Acne is common during adolescence; most people suffer from it through their teens. For some, however, acne persists into adulthood- or can even appear in people who never had a major issue with it when they were younger.
Adult Acne or Perioral Dermatitis?
Acne vulgaris, better known as acne, is a skin condition caused by changes in the pilosebaceous units.
A pilosebaceous unit is the structure in the skin made up of a hair follicle and a sebaceous gland. When the sebum (natural skin oil) production increases, usually due to hormonal changes of some type, the sebum amount is too great and much of it lodges in the follicle channel under the pore of the skin.
It’s then ripe for infection, and this causes acne to become inflammatory-red; painful and swollen. It’s not only unsightly, but it can actually damage skin permanently by destroying collagen, leaving pitting and scarring behind as a lasting legacy.
Acne as you age
Acne in later years is often the result of underlying conditions, such as hormonal disorders like polycystic ovary syndrome or the rare Cushing’s syndrome – or even pregnancy.
Several factors are known to be linked to acne.
When people are stressed, they experience an increased output of hormones from the adrenal glands which can cause outbreaks of acne.
While the connection between acne and stress has long been debated, scientific research indicates that “increased perioral dermatitis” is “significantly associated with increased stress levels.
Perioral dermatitis is a condition closely related to acne vulgaris, and usually affects women aged between 25 -45.
Perioral refers to the area around the mouth, and dermatitis indicates redness of the skin. As well as increased redness in the area, there are often small red bumps or pus bumps, and mild peeling.
Because the bumps are the most obvious feature, the disease can look a lot like acne. The affected areas are within the borders of the lines from the nose, to the sides of the lips, and the chin.
The area of skin immediately around the lips is often unaffected, and people find that in the summertime the condition, often related to stress, can become worse with exposure to sunlight, with itching or burning.
What causes perioral dermatitis?
The cause of perioral dermatitis is unknown. We know it is a neurodermatis and hence related to stress, and some dermatologists think it may be a form of rosacea or seborrhoeic dermatitis.
Some types of makeup, moisturizers, and dental products may be partially responsible. There is also a suspicion that fluorinated toothpastes are related to an outbreak of this condition.
How is this condition treated?
It depends on the patients and reactions can vary, but some doctors prescribe oral antibiotics or topical antibiotic creams may be used. Sometimes a specific corticosteroid cream is prescribed to help the appearance of the condition as the antibiotics take effect.
In some cases phototherapy can achieve an improvement using red and blue light to help kill bacteria.
If you have acne and would like to get help, call Cosmetic Doctor in Dublin on 01 685 3100 or see www.cosmeticdoctor.ie/acne-treatments