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Although acne is oftentimes as much a part of being a teenager as dating and Friday night football games, a new study examining the prevalence of acne in adults age 20 and older confirms that a significant proportion of adults continue to be plagued by acne well beyond the teenage years. In particular, women experience acne at higher rates than their male counterparts across all age groups 20 years and older.
In the study entitled, “The prevalence of acne in adults 20 years and older,” published online in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, dermatologist Julie C. Harper, MD, FAAD, associate professor of dermatology at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, Ala., and her colleagues at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, surveyed a random sample of men and women aged 20 and older to determine the prevalence of persistent acne that continued after adolescence or new adult-onset acne.
“Although acne is one of the most common skin diseases, there is a general misconception that it only affects teenagers,” explained Dr. Harper. “As dermatologists, we treat acne patients of all ages – from those who have experienced acne since they were teenagers to others who have developed the condition for the first time as adults. Our study set out to determine just how common acne is among adult men and women.” A total of 1,013 men and women aged 20 years and older at the University of Alabama at Birmingham campus and medical complex were asked to complete a one-page questionnaire designed to evaluate the prevalence of acne in adults across various age groups. Survey questions gauged whether the participant had ever had acne or pimples, including during their teens or later in life (in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s or older). The survey also asked participants to judge whether their acne had become better, worse or stayed the same since their teenage years.
When asked whether they had ever had a pimple or acne, the vast majority (73.3 percent) of participants responded that at one time or another they had dealt with acne. The majority also reported that they had experienced acne as teenagers, with the number of men and women affected by the condition nearly identical (68.5 percent of male participants and 66.8 percent of female participants).
Interestingly, the survey found that for every age group following the teenage group, the reported
incidence of acne was significantly higher among women than men. Specifically,
- During their 20s, 50.9 percent of women and 42.5 percent of men reported experiencing acne.
- During their 30s, 35.2 percent of women and 20.1 percent of men reported experiencing acne.
- During their 40s, 26.3 percent of women and 12 percent of men reported experiencing acne.
- During their 50s or older, 15.3 percent of women and 7.3 percent of men reported experiencing acne.
A separate section of the survey, which included questions assessing aspects of acne specific to women, asked female participants to note changes in acne around the time of their menstrual period, their pre-menopausal or post-menopausal status, and the effect of any treatments for symptoms of menopause on acne. Of the pre-menopausal women surveyed, 62.2 percent noted that their acne gets worse around the time of menstruation. In addition, of the 86 women who reported using either hormone replacement therapy or over-the-counter medications for the side effects of menopause, nine women (10.5 percent) reported improvement in their acne with the use of these therapies. However, 75 of the women (87.2 percent) reported no change with these menopausal therapies, and two women (2.3 percent) reported that their acne symptoms worsened.
“Our findings demonstrate that acne is a persistent problem for people of all ages, but clearly women seem to be affected by this medical condition more than men when we examined the 20-plus age groups,” said Dr. Harper. “Research examining the role hormones play in the development of acne may hold the key to explaining why more adult women are affected by acne and could lead to future treatments to control this condition.”
Dr. Harper added that the majority of study participants reported that the severity of their acne improved after their teenage years, which is consistent with previous studies suggesting that post-adolescent acne is generally mild or moderate. For example, 63 percent of men and 53.3 percent of women stated that their acne improved after their teenage years, while only 3.6 percent of men and 13.3 percent of women reported that their acne worsened post-adolescence.
“Despite the fact that adult acne tends to be generally milder than teenage acne, this common medical condition can have a significant impact on a person’s overall quality of life – regardless of when it occurs,” explained Dr. Harper. “Involving a dermatologist in the diagnosis and treatment of acne is vital to managing this difficult condition.”
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends the following tips for the proper care and treatment of acne:
- To prevent scars, do not pop, squeeze or pick at acne; seek treatment early for acne that does not respond to over-the-counter medications.
- Gently wash affected areas twice a day with mild soap and warm water. Vigorous washing and scrubbing can irritate your skin and make acne worse.
- Use “noncomedogenic” (does not clog pores) cosmetics and toiletries.
- Use oil-free cosmetics and sunscreens.
- Avoid alcohol-based astringents, which strip your skin of natural moisture.
- Shampoo hair often, daily if it is oily, though African-Americans may prefer to wash it weekly.
- Use medication as directed and allow enough time for acne products to take effect.
By Howard Murad, MD, and Jeff Murad
Discover how men are becoming the new wave in skin care.
Female smokers may be much more likely to develop non-inflammatory acne (NIA) than women who don't smoke, says an Italian study in the British Journal of Dermatology.
Researchers looked at more than 1,000 women and found that 40 percent of those who smoked had NIA, compared with 10 percent of nonsmokers. Blocked pores, large white heads and small cysts are characteristic of NIA, BBC News reported.
The team at the San Gallicano Dermatological Institute in Rome said they conducted the study in women because the condition seems to be more prevalent in women than in men. Compared to nonsmokers, smokers in the study had half the levels of skin secretions of vitamin E and had other skin-related variations. The study also found that smokers who had acne in their teens were four times more likely to suffer NIA than nonsmokers who experienced teen acne.
The findings add to previous research that links smoking with acne, Colin Holden, president of the British Association of Dermatologists, told BBC News.
HealthDay News, September 18, 2007
San Francisco Institute of Esthetics and Cosmetology future professionals support Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
You see clients every day whose skin probably warrants more help than you can give them on a monthly or even bi-weekly basis. While facial skin usually gets basic attention like cleansing and a moisturizer, the skin on the rest of the body can be too easily forgotten. How often do you see a loyal facial client with dry, scaly elbows? These clients may be victims of chronic skin conditions like eczema or simply may not understand how to maintain their body skin between visits.
The good news is that recent enhancements in skincare technology provide answers to a common question estheticians encounter from clients: “I love the way my skin feels after a massage or body wrap when it’s soft and healthy, but what can I do for my skin between my professional treatments?”
Sharing new research can help clarify the relationship between cleansing and moisturizing; offering new details on what has always been a two-step process to keep both of these integral parts of the body’s skincare regimen from being at odds.
Staying on top of the newest developments in the field and introducing them to your clients allows you to continually re-establish yourself as their personal skincare expert. With that in mind, you should know that anti-aging isn’t just about wrinkles anymore. Many scientists and dermatologists are confirming that the tone of a person’s skin is among the main identifiers in determining their age—the more even skin tone is, the younger a person looks.
Progress in anti-aging skin care has moved one step further due to the development of a breakthrough topical glucosamine complex. It treats uneven skin tone by targeting skin cells that overproduce melanin. Formerly used in arthritis treatments, topical glucosamine has been found to reduce age spots and improve skin barriers.
While many products already on the market can improve tone imperfections, they have had a tendency to contain ingredients, such as hydroquinone, that can be harsh and irritating to the skin. This is among the first combinations to perfect skin tone while also improving the overall health of the skin.
The National Rosacea Society recently released a study highlighting results that dispell the common myth that rosacea typically affects adults age 30–50. The study also found the skin disorder may develop new signs and symptoms decades after its initial onset. 888-662-5874
Sawgrass Marriott Resort & Spa in Ponte Verda Beach, FL, is offering a relaxing spa package called Green Envy to coincide with the golfing season. While men experience the nearby famed golf course, women can receive spa treatments, including the Aroma Body Glow and European Cleansing Facial. 800-457-4653
By Tracy Sherwood
Wrinkle reducers aren’t the only thing consumers are looking for in skin care products anymore.
Board certified facial plastic surgeons are meeting Americans' demands for quicker results and less recovery time, according to a new survey by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS). The annual poll of 1,336 of the organization's member surgeons found that there was a 69% increase among women and an astonishing 91% increase among men undergoing nonsurgical facial plastic surgery since 2000.
We're seeing that minimally invasive-type treatments that offer patients less 'downtime' are increasing in popularity" commented Peter A. Hilger, MD, president of the AAFPRS. "The goal is to have a nice, natural-looking outcome – you don't want to look like you've had surgery. The trend toward non-invasive cosmetic procedures has allowed more Americans to get the look they want without having to turn their busy lifestyles upside down.
Surgeons feel that the future for facial plastic surgery is bright, both for themselves and the consumer. They predict more filler introductions into the market (96%) and feel that patient safety will continue to be a focal point in cosmetic surgery (94%). They also foresee an increase in cosmetic surgery for ethnic populations (85%). "We hope the results of this annual survey give some understanding of the untiring dedication of AAFPRS members to making the highest possible quality of facial plastic surgery available to the public," concluded Dr. Hilger.