Acne is the most common skin problem that people have to contend with in the United States. But unfortunately, it is not just a teenage problem that ends after high school. The American Academy of Dermatology reports 80 percent of adults between the ages of 20 and 30 suffer from mild to moderate acne. Even as an adult, fluctuating hormones can cause acne flare ups. Androgens are hormones released from the adrenal glands, the ovaries, and the testes. These hormones stimulate the sebaceous glands, increasing oil production and creating a skin that is more prone to comedones, or breakouts.
Acne Issues in Women
However, over half of all women, regardless of age, suffer from some form of acne. For some women, the first time they had acne was when they reached adulthood, which is known as on-set acne. For other women, their acne never stopped from childhood into adulthood; this is called persistent acne. Adult onset acne most commonly affects women. Sharp hormonal fluctuations which lead to acne often occur during ovulation and menstruation, pregnancy, per menopause, menopause, and can also be caused by using certain birth control medications. Women may see their acne suddenly develop, or worsen, during these periods of life.
Acne Problems in Men
While acne strikes adult women at a greater rate than men, men are not immune to acne. Acne in adult men usually starts in the teen years and stays with them into adulthood. Men tend to have more severe and longer lasting acne than women, because of the higher levels of testosterone within the body. It is not uncommon for acne in men to last 10 years or more, if left untreated. The reason for acne is not just gender related; acne also tends to run in families. If one of your parents had acne at any point in their lives, your risk of adult onset acne is higher. In addition, adults with oily skin types are more prone to acne breakouts, and skin type is hereditary as well.
Adult acne can be frustrating, but don’t give up hope. Acne treatments have improved tremendously, and nearly every case of adult onset acne can be successfully controlled with the right treatment. As a board-certified dermatologist and fellowship-trained cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Umar at FineTouch Dermatology would evaluate your condition and customize the most effective treatment for you. He would advise the best option for you, or a combination of treatments. Apart from the conventional topical and oral treatment modalities, Dr. Umar employs the use of light treatment technologies (e.g. Clear Light-100) to treat your acne, while at the same time rejuvenating your skin. Clear Light-100 is the latest non-invasive and most effective light treatment technology for the treatment of acne and skin rejuvenation. It is ideal for patients who are unable to comply with a strict acne medication regimen for lifestyle reasons. A series of treatment (each lasting 20 minutes) is completed over the course of 4-8 weeks. This treatment can be used alone or in combination with light sensitizers in a protocol called photodynamic therapy for more severe acne. The result is sustained resolution of acne for up to 6-8 months at a time.
For more information or to set up an appointment with a dermatologist, please call our clinic at (310)318-1500.