The choice of treatment for acne in adolescence may impact the risk of later scar formation when the condition persists into adulthood, shows a recent study published in Cutis.1 Opting for isotretinoin or topical retinoids rather than antibiotics when treating teens may help reduce that risk, the study authors suggest.
Both persistent adult acne, defined as acne that continues or reoccurs after adolescence, and late-onset acne are considered difficult cases as they can often be resistant to treatment.2 Adult skin also tends to be more sensitive to topical agents, which increase the risk of scarring.
Topical and oral retinoids have been successfully used for decades to treat acne, and their anti-inflammatory activity acts against comedones. American Academy of Dermatology guidelines also emphasize that retinoids have an important role to play in acne therapy.3
This study included 111 consecutive patients (101 women and 10 men) who visited the Nova Derm Dermatology Centre between May 2015 and January 2016 for adult acne. All patients were aged 25 years and older; 20 patients were aged 25–29 years; 61 were aged 30–39 years; and 30 were 40 years or older.
Ninety one patients (81.98%) had persistent adult acne, of which 68.13% described their disease as severe, but 43.96% of patients with persistent adult acne underwent no treat¬ment with antibiotics, isotretinoin or topical retinoids during adolescence.
1. Chlebus E, Chlebus M. The role of adolescent acne treatment in formation of scars Among patients with persistent adult acne: evidence from an observational study. Cutis. 2019;104(1):57-61.
2. Dréno B, Layton A, Zouboulis CC, et al. Adult female acne: a new paradigm. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2013;27(9):1063-70.
3. Zaenglein AL, Pathy AL, Schlosser BJ, et al. Guidelines of care for the management of acne vulgaris. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2016;74(5):945-73.e33.