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Help! I Have Adult Acne

Suffering through acne during the teenage years is typically a rite of passage (albeit an unwelcome one). But having breakouts as an adult? That just feels unfair. Fortunately, a number of treatment options are available for smoother, clearer skin.

Dr. Carmelo Plateroti and our top notch staff offer state-of-the-art treatments for a wide range of dermatology and aesthetic concerns at Plateroti Dermatology in Templeton, California. We couple Western medicine and holistic care for an integrative approach that provides the best possible results — including in the treatment of adult acne.

Acne causes

Although acne is often thought of as a teenage affliction, it can strike adults as well. There can be a number of factors contributing to it.

Hormone levels that fluctuate particularly around a woman's period, when starting or stopping birth control pills, and during pregnancy, perimenopause, and menopause can lead to breakouts. Stress, family history, certain medications, and some undiagnosed medical conditions can also contribute to acne. Hair and skin care products can play a role as well.

Acne locations and types

Acne often appears on the face, but breakouts can also occur on the back, chest, arms, and buttocks.

The two most benign types are whiteheads and blackheads. Both are non-inflammatory and appear as small bumps with a white center and as tiny dark spots, respectively.

Other kinds include pustules, which are larger whiteheads, hard bumps known as papules, and nodules (the bigger version of papules). Cysts are very large lumps frequently containing pus that are found deep under the skin. All of these are inflammatory and can cause scarring.


The good news is that a number of treatment options are available. Our regimens are customized to the individual and their unique situation. They may include one of the following or a combination of several.

Topical treatments

Solutions, creams, and/or ointments applied to the skin every day can help clear up acne.

Oral medications

Medications taken by mouth such as antibiotics, oral contraceptives, and/or medications specific to acne can assist in reducing breakouts.


Measured UV light exposure with phototherapy can also help clear up skin.

Other options

For people with nodules and cysts, there are several additional treatment possibilities such as extractions performed in the office or steroid injections.


For anyone suffering from acne, prevention is a key component in addition to treatment. Be sure to seek out skin products that are oil-free, non-comedogenic, and/or indicate that they will not clog pores. In addition, avoid sun exposure as much as possible, and be sure to shower after sweating.

If you're suffering from acne and want smoother, clearer skin, click our “request appointment” button today, or call us at 805-434-2526 to make an appointment for a personalized skin care plan.

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