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Skin Care and Diseases

Adult acne

07/18/2006

Question:

What is the best way to treat/get rid of adult acne? I tend to break out on my neck and chin area, and some creams are too irritating to use (i.e. those with benzoyle peroxide or salicylic acid). I am 40 and also concerned about wrinkles/dry skin. I recently resumed birth control pills (generic version of ortho tricyclen). Will this help my skin? It seems to be making things worse. Help!

Answer:

There are a lot of things we really should know about you, such as your endocrine history, your ethnic history, your work environment.  Having said that, true adult acne that persists from adolescence is often familial, endocrine based and is best served by controlling the endocrine (ovarian or adrenal) dysfunction and regulating any abnormal levels.  Ortho Tricyclen is one medication that we frequently use but may have to combine it with other drugs such as Aldosteron to lower androgen levels.  I would be concerned about polycystic ovarian disease from your description, so I would urge you to see your board certified dermatologist and work in concert with your board certified gynecologist.

Topically, we frequently use retinoids in the form of Retin A  in its various concentrations.  If cystic lesions and abscesses are a routine part of your problem, then the use of systemic retinoids may be in order.  All of these treatment options can be given to you by your board certified dermatologist.

 

 

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Response by:

Charles L Heaton, MD
Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati