If you’re affected by chronic acne as an adult, you’re in good company. Millions of Americans past their teen years live with unwelcome visits from pimples, pustules, blackheads, and whiteheads.
Whether your chronic acne is mild or severe, it’s a good idea to have your skin evaluated by a dermatologist to determine the type of acne you have and help you identify any triggers.
For example, non-inflammatory acne, caused by clogged pores, is milder and easier to manage than inflammatory acne, which is caused by bacteria and may necessitate medical management.
At HK Dermatology in San Juan Capistrano, California, led by Jeffrey Klein, MD, our board-certified dermatology providers offer expert advice and effective treatments to control your acne.
Take a moment to learn why you might have chronic acne and the steps to take to get it under control.
When will I stop getting acne?
While most people outgrow the worst of their acne after puberty, the truth is that for some people, acne is a lifelong battle. That is because there are different types of acne. When oil or other things, like dead skin or dirt, block your pores, you can break out.
During puberty, your hormones trigger skin changes, leading to blocked pores and pimples. But for some people, issues below the surface of the skin make acne a chronic and ongoing challenge.
In addition to ongoing hormone fluctuations, you can experience chronic acne for other reasons, including:
- Stress and anxiety
- Bacteria on the skin
- Environmental factors (e.g., humidity or heat)
- Excessive sweating
- Makeup and skincare products
Moreover, some underlying health conditions, like polycystic ovary syndrome and some medications, can also contribute to chronic acne. That’s why talking to your HK Dermatology provider is so essential.
Your dermatologist examines your skin, reviews your medical history, evaluates any recent blood work, and orders extra testing if necessary to uncover the source of your chronic acne.
Can anything get my chronic acne under control?
The good news is that you can take steps to minimize acne and prevent future breakouts. Our team examines your skin and diagnoses the type of acne you have as well as probable triggers.
Based on your unique needs, our team creates a personalized acne treatment plan to help you get your acne under control. Depending on your needs, this may include at-home therapies or medical treatments.
Managing chronic acne at home
One of the best things you can do no matter what type of acne is to avoid touching your face as much as possible. That includes not washing your face more than twice a day, since it can dry out skin and cause your body to boost oil production, triggering more acne.
For mild chronic acne, our team may recommend lifestyle changes. For example, improving skin hygiene can minimize breakouts. We can review your current skin care routine and make recommendations about improving it for acne control.
They may recommend over-the-counter (OTC) acne therapies, like soaps and topical creams or ointments that contain salicylic acid, sulfur, and benzoyl peroxide, to reduce breakouts. You’ll also want to discuss makeups and the moisturizers you use because changing to non-comedogenic products can help with chronic acne.
Be sure to consider dietary changes to minimize body-wide inflammation. For example, processed foods and products high in sugar and fat cause inflammation and lead to negative effects on your skin.
Finally, since stress is often a trigger for acne due to the hormones it releases, you can help manage chronic acne by taking steps to reduce stress and practice healthy stress management.
Medical help for chronic acne
Some types of acne are more challenging to manage on your own because they’re triggered by issues below the skin. For example, fluctuating hormones at any age can cause breakouts, especially for women who go through hormonal shifts during their monthly cycle, pregnancy, and menopause.
By having your skin evaluated by an acne specialist at HK Dermatology, we can accurately diagnose your skin conditions and develop effective treatments. If you have moderate or severe acne, your plan may include one or more of the following therapies:
- Hormonal therapies
- Prescription topical therapies (e.g., retinoids)
- Prescription oral antibiotics
- Chemical peels
- Laser treatments
- Prescription Accutane® (our customized dosing regime virtually eliminates side effects)
If you’re ready to say goodbye to chronic acne at any age, get on the path to clearer skin by scheduling an appointment online or over the phone with our team at HK Dermatology in San Juan Capistrano, California.