Therapeutic Approach to Adult Onset Acne

Therapeutic Approach to Adult Onset Acne

Therapeutic Approach to Adult Onset Acne

By Dr. Himanshu Singhal, Dermatology,

Acne, medically known as Acne Vulgaris, is a skin disease that involves the oil glands at the base of hair follicles. It commonly occurs during puberty when the sebaceous (oil) glands come to life – the glands are stimulated by male hormones produced by the adrenal glands of both males and females.It ia not dangerous but can leave skin scars.

It commonly occurs in the age of 14 to 17 in females and 16 to 19 in males. However, recent studies have shown that a significant number of female patients aged >25 years experience acne at least once.

What are the causes behind it ?

  • Acne develops because your sebaceous glands are overactive.
  • Hormones can cause an outbreak of pimples, or increase the number you get.
  • Family history.

Things that irritate your skin can also cause acne. These include:

  • Rubbing or friction from your clothes.
  • Contact with a dog’s tongue (e.g., after a friendly lick).
  • Skin contact with certain sports equipment.
  • Certain cosmetics.
  • Skin exposure to extreme temperatures.


Acne commonly appears on the face and shoulders. It may also occur on the trunk, arms, legs, and buttocks. Skin changes include:

  • Crusting of skin bumps.
  • Cysts.
  • Papules (small red bumps).
  • Pustules.
  • Redness around the skin eruptions.
  • Scarring of the skin.
  • Whiteheads.
  • Blackheads.
  • When sebaceous glands become overactive.
  • Hormonal problems.

Making the Diagnosis-

Acne is diagnosed by its appearance. Your doctor may do a physical exam and look at your medical and personal history to rule out any other possibilities. Your doctor may ask about things like cosmetics and any medications you’re taking.

Therapeutic Treatments For Acne:

  1. Topical retinoids are effective in the treatment of noninflammatory and inflammatory acne.
  2. Oral antibiotics are effective for the treatment of moderate to severe acne.
  3. Benzoyl peroxide should be used in combination with topical and oral antibiotics to reduce the risk of bacterial resistance.
  4. After treatment is successful, oral antibiotics should be replaced with topical retinoids for maintenance therapy.
  5. Topical antibiotics are more effective when used in conjunction with topical retinoids.
  6. Combined oral contraceptives can be used to treat inflammatory and noninflammatory acne.