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Categories > Skin and Scalp Care > Acne

Pimples: Not just for teens

You’re an adult now, and you should have the clear skin to prove it. Unfortunately for many women, acne plagues them as an adult—whether they had it as a teen or not.

Many women find acne appears around the mouth, on the chin and along the jaw line. It may be triggered by the fluctuating hormones of menstruation or pregnancy, medications such as anticonvulsants and corticosteroids, a family history of acne, stress and oily cosmetics. Acne can also be a sign of problems with the ovaries, adrenal gland disorders or other health conditions.

The good news: A dermatologist can help you get acne under control with:

Topical creams, lotions, gels or other solutions. Most contain benzoyl peroxide and an antimicrobial such as clindamycin or erythromycin. Some topical treatments also contain a retinoid, which can fight acne and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Oral medications. Medication such as spironolactone can minimize hormone fluctuation. Antibiotics, used in combination with a topical treatment can also be very effective.

Anti-acne cosmetics. Salicylic acid is one acne-fighting ingredient added to moisturizers and foundations. Look for products marketed to women; teen formulas can be too drying on older skin.

Injections. Your dermatologist can inject medication into the pimple to reduce pain and swelling and reduce the chance of scarring.

It’s also imperative that you follow a good skincare regimen, gently washing your face with a mild cleanser. When purchasing skin products, look for those labeled “non-comedogenic” or “non-acnegenic,” which means they’re less likely to clog your pores. Whatever you do, don’t pop pimples. This will only make things worse and possibly cause scarring.