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Late blooming - Acne Tarda

Acne isn't just a problem for teenagers; it's a widespread issue even in adulthood. Despite skin generally becoming less oily with age, more and more customers are complaining about greasy skin prone to blemishes, well into their thirties and beyond.

For women, acne lesions often occur after stopping contraceptives or during pregnancy. Moreover, increased signs of seborrheic skin prone to acne are often noticed during menopause. It's therefore not surprising that hormones play a key role in the etiology of late acne. Additionally, as people age, old skin cells on the skin's surface aren't shed as effectively, which can also lead to blocked pores. Incorrect use of skin care products or the combination of wrong products can also result in over-caring for the skin and consequently an acne-like complexion.

Although late acne symptoms are usually milder, those affected suffer greatly from the condition, as acne outbreaks are seen as blemishes. Studies indicate that late acne significantly impacts the quality of life, especially in women.

According to epidemiological studies from England, the USA, and France, around 30% of 25 to 45-year-olds suffer from what is known as late acne, which typically occurs around the mouth and jawline rather than the classic T-zone (forehead, nose, chin). It's striking that more women are affected.

Classification into acne types:

Essentially, there are different types of oily and blemish-prone skin in old age.

  1. there's persistent acne, which begins during puberty and continues into adulthood.

  2. there's acne tarda, a skin condition prone to acne that only appears in adulthood without prior occurrence during puberty. The lesions are mostly inflammatory and often appear on the lower part of the face. Typical premenstrual worsening occurs.

The exact reasons for the increasingly frequent occurrence of acne in adults have not yet been clearly established. However, dermatologists estimate that one in four adults between the ages of 25 and 45 now suffers from late acne.

Causes and triggers:

The influence of stress, hormonal fluctuations, or medication is discussed as potential causes. As early as 1991, dermatologist Professor Albert Kligman, from University of Pennsylvania documented a link between adult acne and chronic stress. It's also assumed that emotional stress can exacerbate late acne, as confirmed by a 2016 study from Italy.

However, there's no evidence linking dairy consumption to late acne. Researchers interpret the results as indicating a different pathogenesis from teenage acne, where metabolic factors have less influence.

Hormonal causes also seem to underlie premenstrual acne, as evidenced by its cyclical nature. Affected women often experience outbreaks in the lower facial area before menstruation. Additionally, hormonal imbalances caused by changing or stopping contraceptives can potentially lead to increased sensitivity to male hormones.

Finally, incorrect or excessive skincare can result in a poor complexion, leading to cosmetic acne. This is usually caused by excessive use of cosmetics containing comedogenic ingredients such as lanolin, vaseline, or sodium lauryl sulfate.

Given that the first wrinkles and signs of aging start appearing around the age of 30, treating seborrheic, aging skin or supporting late acne treatment poses a real challenge. On one hand, the complexion needs to be clarified, while on the other hand, visible signs of aging should be addressed.

Purification methods:

Thorough yet gentle cleansing, supported by professional acne treatments, is central to cosmetic treatment for acne-prone mature skin. This entails adequate cleansing, ideally following a steam bath or face mask. Open comedones can be extracted directly, while closed comedones are gently treated with a fine needle or lancet before being extracted.

Cleansing should only involve mild products that support or restore the skin's natural pH balance. In addition to removing excess oils, cleansing should eliminate dead skin cells and environmental pollutants like dust and makeup.

Chemical peels containing fruit acids help in improving skin quality. It's important to avoid areas with inflammation, as active ingredients like alpha-hydroxy acids can be painful on inflamed skin. In addition to visibly reducing pore size, fine lines are also smoothed.

GREEN PEEL® - Unlike chemical peeling, the herbs have the same pH as the skin. The ageing of the skin is prevented without stripping the important skin barrier. Despite the peeling, GREEN PEEL® is not invasive and does not damage the skin and gives amazing results in treating adult acne.

Active ingredients for mature skin:

Treating oily, acne-prone skin in old age requires specific active ingredients. These should regulate sebum production, strengthen the skin barrier, possess anti-inflammatory properties, counteract acne-causing bacteria, and reduce signs of aging.

Niacinamide has emerged as a potent ingredient. This B vitamin is considered evidence-based, with its effects supported by numerous clinical studies. It regulates sebum production, strengthens the skin barrier, and exhibits anti-inflammatory properties. It also improves pore size and reduces signs of aging such as age spots and skin roughness, making it suitable for mature and seborrheic skin.

In principle, anti-aging and complexion-improving active ingredients can be combined for seborrheic, acne-prone skin. An example is the combination of salicylic acid, which exfoliates the skin, and hyaluronic acid, which provides antioxidant properties and sufficient skin hydration.

Three care tips:

When selecting skincare products, consider the following:

• Opt for appropriate formulations; products should not be greasy. Hydrogels or oil-in-water emulsions are suitable.

• Ensure that active ingredients used are non-comedogenic to prevent breakouts.

• Lastly, emphasize the importance of adequate sun protection. UV radiation stimulates sebum production temporarily and causes hyperkeratosis, exacerbating the skin's comedogenic effects.

Learn more about Dr med Schrammek Regulating SkinCare here


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