Have you ever woken up in the morning and looked the mirror, confused to find that a few pimples have popped up? If you thought acne was just for teens, think again. Although its causes differ during various stages of your life, acne can be just as much of an adult problem as it is for teens. But luckily, there are a wide variety of treatment options available for adult acne.
1. Over-the-Counter Creams
Although some of the same ingredients are present in products targeted to clear teen acne, cleansers containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can be effective treatments for adult acne as well. Some products containing salicylic acid may even treat both acne and wrinkles.
2. Tea Tree Oil
With antiseptic properties similar to those of benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil can also be effective, but is less irritating to the skin. In a review in the International Journal of Dermatology, tree tea oil was touted for its ability to treat adult acne. It can be found in various soaps, body washes and topical solutions.
3. Prescription Medication
If over-the-counter treatments don’t seem to work, you can consult your dermatologist, who can prescribe you a cream containing retinoids to help unclog pores. Recent research has also shown that spironolactone, a drug that was once used to treat high blood pressure, may actually be more effective in treating hormonal acne, one of the main causes of acne in adult women. It works particularly well in combination with birth control pills (see below).
4. Birth Control Pills
Because hormones can play such a large role in adult acne, birth control pills, which work to regulate hormonal surges, can also be an effective treatment option. If you’re already on birth control, you can talk to your doctor about the possibility of switching to one that has been FDA-approved to treat acne.