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Adult Acne

(113 Posts)
Separatedandabitsad Sat 14-Nov-20 09:13:23

Hi there! Does anyone have any tips for adult acne? My periods have become irregular, so I think it’s hormonal. I’ve had it on and off for about seven years. It clears for stretches (sometimes without prescription creams) but then it comes back. I used a topical antibiotic (I can’t take oral antibiotics) for years but the GP recommended ‘getting to the bottom of it’ and broadening my search!

So I’ve laid off alcohol and I am now laying off chocolate and sweet treats as I was consuming a lot of both. It seems to have calmed a little but then I woke up to a new big cyst on my chin as well as pre-existing stubborn spots on both cheeks - they’ve been there well over a month.

I use glycolic acid wipes and The Ordinary retinol every second night. I put sudocrem on spots.

Whether it’s good or not, I wear make-up and lots of concealer by day. It’s too upsetting to see all those spots; so I’m not about to give up my make-up.

I had pretty good skin (apart from a few on my chin) all the way up to my early 30s. I used to get compliments on my clear skin! Needless to say I don’t now. I get them on my cheeks for the past few years too. I wear a mask all day so that mightn’t help but this problem was there pre-COVID.

Any manageable, DIY tips would be great. I’m thinking of going to a nutritional therapist.

Any ideas?

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minnie465 Sat 14-Nov-20 09:17:51

Hi op. Sympathies! Adult acne sucks.
I swear by regimen. I order their 2.5% benzoyl peroxide. But you can order tubes on eBay. You start off using very little and gradually build up the amount you use.

I will say though that I still can't wear makeup underneath my mask all day without getting one of two spots.

But I understand how hard it is to go without makeup when your skin has broken out

minnie465 Sat 14-Nov-20 09:18:51

Sorry should have explained the regimen is on their website and set out in detail

GingerBreadNurse Sat 14-Nov-20 09:23:30

Are you overweight?
I’ve also had adult acne, and I’ve done some reading about acne being inflammation to what we’re putting in our bodies, be that alcohol, sugar, dairy etc.

Separatedandabitsad Sat 14-Nov-20 09:30:02

Thanks for those tips. Is benzoyl peroxide ok to use at 40? It won’t cause wrinkles or anything will it? I’m just wondering as one of the topical prescription creams I used seemed to dry out my skin and I think it may have thinned the skin.

OP’s posts: |
Separatedandabitsad Sat 14-Nov-20 09:32:50

My BMI is 23, so I’m not overweight but I’ve sweats had a lot of body fat. The diet link is interesting but I never had a perfect diet. I have majorly cut back on alcohol & I feel so much better for it. I haven’t seen skin improvements yet though.

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Separatedandabitsad Sat 14-Nov-20 09:33:54

*always, not ‘sweats’ grin

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teta Sat 14-Nov-20 09:35:00

Adult acne is not caused by an unhealthy diet, hormones are the cause. It would be worth trying Epiduo initially as this often gives good results . But if your acne gets worse Roaccutane is the best option. I would see a dermatologist first before seeing a nutritionist .

EnglishRain Sat 14-Nov-20 09:40:28

I get hormonal acne mainly on my chin. I have PCOS. Being on the pill sorts it, as does taking metformin. Otherwise drinking lots of water helps because I think the cystic spots disappear faster due to me being well hydrated. I've never found anything that works that doesn't screw with my hormones though.

minnie465 Sat 14-Nov-20 09:51:09

@Separatedandabitsad regimen advises using 2.5% and building it up so you don't dry your skin out. Plus recommends suitable moisturisers for over the top. I've been using it for over ten years. I'm now mid 30s and no wrinkles yet. I use their AHA sometimes too. Get lots of compliments on my skin now and people asking what I use.

It did take a while to build up my tolerance to the benzoyl though. Need to go very slow with building it up or you'll really dry your skin out. Some dryness is to be expected initially.

I think when docs prescribe it they tend to give high strength. This irritates ppls skin badly and so they stop using it.

Benzoyl oxygenates the skin so bacteria actually can't survive. Plus increases cell turnover.

The most annoying thing for me has been that it bleaches your bedding and towels. I now have only white bedding and towels for this reason

minnie465 Sat 14-Nov-20 09:52:34

If no joy with the benzoyl I second a PP who recommends speaking to doc about roaccutane. I would've went down this route if benzoyl didn't work

Separatedandabitsad Sat 14-Nov-20 09:53:01

Thanls. I saw a dermatologist years ago. She wasn’t much help unfortunately as it had cleared by the time I got the appointment. Then it came back afterwards! She just recommended more of the topical antibiotic. It comes in waves!

I wouldn’t take Roaccutane for MH reasons.

I’m wondering about PCOS. My periods have become irregular and my tummy is bloated but I don’t have excess hair. Do the cysts show up in an ultrasound? I had an ultrasound years ago and there was just one functional cyst on my ovary.

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Separatedandabitsad Sat 14-Nov-20 09:57:19

Thanks @minnie465 I must look into it. It’s a bit freaky that it bleaches bed linen!!! Strong stuff! That said, nice you get compliments on your skin!

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EnglishRain Sat 14-Nov-20 10:23:56

@Separatedandabitsad you can have PCOS and your ovaries look normal. I've had scans when I've been on clomid and they've said my ovaries don't look polycystic. But I've had other scans where they do. I don't have excess hair. I get hormonal acne and have irregular periods.

PipsM Sat 14-Nov-20 10:31:32

I’ve started using cerave cleansers and got duac from gp having had acne for years. It’s really cleared it up and I’m gradually stopping the duac and just using the cerave. (Can get from boots/Superdrug)
I did bite the bullet and cut out all make up for a fortnight too which I think helped.

pumpkinpie01 Sat 14-Nov-20 10:37:36

Silver serum from the skin shop is amazing .

Ardnassa Sat 14-Nov-20 10:41:58

Adult acne sufferer here, mid-30s. PCOS but no body hair or other symptoms, except the acne.

Skin never really improved until I saw a super expensive dermatologist. This is the regime I have been on for the last few years and it has done wonders:

- Cerave hydrating wash
- Obagi Vit C serum
- Skinoren (azelaic acid, prescription)
- Avene skin recovery cream

- Cerave wash
- Tretinoin - prescription (increased strength over time)
- Avene cream

I now get compliments on my skin from family and strangers alike. It's a lot of money but a nice side effect is that it is also tackling the wrinkles!

Crunchiedelight Sat 14-Nov-20 10:42:35

I’ve suffered with adult acne all through my twenties and early thirties. I’m 35, have had 2 kids and after the 1st it was the worst it had ever been. Huge cystic spots all over my chin and jaw line. It cleared midway through my second pregnancy and then started to come back again when my baby was about 5 months old. I phoned my GP immediately as I just felt like I couldn’t continue with such painful, awful skin and she prescribed me Epiduo which is a mixture of retinoid and benzoyl peroxide. Honestly, my skin looks amazing now, it has really helped clear the old scarring and I have no spots. I just use la Roche possay Dermo cleanser, la Roche possay toleraine fluide ultra moisturiser and a skin ceuticals SPF and use the Epiduo instead of the moisturiser 2-3 nights a week and it’s worked a miracle. I’ve previously tried cutting dairy, all refined sugar, wheat, eggs, you name it. Nothing made a difference. Also long term antibiotics, all topical antibiotic creams etc didn’t really work. Also spent thousands on n-lite laser treatment and v expensive jan Marini skin products which did work in conjunction with each other but that is an expensive and lengthy process.
Definitely give the Epiduo a go.

teta Sat 14-Nov-20 10:55:29

I echo what someone has said earlier.
Cerave is brill.
The S.A cleanser is brilliant for mild spots as it has salicylic acid in , plus it's gentle and non -drying. The moisturisers are also good.
Epiduo can be prescribed online without a derm. Appointment . Benzoyl peroxide is an exfoliant and is also in Epiduo along with Adapalene. It can leave your face very red and sore unless you moisturise well.

Separatedandabitsad Sat 14-Nov-20 11:06:34

Thanks for all of that information.

I started using the Cerave foaming cleanser for not so to oily skin a few weeks ago.

It’s sounding like I have PCOS. I was on the pill for years and the acne flared up when I came off of. It can clear for a couple of months but when it comes back, it comes back with a bang.

OP’s posts: |
Separatedandabitsad Sat 14-Nov-20 11:07:56


Could I ask what part of your regime Comcast wrinkles too (a big problem for me right now!). Is it the Tretinoin? Why isn’t everyone on tretinoin?

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Separatedandabitsad Sat 14-Nov-20 11:08:13

*combats wrinkles

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teta Sat 14-Nov-20 11:08:25

Incidentally The Independent Pharmacy ( online prescribing site) has a very useful guide on the pros n cons of the different acne medications.

Separatedandabitsad Sat 14-Nov-20 11:09:02

*normal to oily

Sorry for my typos

OP’s posts: |
Ardnassa Sat 14-Nov-20 11:29:23

@Separatedandabitsad I believe it is mostly the Tretinoin and possibly a bit of the Vit C. And I suppose for completeness' sake, the Skinoren is good for tackling potential age spots and other pigmentation.

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