by regulating the way your body processes androgen hormones. I like it because it works. Click Here to Read My Review of Acne No More.   

I wish you good luck in beating your acne! Remember, you deserve to have clear skin. :)