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Who Does Acne Effect?

Regardless of our age or gender, virtually all of us are susceptible to acne at some point in our lives. Due to the surge of hormones, acne is almost synonymous with the teenage years. However, breakouts don’t end on our 20th birthday. A large percentage of adults suffer from acne well into their 50s. Consider yourself lucky if you’ve never had to avoid having your picture taken, hide your face behind long hair, or cancel a job interview because of acne. It's rare that anybody goes through life without a single pimple.

The severity and type of breakouts experienced varies with gender, age and location on your body and face. Generally, teenage girls have it easier than boys. Males, often outgrow acne in their late teens or early 20s, but females often have a reappearance of acne when they are adults; or may even experience it for the first time during the years shortly before menopause. Overall, adult men are less at risk of getting acne. Teens tend to develop more acne on their back or chest, accompanied by a smattering of pimples in the T-zone areas of the face, while adult women often notice a cluster of tender, large bumps on their jawline, chin or upper neck.

Irrespective of gender or age, acne can leave deep emotional scars. Acne can have a negative impact on anyone, whether it’s an adult trying to project confidence during a business meeting, or a teen trying to make new friends at school. At CleaRx, we’ve made it our company’s mission to help people take control of their stubborn acne, once and for all!

Acne in Teens

Up to 85% of teenagers experience acne. In spite of it being so common, suffering from acne during these formative years can invoke feelings of loneliness and embarrassment. Teens and young adults often face extreme pressure to look good and conform to some “perfect” ideal. Teens have to cope with the physical changes in their bodies and start discovering who they are at the same time. This often results in moodiness, which strains relationships with family members and others. As a parent, at times you may not know what you can do to help your child. It can be helpful to talk to your teenage child with acne and encourage them to express their feelings. Their confidence will be boosted tremendously if you can help them find an acne treatment system that will enable them to get their acne under control.

In previous generations, puberty started much later than it does today. Puberty in girls generally starts at age 11 or 12, although isolated reports indicate it could start as early as age 7. Boys normally start a little later. Oily skin if one of the first signs of puberty. The process starts with the androgen hormones increasing, resulting in oil glands enlarging and producing more oil. Acne in teens often starts with small pimples and a few blackheads around the nose. This later spreads to the forehead and cheeks. Severe acne is generally found in boys, more so than girls. Athletes are more likely to have acne on their chests, backs, upper arms and shoulders. Teen acne is treatable, as is all forms of acne. Teens often believe that acne is a rite of passage and try every available “zit” cream available in stores. Sadly, this often leads to irritated, dry skin that still breaks out.

The main cause of acne comes down to genetics and hormones. These factors are beyond anyone’s control. There are however other factors at play that can be controlled to prevent acne from flaring. Greasy cosmetics may clog pores, so changing to oil-free products is a wise choice. Acne can be worsened by friction caused by backpacks, bike helmets, baseball caps, tight collars, or frequent touching of your skin. Skin becomes susceptible to infection through harsh scrubbing, as this can dry out and irritate the skin. Squeezing or picking spots increases inflammation and spreads bacteria, often causing more breakouts. Hormonal fluctuations from menstrual cycles and stress can cause acne to flare up. Sleep, exercise and relaxation have been shown to help reduce stress levels.

Prevention is critical in managing teen acne. In most cases, treating your skin with the right combination of medicines daily can minimize future breakouts and clear visible ones. It is important to get help for your acne to prevent it from getting worse and even cause permanent scarring.

Adult Acne

For many, acne is a lifelong condition. As many as 30-40% of adults still suffer from acne well into their 30s and even up to their 50s. For some, their teenage acne continues. For those who did not get acne in their teens, it can start during adulthood. This is known as “adult-onset acne”. Acne follows the same process described earlier, and can have a profound emotional impact, irrespective of your age. To treat adult acne effectively, one has to understand what causes it and assess their treatment options.

Acne in Adult Women

Adult acne sufferers are mainly women aged between 20 and 54. As the appearance of acne in adults is different from that of teenage breakouts, many women don’t realize when they experience it. Acne in women generally manifests itself as a few large, tender, bumps that never "come to a head" and lasts for weeks. As one breakout is cleared, another always seems to form, particularly during the week before menstruation.

Many women believe their acne is an allergic response to a skincare product; some skincare products do occasionally cause acne. A woman might also believe it is caused by a reaction to hormones. In this case, they would be right. Irrespective of age, acne is always caused by hormones. A woman's hormone levels swing every month throughout their lifetime. Hormonal swings associated with acne are caused by menstruation, puberty, starting or stopping birth control pills, pregnancy, and menopause. With age, women's androgen hormones increase, caused by a decrease in estrogen levels. In genetically predisposed individuals, this causes a relative flaring of acne.  The hormonal balance is further upset by stress, as this releases cortisol and androgen hormones, resulting in an increase of oil production. Women tend to release more androgen hormones than men, therefore stress tends to have a higher impact on a women's complexion.

Many women have to deal with complexion issues associated with aging, besides adult acne. These include larger pores, dry skin, uneven pigmentation, wrinkling and persistent facial redness. Women become frustrated when they believe they need to choose between addressing their aging skin issues and treating their acne. When women try to manage both, they often "mix and match" products from different brands only to discover later that the one’s benefits negates those of the other. Thankfully, with advancements in new ingredients and skincare formulation technology, women can have the best that both skincare and medicine has to offer. CleaRx is an advanced acne treatment that provides even-toned, clear, healthy looking skin, without having to depend on makeup for teen and adult acne sufferers alike.

Acne in Adult Males

Men don’t experience the same hormonal ups-and-downs that cause breakouts in women, resulting in acne becoming less common with age in men. As men’s dihydrotestosterone and testosterone levels stay constant as adults, most men outgrow acne before their 30s. In spite of this, as many as 25% of men experience a continuation of their acne into their 40s and even 50s. As with acne in women, acne in men can flare in reaction to prescription drugs, stress, friction from hats, headbands, or athletic gear, humidity and heat, steroids, sunblock and pomades.

Men are inclined to get bumps from shaving, especially if they have curly hair. Shaving bumps are not the same as acne in that they are caused by hairs that grow in and barb back into the skin. This provokes inflammation and redness. It has been estimated that these pimple-like blemishes called pseudofolliculitis barbae, occurs in about 45% of African American men. This common problem can be minimized by using a medicated shaving product, changing razor blades frequently, or using an electric razor instead.

Men with skin problems often suffer in silence and don’t look for products or treatment to manage their breakouts. The effect on confidence and self-esteem can influence men just as severely as teens and women. We urge both man and boys to gather information and take practical action to treating their skin. The rewards are truly worthwhile and clearly visible.