Treating acne in adults

How we treat acne in adults

By Dr. Fatima Ahmed

Acne is often looked upon as one of those rites of passage that you have to go through in your teenage years as you transition to adulthood. But for some people, it persists into their twenties, thirties and even forties. For others, it clears up – only to flare up again when they thought they had long left their teenage troubles behind. The good news is that if you are an adult with acne, we have effective treatments that can dramatically improve the appearance of your skin.


The causes of acne in adults

Acne in adults is caused by the same combination of factors that leads to acne as we hit puberty.

It’s caused by the normally harmless acne bacterium, which we all have, but which presents problems when there is an excessive production of oil, leading the bacteria to multiply. The combination of excess oil and dead skin cells leads to blockages of the follicles, causing whiteheads and blackheads; the presence of extra bacteria leads to infection and inflammation, resulting in red or pus-filled spots. In addition, there is the complication of scarring from the spots, leaving a permanent – and sometimes even disfiguring – a reminder of the acne.


Treating acne in adults

We have a whole range of treatments for improving acne and acne scars. However, most adults who come to see me have been treated in the past as they have had the condition before, or have lived with it continuously since puberty and are still struggling with it. With adults, I therefore normally recommend that we treat the conditions with antibiotics straight away to bring it under control. Antibiotics for a normal infection are generally prescribed for seven to ten days; with acne, I recommend that patients take them for two to three months (this is a long time, but once we’ve got on top of the infection and inflammation, you don’t need to carry on taking them).



When the condition is under control, we can then move onto less invasive techniques to keep it at bay, including our fabulous cleanser and topical creams. I will also recommend that you look up the British Association of Dermatologists [] to understand what lifestyle changes you can make to help reduce the chances of another flare up.


Treating acne scars

Once we have cleared up your spots, we will then assess your skin to see whether you have any scarring from your acne. If you have, we offer a range of treatments to reduce the appearance of the scars; these generally work by stimulating the production of elastin and collagen within the skin to improve the texture. They include chemical peels, derma rolling, Platelet Rich Plasma injections (also known as Vampire or Twilight treatments), CO2 laser fractional resurfacing and subcision (for deep scars).

Acne beyond your teenage years seems completely unfair – but you don’t have to live with it. We have treated many adults successfully, restoring their skin and their confidence.

Book a no-obligation consultation to discuss DPN treatment and other dermatology procedures with Dr Fatima Ahmed

Call 01892 22 22 22

Dr. Fatima AhmedMeet the expert

Dr Fatima Ahmed is a speciality doctor in dermatology and aesthetics, with special interests in acne, mole and skin lesion diagnosis.  With medical qualifications from Pakistan, Canada, the UK and USA, she achieved academic distinction at Cardiff University and received the Chancellor International Scholarship award at the University of Hertfordshire.  She has worked in South Asia, the Middle East and the UK.

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