Monday, 13 February 2012

Adult Acne - What Causes It?

According to the UK's National Health Service (NHS), around 80-90% of people between the ages of 13 and 18 will suffer from acne in some form or other in their lifetime.

Many acne sufferers, especially young people, will be able to treat themselves and manage their condition with medication purchased over the counter (without prescription). However, for some people more intensive treatment will be required and therefore a visit to the doctor or perhaps a dermatologist will be required. Many authorities on the subject suggest that by the time most young sufferers reach their early 20s they will no longer suffer from acne. Although occasionally people with extremely sensitive skin may continue to suffer from the condition well into their 40s. There is also late onset acne which is only experienced when someone reaches adulthood.

Acne has no gender preference and both men or women can fall prey to this condition. However there are differing types of skin irritation and spots. It has been said that men tend to get more severe, longer lasting acne whereas women may be more likely to get the condition due to hormonal issues, menstrual cycle, and even as a result of a reaction to cosmetics used on their skin.

Widespread statistics would also suggest that men are less likely than women to seek advice for their acne from a dermatologist.

Acne and Hormones

Sex hormones play a major part in the flourishing of acne, as do hormones generally. During puberty, large amounts of hormones are produced, including testosterone which is the main hormone produced by males and progesterone and oestrogen which are the main female hormones. Interestingly enough, women also produce testosterone as oestrogen is made up from testosterone by special cells found in the ovaries. However not all of this testosterone is used therefore some of it will pass into the blood stream and work its way around the body. Testosterone is the hormone that encourages the sebaceous glands to expand and become over stimulated thereby accelerating the condition of acne.

Differing types of acne

Many types of acne have been recognised by dermatologists and some are listed below.

· Occupational acne

· Adolescent acne

· Infantile acne

· Keloid acne

· Cosmetic induced acne

· Drug induced acne

Each of the above listed types of acne can become apparent in people of any age, apart obviously from infantile acne which as the name suggests only becomes apparent in babies.

The most common form of acne is the adolescent type which is mainly due to the increased hormone levels during puberty.

Drug induced acne can be caused by medication or some types of drugs.

Cosmetic induced acne can be caused by using certain types of cosmetics too frequently.

Keloid acne is usually thought of as a more severe type of acne and usually manifests itself by way of bumpy unpleasant spots.

Occupational acne is generally caused by close contact with harsh chemicals.


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