Adult Acne

Adult acne effects people in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and even 50s. Usually adult acne is hormonally caused and appears along the jaw line.

Those most likely to get adult acne, include; women with high androgen levels (hyperandrogenism), people with increased androgen sensitivity in sebaceous glands, and people with decreased estrogen.

The goals of treatment are to keep new acne blemishes from forming and to prevent scarring and changes in skin color. You will usually need a combination of treatments, some of which include:

  • Oral contraceptives (Estrostep, Ortho-Tri-Cyclen, Yaz) - inhibit androgen production, reduce free serum-androgen levels, and inhibit androgen action within sebaceous glands.
  • Spironolactone: blocks androgen receptors, inhibits androgen biosynthesis, and decreases sebum excretion.
  • Topical Retinoid (Adaplene, Tretinoin, Tazoretene): inhibits inflammatory biomarkers and normalizes follicular keratinization.

When acne occurs in the elderly it is called Favre Racouchot Disease and is primarily due to sun exposure or smoking history and causes cysts/blackheads around the eyes, cheeks, and temples most commonly. 

Treatment options include:

  • Topical retinoid
  • Comedone extraction (acne surgery)
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Sun protection (sunscreen, hats, staying out of the sun)

If you have acne scars, you may need surgery or medicines to help improve the way your skin looks. Be sure you understand your treatment plan and any side effects it might cause - you play an important role in the success of your treatment.