Adult Acne: It's a Lot More Common Than You Think
By Patricia Tyler
While it is true that acne most commonly appears during the teenage years, it is just as true that a large percentage of individuals suffer from adult acne. In fact, figures show that as much as 25 percent of men and 50 percent of women in their twenties up to their fifties still experience pimple flare-ups. Adult acne can have just as much negative psychological effects as adolescent acne - perhaps even more so. The stress of having a career or raising a family is bad enough. Having to deal with an unsightly skin problem at the same time would be even worse.
Adult acne can be caused by several things, one of which is mental stress. The body can react to stress by increasing the secretions of the skin's sebaceous glands or by releasing more hormones from the adrenal glands. Oils from the sebaceous glands can block pores, while a greater amount of hormones in the body can cause hormonal imbalance - both of which can give rise to acne flare-ups or exacerbate an existing acne condition.
It is not surprising that women suffer from adult acne more than men do, since women are more prone to hormonal imbalance. It is known that changes in hormone levels can occur during menstruation and pregnancy. But men, too, are subject to hormonal changes, though not to the extreme level that most women undergo. In any case, hormones play a great role in the occurrence of acne in adults.
Lifestyle and environmental factors also contribute significantly to the emergence of adult acne. A diet that is poor in the necessary vitamins and minerals can wreak havoc on how the body's organs functions. The skin, being the largest organ in the body, needs nutrients in order to work effectively. If the skin is unable to metabolize or secrete the waste products that it needs to because of poor nutrition, acne can result. Habits such as smoking and drinking can also affect the skin's condition and its resistance to diseases like adult acne.
What is the best way to deal with adult acne? Like many other ailments, prevention is the key. Make sure that a proper diet is being followed; get enough rest; try to find ways to alleviate stress; maintain proper hygiene to prevent dust from accumulating and blocking the pores. Washing the face once or twice a day and using hypoallergenic or noncomedogenic cosmetics and other personal care products can go a long way towards preventing adult acne.
Treatment options abound for persons with adult acne, however mild or severe their condition may be. Dermatologists may recommend anti-acne medications to be taken in conjunction with other skin care products. More severe cases - such as those involving infection - can be treated with antibiotics to prevent complications. Very severe cases of adult acne have several therapeutic regimes, such as microdermabrasion and laser surgery. A person suffering from adult acne, whatever the level of severity, should consult a dermatologist or other qualified professionals to get the treatment option that is the most suitable for him or her.