After your teenage years, you think it's over? Unfortunately, this is not always the case! Even at an adult age, a lot of women suffer from acne. Welcome to the wonderful world of 'adult acne'.
Based on an article of Franciska Bosmans in Knack Weekend.
Dr. Barbara Geusens has been interviewed as Key Opinion Leader.
1. WHAT IS ACNE?
Simply summarized, four factors play a key role in the development of acne.
- An increased production of sebum
- Clogged skin pores due to poor exfoliation/ desquamation of dead skin cells
- The growth of Cutibacterium Acnes
- Inflammations leading to the development of black spots and possibly cysts
Would you like to read more about the development of acne and these underlying factors? Then be sure to have a look at our skin school!
2. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TEENAGE AND ADULT ACNE?
Teenagers develop acne due to an increased production of hormones during puberty. Among adults, it is mainly due to hormonal fluctuations (e.g. pregnancy), chronic stress and environmental factors.
Doctor Dagmar Ostijn also explains: "Teenagers develop acne in the T-zone: the forehead, nose and chin. Teenagers also suffer more from that typical shiny skin and oily hair. Adults experience less of this. They have more acne in the U-zone: the jaw, chin and neck".
3. IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN?
Several studies show that adult acne is more common in women than in men.Dr. Ostijn: "Men often have a severe form of acne, especially on the chest, back and upper arms. Their faces are often spared. With women it is more in the U-zone, sometimes also in the décolleté".
4. WHY DOES IT STILL AFFECT PEOPLE OVER 30?
For women, the cause is often hormonal. As we explained above, hormones influence sebum production and play an important role in the development of acne.
Why do these annoying pimples always appear during that one period of the month? One week after ovulation (which takes place about 14 days before menstruation) many women develop acne. This has to do with the hormonal balance in the body. After reaching a peak (ovulation), the amount of estrogen in the body decreases and the amount of progesterone increases. And yes, progesterone is the hormone that stimulates sebum production and in this way stimulates the formation of pimples.
"Other things or phases can also lead to a change in the hormone balance and associated acne upsets" says Dr. Ostijn. "Think for example of: a pregnancy, stopping the pill, taking a pill with progestogens or switching to an IUD".
In addition to these hormonal influences, there are also lifestyle factors that can play a role: genetic predisposition, wearing a face mask, specific medication, cosmetics, smoking, pollution. Stress often plays a role in people in their thirties.
5. I HAVE PIMPLES, SO DO I HAVE ACNE?
Not necessarily! The pimples may also be the result of another cause. For example, there are other skin conditions that also lead to the appearance of pimples. "Rosacea, perioral dermatitis, cortisone acne and folliculitis are similar to acne because they also cause pimples, but they do not cause comedones," explains Ostijn.
6. CAN YOU PREVENT ACNE?
In a way, yes. Your genetics are fixed and your stress level can't be reduced easily, but many women benefit from a contraceptive adjustment or changes in their lifestyle. Avoiding fast sugars, quitting smoking and adjusting your cosmetics can often already have a positive effect on your pimples.
It's a fact: many people with acne are going into overdrive! They want to exfoliate or strip away all pimples and black spots. However, this is not a good idea and only makes the situation worse.
Dr. Barbara Geusens herself is also convinced of a mild and gentle approach to your skin. "By stripping away the natural lipids from your skin with aggressive products such as alcohol formulations, strong foaming cleansers or scrubs, your skin will only be damaged and your skin may become even more oily. By stripping away the sebum from your skin, the skin will be stimulated to produce more sebum. In other words, a vicious circle". It is better to choose a cosmetic product that adds the required lipids to your skin. This way, the production of more sebum is not stimulated. It is also very important to cleanse your skin gently and on a daily basis.
Read more about proper skin cleansing on our skin school.
Thank you Franciska Bosmans for this beautiful article in Knack Weekend!
Do you have specific questions about adult acne?
Please do not hesitate to contact us!
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