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Skin Care and Diseases

Mid-life acne

06/30/2011

Question:

What can I do to treat/prevent acne in my 30s and older? My mom struggles with it as much as I do.

Answer:

Unfortunately, it is not true that acne only affects teenagers. Acne beyond age 30 is not unusual at all. Proper skin care is important, including the use of the right cleansers that will minimize oiliness but will not cause significant dryness. Treatment is individualized in that some patients will have mostly inflammatory lesions, for which antibiotics and other medications may be needed. Some have more of the comedones (blackheads/whiteheads) that are better treated with topical retinoids or similar agents. Stress has been known to aggravate acne, so does hormonal changes, hence some women get flares premenstrually. There are also medications that could trigger acne. The impact of food or diet is less defined. Overall, a visit to the dermatologist for proper evaluation and management is most helpful.

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Response by:

Elma D Baron, MD Elma D Baron, MD
Associate Professor of Dermatology
Director, Skin Study Center
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University