How to Get Rid of Cystic Acne Without a Prescription

Dacy Knight
PHOTO:

Imaxtree

The embarrassing breakouts that punctuated our middle and high school years were almost like rites of passage. Our parents gave us gentle words of encouragement, reminding us that it was "just a phase" that one day we'd "grow out of." But for many, adulthood doesn't make one immune to acne. Bad skin is something that can stick with us, or even come and go unexpectedly and almost always at the most inopportune times. Doctors Gary and Kristina Goldenberg, MDs, of Goldenberg Dermatology in New York City, say that the number of adult women with acne that they see in their practice has been growing every year. "In fact, adult women are the fastest growing segment of patients with acne," they note. "Some of these patients never had acne as teenagers, or had very mild acne, and developed acne as adults in their 20s, 30s, 40s, or even as late as [their] 50s."

As the Goldenbergs explained, there are several contributing factors. The dermatologists list hormonal imbalance, genetics, diet, and outside elements like skincare and makeup as potential causes, noting that for most patients it's a combination of these factors—but "hormones are the main cause." Because of that, getting to the root of the problem has a lot to do with rebalancing hormones. So while "treatment usually requires a combination of topical creams, pills (such as antibiotics or Accutane), injections with steroid medicine, or laser and light devices," modifications to one's lifestyle are also important. We've highlighted the Goldenbergs' top picks here. Head below to see the number one lifestyle component that contributes to cystic acne and how to change it for clearer skin.

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