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Common Acne Questions From Patients In Their 30s

Many of my patients who dropped by for acne consultation are men and women in their late 30s. Some of them have been suffering from acne since puberty, but some recently develop them in their adulthood. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions from my patients.

What does a doctor prescribe for acne?

Acne treatment prescribed by a doctor will depend on the condition of your acne such as the severity of acne lesions, acne scars, and so on. Creams and skincare products are usually the first line of treatment for most patients. Patients with more severe or persistent acne may require oral medications. Special treatment such as laser treatment, chemical peels or injectables may be necessary for patients with specific needs.

What can cause acne?

From a medical perspective, there are 3 main causative factors for facial acne. They are 1) skin sebaceous secretion 2) facial pore/duct blockage and 3) bacterial infection

Are acne and pimples the same thing?

Yes, they are. 

How do you fight hormonal acne?

Hormonal changes and imbalance will affect the activity of the sebaceous glands and also facial pores. The changes in the activities of these factors will lead to ‘flare-ups’ of acne. Hormonal acne is common in teenagers, pregnant mothers, before menstruation and certain medical conditions. Any medical condition should be treated if identified. After that, treatment will depend on the severity of the acne condition.

How can I stop getting pimples on my face?

You cannot ‘stop’ having pimples if your skin is prone to it. However, you can help to regulate or improve your acne condition by having a healthy diet with balanced nutrition and adequate vitamins, proper facial care and cleansing, sufficient sleep, avoid smoking and alcohol consumption. There are common ‘contributing factors’ that may cause or aggravate acne problems.

How can I clear up acne fast?

Treatment will depend on your acne severity and health condition. If appropriately tailored, you should respond swiftly and have your acne cleared up promptly.

Is Accutane the only cure for acne?

No. There are many oral and non-oral treatments that works well, depending on the condition.

Can acne be cured?

The right word is ‘controlled’. Acne can be controlled very well with proper care and treatment until your skin condition improved after some time. After that, you may have temporary or long term remission from acne.

Does acne spread if popped?

No. It does not spread with you ‘popping’ it. However, it may cause permanent scarring.

At what age does acne go away?

As mentioned earlier, acne can be caused by many different factors. It may appear or flare up when you are affected by those factors. However, as you age, sebaceous secretion and pore blockage improve gradually. In general, most patients will find that they will be less affected when they reach the ages of the mid-30s and above.

Does acne go away by itself?

It may improve spontaneously. Mild acne usually does not need treatment, unlike moderate or severe acne.