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Acne in Women at 35

If you're a woman who's 35 years old, you probably thought you'd be done with acne by now. But you probably didn't realize that acne -- pimples, blackheads, whiteheads and inflammation -- affects about half of all adult women at some point in their lives, according to the website 1. Fortunately, 35-year-old women have a variety of options to treat their acne.


Overuse of cosmetics also may contribute to pimple formation, and simple stress -- common in women in their 30s, who often need to juggle careers and families -- also can help to trigger acne.

Over-the-Counter Treatment

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Women might turn first to their corner drugstore looking for acne treatments. Many of the products there treat teenagers more effectively than adults and can dry out adults' skin too much, so be careful what you choose, warns the American Academy of Dermatology 2. You might look for acne-fighting cosmetics formulated specifically for adult women, which can be less irritating and drying than other products 1. In addition, products that contain sulfur with sodium sulfacetamide can help some adults, including 35-year-old women.

Prescription Treatment

Because adult acne often resists efforts at treatment, you may need to visit your dermatologist to obtain prescription help 1. Your dermatologist can offer a prescription for a topical retinoid such as Retin-A, which also might help you erase the initial signs of aging common in 35-year-old women. In addition, topical medications combining an antibiotic such as erythromycin or clindamycin with benzoyl peroxide can help fight the bacteria that cause acne, according to the American Academy of Dermatology 2.


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If you're a 35-year-old woman, it's possible that your hormones are playing a role in your acne development, according to Women frequently experience breakouts at times when their hormones are shifting, such as right before or during their periods, during pregnancy or at menopause. If this seems to be the case for you, your physician might recommend trying oral contraceptives to control your hormonal swings and eventually your acne.


Many 35-year-old women need help from a dermatologist to clear bad cases of adult acne, since acne that develops in the adult years often resists treatment more stubbornly than teenage acne, according to the American Academy of Dermatology 12. However, regardless of which treatment you ultimately choose, you'll need to develop and perfect your skin-care routine, making sure to carefully cleanse your skin but never to scrub it. And make sure to check any skin-care products you use for a label that states the product does not promote acne formation.