The complexity of the adult complexion
Let’s face it, it’s embarrassing suffering from breakouts well into adulthood – ‘I thought the days of oily skin and pimples were behind me’, I hear you say. But it’s time to stop hiding behind layers of make-up and let’s chat about adult acne. Because it’s more common than you’d think.
I was one of the lucky few, who throughout my teenage years, avoided acne. Sure I would fall victim to the occasional blemish once a month, but other than that I had no idea of the angst these little devils caused. Until I entered adulthood.
35% of women and 50% of men can suffer with adult acne.”
But those single spots have, over the past couple of years, grown to become a sprinkling across multiple areas of my face, that are very sore to touch and almost impossible to conceal. I put it down to stress, or indulging in too much chocolate and cake, but once I began opening up about my gripe, I found many of my friends and colleagues suffered from the same thing.
So just how common is it? Naturopath Jodi Chapman says researchers have found as many as 35 per cent of women and 50 per cent of men can suffer with adult acne, with the World Health Organisation stating teenage acne statistics are as high as 85 to 90 per cent, most commonly with Acne Vulgaris.
With adult acne predominantly affecting people between 18 and 40 years of age, she says the best way to tame it is to treat the condition from all perspectives simultaneously.
“Testing to confirm the foods that are correct for you, balancing blood sugars and eating a well-balanced diet, removing sugars from the diet, and treating any bacterial infections within the gut,” she says. “Also reducing stress and balancing hormones are important, then finally testing to check for nutritional deficiencies to correct any concerns there.”
One of my colleagues here at Profile, also noticed a marked improvement in her skin after taking a long-awaited dip in the ocean. Talk about living in such a naturally refreshing environment!
WHAT CAN CAUSE ADULT ACNE?
Adult acne may be hormonally induced, commonly from high stress, high levels of testosterone, poor nutritional status, most commonly poor zinc (used significantly through stress) and vitamin A levels, as these nutrients help the skin, and help to convert high levels of testosterone through their normal processes so they do not remain high.
Adult acne can also be caused by a ratio problem between oestrogen and progesterone in women, this can also be caused by stress, or liver detoxification problems.
Acne has also been known to be caused at any age by food allergies, or bacterial infections on the skin or in the digestive system, as the skin mimics the inflammation of the gut. Liver toxicity will also present as acne through the skin.