Adult Acne: Growing stress levels to blame

Published: 18th January 2012
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Many view acne as a teenage condition. And many teens that are plagued by the condition get some consolation from the belief that they will grow out of it. Unfortunately this is often not the case.

Half of acne sufferers are aged from their mid-twenties and thirties onwards, showing that acne is now a curse that afflicts sufferers throughout their lives. 1.25 million women over the age of 40 have acne.

A depressing thought for many is that one in five will still develop this painful and unsightly condition after they have turned 25, even if they never suffered from spots as a teenager.

Persistent acne can be thought of as genetic; if you had it as a baby or if there is family history of it you are more likely to suffer from it persistently. Stress is thought to be one of the main reasons behind adult acne. We all know how hormones are responsible for acne and as stress instigates the adrenal glands to release male hormones which trigger an excess in the oil production which blocks your pores and causes the outbreaks.

Although the reasons are not yet fully understood, adult acne is also said to take a different form to teenage acne according to a study by Nantes University Hospital in France.

Adult acne is more likely to be more cystic and harder-to-treat spots that form deeper under the skin, in comparison to adolescents, whose eruptions often occur around the T-zone (forehead, nose and chin). Adult acne is also said to be more sporadic, with approximately 85 per cent of women stating their attacks occur prior to and during their menstrual cycle.

The sebaceous glands on a woman’s skin are more sensitive to the male hormones, which could be a reason why women are up to three times more likely to suffer from acne than men.

Two studies have found that female smokers are more prone to more frequent and serious bouts of acne; at least a fifth of women in the UK are smokers. Vitamin E is vital for skin repair and this is depleted by nicotine, which also increases the production of sebum.

A ‘significant rise’ has been seen in the number of older women suffering with the condition over the past twenty years according to Dr Susannah Baron, a consultant dermatologist of the Kent and Canterbury Hospital and the Chaucer BMI Hospital.
Dr Baron said: ‘It’s time to re-evaluate who we think gets acne. It’s not recognised enough how much it affects the lives of adult women. For many, it kicks in in later life when they have to juggle families and careers at the same time. Many of the female patients I see also have stressful jobs and a lot to deal with. Interestingly, many of them did not have significant acne as teenagers.’

De-stressing is an obvious answer to this particular problem, but it is not simple to change a lifestyle overnight. It is sensible to advise that this type of acne should still be treated appropriately with medication, whilst the person considers their lifestyle and changes they may need to make to help improve their acne.

Whatever the reason someone may have acne, they can still successfully treat it. There's simply no reason for someone to suffer the misery of acne - whatever their age. Aknicare® works effectively on all skin types and ages and has been proven to be the only acne treatment that changes the environment in the skin and targets the four key criteria that the ideal acne care regime needs to:

• Effectively Reduce Oil Production (the only topical treatment proven to do so) - prevents oily skin and stops blockages developing
• Effectively Reduce Skin Thickening - by normalising skin cell production rather than stripping the skin to keep the hair follicle ducts open
• Effectively Control and Reduce Acne Bacteria - without causing antibiotic resistant strains and protecting good skin and gut bacteria
• Effectively calms and sooths Inflammation FAST - to reduce scarring risk and un-slightly inflamed spots

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