Why Adult Acne Happens

As you all know, I have written several times about the condition of adult acne.  As common as teenage acne is, adult acne, while not as common, also causes the same kind of severe angst to those who have it.

Just like teenagers except perhaps more so, adults who get acne wonder why acne happens to them at their age, and how unfair it is.  Unlike teenagers, the information out that about adult acne is unfortunately more scarce.

A recent study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology entitled “Lifestyle Factors Associated With Adult Female Acne” sought to clarify causes and correlations in this difficult condition.  The researchers compared 248 women with acne, and 270 control women who had conditions other than acne.

The women in the study were on average in their mid-30s, and were analyzed over a period of 2 years.  Interestingly, researchers found that bad health habits, such as smoking and different levels of alcohol intake, did not ultimately affect the appearance of adult acne or its severity.

family_treeThere was, however, a significant correlation between adult acne and family history.  In other words, study participants who struggled with adult acne were more likely to have parents or siblings who also had acne as an adult.

Adult acne sufferers also had higher incidence of having had acne in their teenage years.  Additionally, adult acne appeared to be more common in those who worked in offices, as opposed to being unemployed or working in other settings.

In the area of medical history, this study found that adult acne is more associated with having had no pregnancies and with having facial hair, a condition called hirsutism.  Those with adult acne have higher levels of reported psychological stress, which may also affect hormonal levels.  In terms of diet, adult acne is associated with lower levels of intake of fruits and vegetables.

boy_acneWhile this study was not comprehensive, it did shed light on areas that can be studied in future research.  The overall consensus was that lifestyle factors do indeed play an important role in the development of acne in adulthood and that further study is warranted.

The researchers did show that there were some common risk factors in adult acne that could help doctors treat the consequences of this problem.  Of course, that is where we at Maine Laser Skin Care come in.

If you have any questions on the implications of this study for you, or you simply want an assessment on how the many treatments and procedures we offer here at Maine Laser Skin Care can help you, call us at (207) 873-2158 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

About Dr. John Burke

John Burke M.D. has practiced medicine for over 25 years, and is the founding partner of MidMaine Internal Medicine. He established Maine Laser Skin Care in 2004 after devoting years to learning the latest in laser and dermatologic technology. Dr. Burke has treated patients from all over the United States. He is one of Maine's busiest practitioners in laser treatments, and in the use of Botox for upper facial lines and excessive sweating.
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