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Nov 3, 2016

Healthy Living: Surviving Adult Acne

It’s part of the teenage experience that we are glad to leave behind. There were even a lucky few who never had to face this challenge as adolescents. It’s a common assumption that the battle against breakouts ends with your teens; but, that’s until you find yourself in your late twenties – even thirties – shopping for acne treatment. It’s called adult acne and we find out all about it in tonight’s Healthy Living.

 

Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

Despite what you may have thought. Acne is not just for teens. The average age to develop acne is from your early teens to the age of twenty-five. In fact, one in every four women are still battling breakouts after the age of twenty-one.

 

Jorge Lopez

Dr. Jorge Lopez, Dermatologist, BMA

“Adult acne is defined as acne that persists or presents after twenty-five years of age. There are two subtypes. The persistent type the person who has had acne and continues to have acne after twenty-five years. And then you have the late onset which is a person that did not have acne during adolescent and now   has acne after twenty-five years. How common it is? It is said that twenty-five percent of females, specifically, has acne after the age of twenty-one and the majority of them is between the ages of twenty-one to thirty.”

 

There are many different causes for acne from hormonal changes – like menopause or switching birth control – family history and some medications can lead to acne as well. Another common factor that can cause acne to start and persist is stress.

 

Dr. Jorge Lopez

“You get into a vicious cycle because whenever the acne persistent or gets worse or fluctuate. Then the person starts to get more stressed not because of the stress that is causing it but because of the stress of facing someone else at the office or what people are going to think. She feels this is very inconvenient and uncomfortable to have pimples at her age. It’s usually an interaction of many of many factors.  For example, if you don’t have the genetics and even if you’re exposed to stress maybe you have one or two pimples but if you have the genetics and the stress then perhaps it’s really going to show bad.”

 

Adult acne can also be a sign of another underlying condition. Any persistent acne problem, though, should be followed up with your dermatologist.

 

Dr. Jorge Lopez

“It’s a common problem the best thing is that we can treat. There are lots of options and tools. You name it: topical medications, oral medications, light devices or lasers…many things we can use. I think at this point where we’re at; basically, any person with acne could at least see improvement. We don’t cure acne. Acne goes away on its own but our aim is to prevent and minimize   the physical and emotional scarring that acne tends to bring with it. In the United States, the cost of treating acne has been estimated to about three billion US dollars so that really tells you that people are very proactive of trying to get rid of acne. I would say it’s a matter of being financially smarter. I would say people probably don’t come to the doctor cause they are afraid that the treatment would be too expensive; but, truth is, it’s the shorter way to get acne under control and it is the best way to prevent scarring – emotional and physical.”

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