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Adult Acne in Women: More Options to Explore

By HERWriter
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Acne is not something older women feel they have bargained for, particularly if they did not suffer much as a teen. My previous article on Adult Acne in Women, explored causes and how to begin treatment for adult acne.

If your hormones are not overly out of whack, diet changes haven’t helped or over-the-counter topicals haven’t reduced acne outbreaks, then here are some more options to explore.

As discussed at the end my previous article, have a dermatologist evaluate your acne to determine whether prescription medication may help.

Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in the dermatology department at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, told the New York Times he likes to use Aczone (dapsone) on his patients. Another drug, Dapson, is a prescription topical anti-inflammatory and antibacterial medication that has been shown to be gentle.

He also prescribes gentler formulations of topical retinoids such as Atralin Gel and Retin-A .04 percent gel. Retinoids are derivatives of vitamin A that help increase cell turnover, as well as decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

About.com suggested other retinoids for use in adult acne such as adapalen or Renova if a woman needs a more moisturizing base. They also reminded readers that retinoids make the skin more sensitive to sun, “so wearing an oil free, noncomedogenic sunscreen is a must.”

Dr. Gary Goldenberg, assistant professor of dermatology and pathology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine cautions women in their childbearing years to be particularly careful about using oral and topical retinoids, even though they can be very effective, he told ABCnews.com.

He advises patients to go off oral retinoids for at least a month before planning a pregnancy.

About. Com also discussed that combined treatments may work better in some cases of adult acne. Combinations of benzoyl peroxide or tretinoin (a retinoid) and a topical antibiotic may help.

Another option that has gained some popularity is blue light therapy. Dr. Goldenbery told the New York Times that one of his pregnant patients had done quite well after blue light treatments.

Blue light therapy involves exposing the skin to a special wavelength of light that is believed to kill certain bacteria that contribute to acne. It involves exposing the skin once a week for six to eight weeks to the light while wearing goggles to protect one’s eyes.

In addition, there are other cosmetic treatments that may be helpful in controlling acne. Chemical peels involve applying a special acid solution to the skin to generate new skin growth and microabrasion blows crystal over the skin to polish the skin’s surface.

Blue light therapy, chemical peels and microabrasion are performed in a dermatologist's office and are more expensive treatments to have. You may want to try others before venturing into these techniques.

Overall, Mayoclinic.com reminds adult acne sufferers that regardless of what treatment is used, to be patient and keep expectations realistic. You may not see improvement for four to eight weeks.


Adult Acne on Rise as Women Age and Hormones Kick In. Abcnews.com. Web Nov. 23, 2012.

SKIN DEEP: When ‘Younger’ Skin Is Not a Blessing. New York Times. Web Nov. 23, 2012.

Adult Acne Treatment. About.com acne. Web Nov. 23, 2012.

Acne treatments: Medical procedures may help clear skin. Mayoclinic.com. Web Nov. 23, 2012.

Michele is an R.N. freelance writer with a special interest in woman’s healthcare and quality of care issues. Other articles by Michele are at www.helium.com/users/487540/show_articles

Edited by Jody Smith

Add a Comment3 Comments

How about blue light therapy? It's been proven a long time ago that it can reduce up to 80% acne and it's completely natural and side effect free.
I used it with great success years ago...
Here's more about it: http://www.light-therapy-reviews.net/blue-light-therapy-for-acne/

September 8, 2013 - 12:52am
EmpowHER Guest

How to get rid of acne - it's not a matter of searching, but rather a problem of choice and to choose a method of treatment for acne right to start is to carefully consider all options for dealing with acne. Use the special makeup for acne - Today's market affordable cosmetic for skin care is huge. Significant share of the market constitute the means to care for problem skin, as well as tools to help you get rid of acne.Acne No More Review

April 17, 2013 - 4:56am
EmpowHER Guest

Most topical treatments (both over-the-counter and prescription) are a waste of money. I can attest to this personally! There are a few legitimate options, you've just got to discriminate. Check out http://dermahealthreview.com/blog for some non biased reviews on the latest treatments and educate yourself before you get taken by another greedy company.

December 6, 2012 - 6:58pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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