The awkward teen years may be over, but don’t be surprised if one annoyance in particular follows you into your 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond. Acne is not just for kids, since the characteristic blackheads and bumps are more common in adults than most people would think. More than 25 percent of visits to the doctor to treat acne in 2008 were made by ladies between the ages of 35 and 60, according to research from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
In fact, it is estimated that as many as one out of every two adult women will experience acne at some point in her life.
“I think the reason for the increase in adult acne is in two parts,” said skin care expert Francesca Perino, quoted by the West Australian. “[One cause may be] our stressful lifestyle. We produce higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and this can lead to acne and breakouts.”
She suggested that another contributor may be a high-fat, sugary diet that consists of too much processed food, although the association between nutrition and acne is still unproven.
The condition is the result of clogged pores, which are filled with dirt, bacteria or dead skin cells. It can arise when hormonal fluctuations stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce too much oil, which then leads to inflammation.
This is when patients begin noticing signs such as comedones – plugged oil glands that are commonly known as whiteheads – or papules, which appear as small raised bumps that may occur in abundance on the face. Pastules, red spots called macules and pus-filled cysts can also appear.
Regardless of an individual’s age, acne can be distressing. Store shelves often groan from the weight of countless creams, gels and solutions that are supposed to cure the condition, but unfortunately, topical therapies take a long time to work or are not effective at all.
This is why many patients turn to laser acne treatments for relief, since the procedure targets the root of the issue. Light energy that penetrates the skin can kill the bacteria responsible for the condition, and is a safe, efficient treatment that is minimally invasive and allows individuals to get back to their daily routines with no downtime.
Whether an individual is 14 or 54, addressing acne in a prompt manner can help clarify skin and boost confidence.