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Advice
Advice 2 min

Last Updated Dec 20, 2023

How do you treat adult acne?

Author
|
Dermatology Resident
Dr. Jesse Dewey

The treatments for adult acne are very similar to the treatments for teenage acne with a few caveats.

Over-the-counter, the best treatments are still adapalene, salicylic acid, and benzoyl peroxide. 

Adult acne refers to individuals that develop acne over the age of 25. The major difference between adolescent and adult acne are summarized in the table below: 

 

adult acne chart

Kutlu Ö, Karadağ AS, Wollina U. Adult acne versus adolescent acne: a narrative review with a focus on epidemiology to treatment. An Bras Dermatol. 2023 Jan-Feb;98(1):75-83. doi: 10.1016/j.abd.2022.01.006. Epub 2022 Oct 14. PMID: 36253244; PMCID: PMC9837660.

 

Adult acne is more common in women and tends to be more inflammatory and located on the lower half of the face. Hormones play a role in all forms of acne but, in adult acne, treatments to normalize hormone levels can be helpful. Talk to your dermatologist about options such as oral contraceptives and spironolactone, which have been shown to be effective in some women. 

Doctor's Note

Adult acne refers to individuals with acne above the age of 25 and is more common in women

Over-the-counter options for adult acne are limited to adapalene, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid

See your board certified dermatologist for other treatments to target the root cause

The Research

Adult acne versus adolescent acne: a narrative review with a focus on epidemiology to treatment. PMID: 36253244

Dr. Jesse Dewey

Dermatology Resident

Dr. Jesse Dewey

Dermatology Resident

Dr. Jesse Dewey hails from the beautiful state of Utah where he completed
both his undergraduate and medical school training. Currently, he is
completing his dermatology residency in Wilmington, North Carolina
where he also plans on completing a surgical fellowship. Dr. Dewey
loves dermatology and enjoys helping people obtain and maintain
beautiful and healthy skin. Outside the clinic, Dr. Dewey finds joy in
spending quality time with his family, exploring the east coast, and
indulging in his favorite TV shows.

Location: Wilmington, North Carolina

Doctor's Note

Adult acne refers to individuals with acne above the age of 25 and is more common in women

Over-the-counter options for adult acne are limited to adapalene, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid

See your board certified dermatologist for other treatments to target the root cause

The Research

Adult acne versus adolescent acne: a narrative review with a focus on epidemiology to treatment. PMID: 36253244

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