Twenty-five years with acne

Patient

Q: I am 37 and I have had acne since I was 12. I stopped seeing a doctor 10 years ago because she said the only treatment option left for me was Accutane, but I did not want to take it due to cost and side affects. OTC treatments do not work. Is there any chance that my acne will ever go away on its own? Is it possible that I will still have acne when I retire?

Doctor

A:   Stress, bad cosmetics, hormones and birth control pills are some of the common causes of acne during this age. Stress and hormonal changes cause the sebaceous glands to overact and cause breakouts. Thus with the stabilisation of your hormones and reduction in stress levels alongwith a healthy diet and fat free foods would be beneficial for prevention of acne. Cleansers with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid may be used and do not exfoliate too much or scrub too hard. Also Over-the-counter creams and lotions usually take two weeks to work and need to be used continuously in order to remain effective. You may have to consider accutane or other drug options for the treatment if all other methods fail to clear your acne.

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