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Adult Acne: On the Rise


Gone are the days when acne is just for teens, the reality is that there is an increasing incidence of adult onset acne not only in North America but all over the world.

Acne is one of the most common skin conditions and it can occur at any age even in newborn babies. More and more adults especially women from their 30’s and beyond suffer from this frustrating skin problem. Some adults who never experienced acne as teens can have it for the first time.

Maybe the world is getting too stressful that our hormones cannot handle it any longer. In a recent clinico-epidemiological study of adult acne they found out that stress is a common factor because it stimulates production of androgens ( also known as male sex hormone) which makes our oil glands active therefore clogging the hair follicles which may lead to acne. Just like in teenagers genetics and hormones may still play a role in adult onset acne.

Adult acne is also commonly seen in women in their perimenopausal and menopausal stage because of the fluctuating hormonal levels. Also, comedone (blackheads and whiteheads) is rare compared to teen acne which is composed mostly of blackheads and whiteheads . Acne in adults is more swollen, red and cystic and affects the cheeks and lower half of the face. Facial scarring is also prominent in majority of cases.

One piece of advice, when buying any skin and hair products consumers should read the label and make sure it’s non comedogenic hypoallergenic and oil free. Creams sometimes cause the skin to break out so try looking for water based moisturizers.

Acne is a chronic condition so your dermatologist or skin care provider will try to find an acne plan that best suits your skin. What is good for one patient may not be effective for you so try to be patient since acne may be triggered by several factors. Treatments are available for adults experiencing acne and this include several acne preparations and procedures like photodynamic therapy (PDT), facial iontophoresis, intralesional injection for cystic acne.

American Academy of Dermatologists suggests some tips for clearer skin:

  • Wash face twice a day and after sweating .Perspiration can make acne worse, so wash skin as soon as possible after sweating.

  • Use your fingertips to apply a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser. Using washcloth, mesh sponge can irritate the skin.

  • Be gentle with your skin. Use gentle products, such as those that are alcohol-free. Do not use products that irritate your skin, which may include astringents, toners and exfoliants. Dry, red skin makes acne appear worse.

  • Scrubbing your skin can make acne worse so do not attempt to scrub your skin.

  • Rinse with lukewarm water

  • Shampoo regularly because oily hair can irritate skin

  • Let skin heal naturally

  • Keep your hands off your face

  • Stay out of the sun and tanning beds

  • If all else fails consult a skin expert

ABOUT OUR GUEST AUTHOR

Manuel Octaviano is a Physician in the Philippines, he is a Fellow of the Anti Ageing Medical Society and a member of Philippine Academy of Clinical and Cosmetic Dermatology. Manny is the president of Melanin Aesthetics and Laser Clinic in Surrey,BC. He also trains for Nubody Equipment Ltd., Canada. Manny's office, Melanin Aesthetics and Laser Clinic is located at 10342 Whalley Blvd, Surrey BC. You can find more information at http://www.melaninlaserclinic.com

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