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Understanding Acne as an Adult

midwest facial plastic surgery mfps dr young paik blog understanding acne as an adult

Acne is often associated with the early teen years, but what about post-adolescent acne?

The truth is, acne is not a problem exclusive to adolescence. Post-adolescent acne is defined as acne that occurs after the age of twenty-five, and it can be caused by a myriad of variables, including stressors, skin types, genetics, and gender. People of all ages suffer from acne; teen acne is shown to be more common in males; adult acne is equally common in both sexes; late-onset acne is most common in females.

The causes and treatment of acne in adults are similar to those for adolescent acne. There are, however, some unique features to adult blemishes. The types of breakouts experienced by adults are mainly inflammatory lesions—papules and pustules. Papules are the beginning stages of pustules and appear as small, reddish bumps on the skin. Once the papule accumulates pus, it then turns into a pustule, or whitehead.

The most common locations for breakouts to occur in adults are on the cheeks, chin, and jawline. Adults may also experience breakouts around the mouth, neck, chest, and back more often than adolescents. Scarring is more common in adult acne, often due to the nature of inflammatory breakouts and more resistance to treatment. The time it takes for acne in adults to heal varies, but there are several treatment options available that may reduce healing time and help patients avoid scarring.

What are the most effective treatment options for adult acne?

At Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery, we offer a variety of acne treatment options to help treat adult acne:

  1. Microneedling: If you suffer from chronic acne, microneedling—along with appropriate skin care products—can help deliver the results you desire. Significant improvement can occur when the punctures from the microneedling treatment allow the active ingredients from other skin care products to better absorb into the skin.
  2. IPL/BBL Photorejuvenation: For those with acne scarring, we offer a non-invasive, laser skin resurfacing treatment known as IPL or BBL Photorejuvenation to diminish blemishes. This treatment uses photothermal energy to help your body generate new and natural collagen.
  3. Microdermabrasion: A microdermabrasion procedure is one of the easiest and most effective non-surgical exfoliating treatments available. By gently removing the outer layer of dead skin, this non-invasive treatment helps fight against mild cases of acne.
  4. Chemical peels: Chemical peels can be used to both treat acne and refresh the appearance of the skin or face. We offer three types of chemical peels—light, medium, and deep—which work to remove the outermost layers of skin, allowing for a new layer of skin to form. Chemical peels result in an improved smoothness, tone, texture, and clarity of the skin.

What skin care products should I be using?

A simple, non-irritating skin care regimen is essential for those who struggle with adult acne. Use safe and gentle products instead of harsh products that can over-strip the skin and aggravate the problem. It’s also important to avoid touching the face and squeezing or picking at acne lesions, as this can lead to additional discoloration and scarring.

We offer two medical-grade skin care lines, which are both exclusive to medical skin care offices. Our EltaMD and Société Skin Care lines help cleanse, hydrate, heal, and protect the skin. They are also formulated with high-quality ingredients to help fight against aging, hyperpigmentation, sun damage, and other skin imperfections. Visit our website today to learn more or ask for a sample during your next appointment.

Let’s put your best face forward!

Adult life is stressful enough without breakouts! However, following a healthy skin care regimen and properly treating any acne breakouts that surface will help your skin recover quickly and return to its healthy state. If you would like to learn more about adult acne treatment, visit our website or contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Paik, our double board-certified facial plastic surgeon.