Adult Acne is it worse than Teenage Acne?

Adult acne


50% of all adult women and 25% of all adult men will be affected by acne.

Some may have acne on their body and around one third will incur facial scarring.

There have been reports saying that dermatologists are now seeing more adult acne cases than in former years. (1)

Dermatologists have stated that roughly 75% of teenagers aged 12-24 will have acne of some kind.

This could be severe, moderate or mild. A lot of these teenagers will need to see a dermatologist to get prescriptions to clear this up or they will need over the counter medications. (2)

Both adults and teens struggle with acne in many ways. It can be very challenging physically and emotionally and even cause depression and anxiety when in social situations.

The products used to treat adult acne and teenage acne will be different as they will need to accommodate the specific person that is using them.

The function and quality of skin is extremely different between a 15 year old and a 50 year old, therefore adult acne and teenage acne are very different from each other.

One main difference between the acne in teenagers and adults is oily skin.

If you are a teenager that is suffering with acne you are likely to be afflicted by oily skin mainly around the t-zone.

Most adults will either have dry or oily skin and it’s the excess oil production along with dead skin and microbes that result in pimples, whiteheads and blackheads.

In some cases, adult acne can cause even more problems because it is usually accompanied by dry skin.

A lot of people believe that moisturizers and face creams can make acne worse, therefore they do not use it and this along with the dry skin, causes a rebound oil production.

Although it may seem that adults cope with the emotional side of acne better than teenagers, it affects everyone in different ways for example, men growing beards to cover it up or women not wanting to leave the house without any make up on.

“It is always advised for adults to seek advice from a dermatologist before buying any over the counter products as these are mainly used to treat acne for teenage skin.”

Natural products seem to be more successful for adults, whereas teenagers may benefit more from using products that remove oil from the skin.

Adults are more likely to suffer from scarring of the skin with acne.

This is due to older skin not being able to heal as well or as quickly as teenage skin. As a result of this, a dermatologist maybe required to remove the scar tissue.

Benzyl peroxide is believed by some dermatologists to be the best product to treat adult acne.

In order to achieve the best results with this, it must be applied in a specific way to avoid drying the skin and producing added redness.

A lot of adults have found that by using 2.5% benzyl peroxide they see noticeable positive results.

To allow benzyl peroxide to penetrate easily, prepare the skin first with a face wash and this will remove surface oils and allows the product to work better.

The way benzyl peroxide works is by oxygenating the skin.

In some studies, using 2.5% benzyl peroxide has been found to be just as productive as 5 & 10% however; it is a lot less irritating to the skin.

Individuals have found that if you increase the amount of benzyl peroxide used, the efficiency of the product will also increase.

Use a good moisturizer to reduce flaking of your skin and keep your skin balanced after all treatments.

The success of benzyl peroxide as a treatment seems to be the same in both teenagers and adults.

It is also apparent that teenagers react better to salicylic acid, which is a very common ingredient in a lot of over the counter products compared to adults.


(1) Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology: The Prevalence of Acne in Adults 20 Years and Older

(2) British journal of Dermatology: The Prevalence of Acne Vulgaris in Adolescence


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