Adult acne: They trouble women more than men

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Women are prone to adult acne. A study at the University of Alabama in Birmingham say that adult women are more likely to experience the outbreak of acne than adult men. Researchers came to this conclusion after examining the prevalence of this condition in people aged 20 and older. In fact, according to another study from Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, about 50 per cent of women in their 20s, one-third in their 30s and one-quarter in their 40s suffer from the condition.

These studies prove that if you think that acne is a teenage problem and you are way past it now, you couldn’t be more wrong. You may be at risk of it even if you are in your 20s, 30s, 40s or even 50s. The studies also prove that if you are a woman, this is especially true for you. Acne is a very common skin disorder that sets in at puberty and disappears when you enter your 20s. But this inflammatory skin disorder, that can often leave scars on your skin, can also affect adults.

Adult women over 20 years more prone to acne than men: Study

Researchers from the University of Alabama in Birmingham confirm that a significant number of adults continue to be plagued by acne well beyond their teenage years. According to them, women experience acne at higher rates than their male counterparts across all age groups beyond 20 years of age. They came to this conclusion after surveying a random sample of men and women aged 20 and older to determine the prevalence of persistent acne that continued after adolescence or new adult-onset acne. It was also seen that acne conditions became worse during menstruation and around the time of menopause. This may be due to hormonal changes that happen during this time. This study was published online in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

The causes of adult acne

Adult acne occurs for the same reasons as adolescence acne. Hormonal fluctuations, production of excess oil by sebaceous glands and the presence of bacteria are a few of the causes behind this condition. It may also be hereditary. Smokers are more at risk and the use of certain oral contraceptives can further aggravate the situation. A few other medications, like corticosteroids, anti-depressants and a few drugs used in epilepsy treatments can also lead to the onset of adult acne. Excessive use of cosmetic can give you acne by clogging your pores. Stress is another factor as is an unhealthy diet and a lack of exercise.

Treatment options

There are no medicines that can successfully cure acne. It can reduce the severity and treat the symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe some over-the-counter medication for topical application. Antibiotics are also sometimes used. But researchers from Rutgers University say that now physicians are scaling back on prescribing antibiotics for long-term acne treatment in favour of a combinations of therapies.

Researchers say that prolonged use of antibiotics can affect the microbiome in areas other than the skin. This can result in health disorders. They say that people who use topical and oral antibiotics were three times as likely to show an increase of bacteria in the back of their throat and tonsils compared with non-users. Long-term use of antibiotics in acne treatment can increase upper respiratory infections and skin bacteria and have a negative effect on a person’s blood-sugar level.

Hence, more and more physicians are now using combination therapies for adult acne treatment. For example, your doctor may recommend the use of the anti-bacterial medication benzoyl peroxide along with topical retinoids.

What you can do to deal with adult acne

Acne can be controlled and treated. But it cannot be cured. The skin eruptions stop on its own once you reach your 50s and 60s. According to researchers from the American Academy of Dermatology, you can deal with adult acne by keeping in mind a few important things.

If you have acne, you must never ever try to scratch or rub it out. Squeezing is also a big mistake. This will leave scars which are really difficult to get rid of. Keep your hands away from your face at all times. You must also wash your face 2 to 3 times every day with a mild soap and water. Pat it dry afterwards. When buying cosmetics, go for the oil-free variety. These are less likely to clog your pores. The same goes for your hair too. Use oil-free hair products and keep your hair clean. If the acne outbreak is too severe, consult a doctor.

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