Acne at 40?

Q. At forty, I have begun noticing blemishes! I have never had acne a day in my life. What can I do to prevent this?

A. While it may seem that nothing will clear a case of adult acne, treatment can be effective. Often, combination therapy, a dermatologist’s help and a bit of patience are required. A topical medication that combines benzoyl peroxide and a topical antimicrobial such as clindamycin can be effective for adults with mild to moderate acne. An over-the-counter product that contains sodium sulfacetamide and sulfur helps some adults, and a topical retinoid is often used to treat the small bumps under the skin and blackheads. The topical retinoid alone often can maintain the results over time. An oral antibiotic also may be part of an adult’s acne treatment plan and can be used to help get the acne under control. If acne is severe or very resistant to treatment, oral isotretinoin may be prescribed. When it comes to skin care for their patients with acne, dermatologists generally recommend gently washing the face with a mild facial cleanser. Avoid vigorous scrubbing, as it can irritate the skin and make acne worse. It is equally important to use only skin and hair care products labeled “non-comedogenic” or “non-acnegenic.” Above all, do not pick, squeeze or pop the lesions. This tends to make acne worse and causes scarring.

Karin M. Covi, M.D.

C. Rodney Susong, M.D., PC

2051 Hamill Road, Suite 301A

Hixson, TN 37343