Adult Acne and Acne Medication: Why Not Meds?

In last week's post, I discussed a few of the various types of medications that are sometimes prescribed for acne.

As an Virtual Skincare Coach specializing in acne conditions in adults 30+, I've noticed for years that many people who come to me for help have been disappointed by prescriptions that either simply didn't work or actually appeared to make things worse.  I have indeed seen skin clearance with medications as well - after all, prescriptions are not given based on nothing. They do sometimes help.

So why do medications disappoint so much of the time?

Adult Acne and Acne Medication: Why Meds?

As an Online Esthetician working exclusively with Adult Acne for people 30+ for the last decade or so, many clients come to me after being disappointed by doctors.  From differing hormone levels, to greater dead skin cell buildup as we get older, to a plethora of anti-aging products, there are so many new issues that arise over the decades, it baffles me how often people seem to get treated medically the same, irrespective of age.  

In general, I feel that throughout much of the medical profession, adult acne is not really well understood for one very simple reason - pore clogging and irritating ingredients in anti-aging skincare are not taken into account.  It's no accident that so much of the time a client will start out telling me that she never had a single pimple in high school - a definite indication her acne problem is not genetic!  What this means is that oil and bacteria may not be a problem in a case like this.

So why prescribe medication ?

All prescription acne meds are designed to either cut oil production, exfoliate dead skin cells or kill bacteria - and here's where it gets complicated.  If bacteria, excess oil production and/or dead skin cell build-up were all that were involved in the formation of adult acne, a string of prescriptions would likely do the trick for most people, and I would still be working in a fancy spa on the south side of Chicago doing fluff facials.  

What is missing here?  Why are these medications so often not helping?