Adults don’t get acne
Even if you never had pimples when you were younger, it’s possible to develop acne in adulthood, especially during midlife hormonal changes. “Not realizing adults get real acne leads to delay in diagnosis and delay in proper, helpful treatment,” says Jessica Krant, MD, board-certified dermatologist and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York City. Since your blemishes, facial rashes, or sensitivities could, indeed, be acne vulgaris (the Latin term for common acne), it’s best to see a dermatologist. Here are the main causes of adult acne and what your doctor might advise to do about them.
Spot treating a pimple will suffice
“There are many products on the market intended for people who want to dry up a single pimple,” says Dr. Krant. “But overapplying these medications dries and irritates the skin and can actually make a pimple hunker down and stick around even longer.” Instead, she advises patients to gently steam the offending pimple with a hot washcloth and use your regular acne regimen on a preventive basis. For a natural approach, you might also try tea tree oil and other home remedies for acne.
Your go-to treatment from high school will still work
“Most acne solutions that are currently available were designed to treat teenage acne, and not many of them are designed to meet the special skin-care needs of adult women,” Doris Day, MD, a clinical associate professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center and the author of 100 Questions & Answers About Acne, told Allure.com. Instead of picking up your old salicylic acid treatment, opt for a topical retinoid, which not only prevents acne, but stimulates collagen to help with lines and wrinkles. These are the best acne products from drugstores that dermatologists swear by!