Acne affects 80% of people at some point in their life; and it’s no longer just the bane of teenagers.
Acne, which is caused by the body’s immune system creating an inflammatory response to bacteria that lives in the skin, does not discriminate against gender, age or race.
I think the thing that surprises most people is that acne is not just a skin condition of teenagers. It’s a condition I see a lot; I would probably say around 40% of my clients are in their 30s and I have seen outbreaks of acne in women in their 50s.
If the condition of the skin is such that the acne bacteria thrive, the acne bacteria doesn’t say: ‘I’m gonna’ pick on you cos’ you’re young’.
So much is spoken of acne being a teenage problem, however for women, particularly those who have polycystic ovary syndrome and have an imbalance of hormones, acne is a continual problem throughout their adult life.
Often adults just don’t know where to turn to when they have got acne because everything is marketed to the teenager.
The majority of people we see suffering from acne is predominantly women in their late 20s and early 30s, however it could be all ages. Predominantly though, it tends to be people who just think I’m at my wits end, what can I do?
We’ve also got some guys who come in who have been really devastated by the effect that acne has had on their lives. I’ve listened to people as a GP for years and the stories I’m hearing now are things that I didn’t hear as a GP.
Men can’t hide behind makeup, so they don’t socialise, they don’t go out. I think of one guy who said he sits at the back of the classroom in the shadow so that the sun doesn’t shine on his face, and you think ‘oh my goodness, how bad can it be?’.
Acne affects everybody, and everyone, regardless of their age or gender, gets down about it. In saying that, I do get a lot of young people coming in. I don’t actually think young people are quite as worried about acne as adults, as it’s usually the parents that push them to come into the clinic.
However, I think once young people get to 19 or 20 years old they begin to get really concerned about the way they are looking.
You do also get acne at specific times and there is a lot of late onset acne which can can cause problems with women in their 40s. Women tend to suffer longer because it’s all very androgen related and it’s very much related around the menstrual cycle and when they get perimenopause.
At Temple Medical, we see a real broad range of people suffering from acne. We tend to see a lot more women than men, and increasingly, we are seeing a lot of women over the age of 30. That may just be because men are more likely to put up with it.
You get different reasons why people suffer from acne; there’s a lot of hormones involved, but it’s different for each stage. As get a lot of teenagers, and with them, it’s down to testosterone. Around exam time, we also get a lot of schoolchildren, because exams are stressing them out.
Do you currently suffer from acne? If you do, regardless of your age, sex or race, why don’t you drop our Skincare Experts a line? They’re on hand to answer any questions and offer all the support you need.
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