Date: May 18, 2023

Author: Kateri Swavely-Verenna


Acne is a word usually associated with teenagers and puberty. But unfortunately elderly acne is becoming more common and can be frustrating to see when you look in the mirror.

Acne in the Elderly

Acne in elderly adults can be caused by a number of things, including:

  • Changes in hormones. Hormones change as we age and these changes can cause acne. This is particularly true for women. Women can experience acne during pregnancy, perimenopause, and menopause. Acne caused by menopause is often difficult to treat using over-the-counter medications or cleansers and often requires treatment from a dermatologist. Once under a dermatologist’s care, the acne can be treated and cured.

  • Stress. While it sometimes seems like stress is the cause of nearly every malady that exists, times of extreme stress can cause you to break out at any age. Managing stress and anxiety can help relieve acne symptoms. There are simple breathing exercises that can relieve stress. Yoga and tai chi are also excellent ways for seniors to exercise and manage stress and tension. Sticking to a sleep schedule can also help relieve tension and give skin a chance to rest and rejuvenate.

  • Medication. Some medications can cause acne. Antidepressants and chemotherapy drugs are two that often cause acne. Check your labels and see if acne is listed as a side effect. Remember if you do think your acne is caused by your medication, do not stop taking it. Make yourself a note to talk to your doctor at your next appointment. If you don’t want to wait or don’t want to schedule an appointment just for acne, remember most doctors have an online messaging portal you can use to contact them between appointments.

  • Hair and skincare products. Double check the labels on your shampoo and body wash and make sure they include words like “won’t clog pores” and “oil-free.” Remember your skin changes as you age, so shampoo you loved twenty years ago may no longer make your skin happy.

Download Our Aging Diet Guide

Elderly Acne Treatment

Elderly acne removal is generally accomplished with over-the-counter face cleansers or creams. If necessary, your doctor or dermatologist may prescribe additional medication. Remember not to pop your pimples as this can leave a scar. Some other tips for keeping your skin healthy and acne-free include:

  • Wash your face no more than twice per day.

  • Use cool or warm water and a gentle cleanser.

  • Use your hands or a baby washcloth (softer than a regular washcloth).

  • Pat the skin dry – don’t rub.

Acne can take several weeks to lessen and then clear completely. Continue taking any medication prescribed and following your healthy skin routine even if you don’t see results right away.

Date: May 18, 2023

Author: Kateri Swavely-Verenna


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