Is adult acne any different than the acne you would get as a teenager?
Acne is different in adults. It is not in the t-zone but instead tends to be around the jawline or hairline...so a more peripheral pattern. The skin is not oily in adults so it is hard to treat adult patients with the same medications we use in teens since these meds tend to dry the skin.
Is adult acne more common in men or women?
Adult acne is more common in women than men. Men get acne as teens and then in general grow out of it. Women also have acne as teens but then some continue to have it as adults. Women have so many hormonal fluctuations during their life that causes acne. They get acne with their periods, during pregnancy or after pregnancy and even at menopause. Women also seem to be very susceptible to stress induced acne which of course is also caused by hormones.
How is adult acne treated?
I see a lot of women who are very frustrated with adult acne who complain of getting cysts every month right before their periods. I call this type of acne "cyclic cystic acne." They get one or two big cysts on the chin and they take forever to heal and of course then they get the next crop of cysts. To treat this type of acne we use oral antibiotics, topical retinoids and a gentle cleanse with glycolic or salicylic acid. I like combination products in adults because they can use the medications at night and wear their make-up during the day. Combination products may have topical antibiotics and benzoyl peroxide or a retinoid plus topical antibiotic or retinoid and benzoyl peroxide.
About Dr. Patricia K. Farris
Dr. Farris is a board certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon. She received her medical degree at Tulane University and her residency training at Tulane in the Department of Dermatology where she served as chief resident. She has been quoted extensively in newspaper and magazine articles on a variety of topics related to dermatology. Dr. Farris has been featured in over one hundred health-related television segments on dermatology and skin care including CNN, Regis and Kathie Lee and Good Morning America. Dr. Farris is known for her expertise in the treatment of aging skin and has lectured internationally on this subject. She has served as a consultant to cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies and has been involved in the development, clinical testing and marketing of new and innovative anti-aging skin care products.