Common Adult Acne
The majority of us suffer from acne during our adolescence and many people think of it as a condition which only affects teenagers. They might be surprised to know that increasingly acne sufferers can be found into middle age and beyond. In fact around 25% of men and 50% of women suffer from adult acne at any one time and the market for adult acne treatments has never been greater.
Acne Vulgaris or common acne is primarily caused by hormonal imbalances, hence its association with the onset of puberty. At this time the body massively increases the production of the male hormone Androgen in both males and females. These hormones over stimulate the Sebaceous Glands at the base of each hair follicle causing them to over produce a substance known as Sebum which in turn blocks the pores. Bacteria then feed upon this accumulation of Sebum leading to the creation of the red, pus filled, pimples we are all so familiar with.
This association of acne with hormonal changes is likely to be one of the main reasons that more adult women than men tend to suffer from adult acne. Many women will have noticed a tendency to suffer from pre-menstrual flares as hormonal changes in their bodies are reflected on their skin. An additional factor which will increase the number of women affected by adult acne are the effects of contraception. These essentially work by increasing the levels of male hormones in the woman’s body, which as we have seen is a major cause of acne.
Another factor which can increase the levels of testosterone in the body is the effect of stress. In stressful situations both males and females will produce Testosterone as part of the bodies natural ‘ fight or run away’ defense system. With the increase in women taking positions of responsibility in all aspects of society, the effects of stress have become an increasing problem.
Dietary factors also have a large part to play in the increase in the numbers suffering from adult acne. The skin is the largest organ of the human body and is a good indicator of the general health of that person. It is known that a diet high in sugar, salts and saturated fats is bad for skin health as are high intakes of alcohol and the effects of smoking.
Adult Acne or Rosacea?
A condition often confused with adult acne is Rosacea, sometimes confusingly known as Acne Rosacea. This is a swelling of the blood vessels just beneath the skin which causes the skin to appear red and is sometimes accompanied by pimples. It has no known cause or cure and appears to be a condition found almost exclusively amongst those of North West European descent where it is sometimes known as the ‘curse of the celts’.
Adult acne treatments are essentially the same as those intended for adolescents. There are many products available over the counter in the form of creams and washes, the most common ingredient of which is Benzoyl peroxide. This can be quite a harsh chemical for some skin types and can lead to excessive drying of the skin. One of the newer acne products contains an active ingredient extracted from brown seaweed. This has similar abrasive and antibacteriological properties to the more traditional methods of acne treatment but is more moisturizing and kinder to the skin.
Some adults carry with them the evidence of acne in their younger years in the form of acne scars. This is a condition which a dermatologist will be very familiar with and for which they have developed very effective treatments. The affected skin will either be removed by means of a laser or a process of dermabrasion, both methods achieving a very high success rate.
With the use of acne creams and washes the effects of adult acne can be greatly reduced or even eliminated. By making a few lifestyle changes to your diet and exercise regime you can greatly aid this process. Women can consider changes to any methods of contraception they may use or change to a type which incorporates an acne treatment.
Investigate cosmetics which may be kinder to the skin and re-apply them regularly during the day after cleansing your skin. By taking a few active steps there is no reason why you cannot control or completely eliminate your adult acne.pennyjmay