Some of these adults may have acne-free skin during their teens, only to find themselves experiencing acne for the first time while in their mid-twenties and upwards. In some countries, the median age of those with adult acne is now approaching 30, and acne persisting beyond the age of 25 is likely to continue for 10 – 20 years.
Teenage acne tends to present on the forehead, nose and chin, otherwise known as the T-zone. Adult acne is more confined to the cheeks, jawline and neck, and the lesions tend to be deeper and more cystic. A recent study showed that more than 40% of adult males, and 40% of adult females are affected.
It is not fully understood why adult acne is on the rise. It could be that more adults are developing acne. Another reason could be that more adults are admitting to acne and are coming forward to seek treatment.
Some dermatologists believe that adult acne is increasing due to small hormonal fluctuations that cannot be detected by routine blood tests. There may also be an alteration in the responsiveness of the hair follicle, with possibly a decline in serum levels associated with ageing.
Diet and synthetic hormones, found in food and the environment, are also thought to be causes of acne in adults. Stress, a modern-day phenomenon in our lives, is another culprit. Work, a new job, examinations and relationships during the period of life from the mid-twenties to the mid-forties are recognized as common stress triggers. These stress triggers form a vicious cycle – stress causes acne, acne causes more stress and low self-esteem, and stress further aggravates the acne.
The Effects Of Adult Acne
Just as teenagers with acne may find it affects their social life, there is also a good chance that adult acne causes a huge impact on social life and self-esteem . Doctors and mental health experts have come to realize that acne suffered by adults is likely to have much greater long-term social, physical and psychological effects (including depression) than teenage acne.
To matters worse, dermatologists agree that adult acne is much more likely to leave physical scars. People suffering from adult acne are more vulnerable to scarring than teens suffering from teenage acne. This is because the ageing process reduces the skin’s collagen. Acne scars will not heal as well as in young skin. Many adults are so self-conscious about their acne that they have difficulty admitting to it and may delay seeking treatment until it is too late.
If you were prone to acne as a teenager, then there is a higher chance that the acne will return in later life. Even though the acne may not be as severe as during your teenage years, adult acne can sometimes be more difficult to treat.
Therefore, seek treatment early to minimize the chances of acne scarring. Early treatment is the best treatment for adult acne.