Acne and Age
Acne is a multi-functional skin condition which affects a significant number of people.
Acne occurs in both sexes (mostly young women) between the ages of 15 and 18, generally the condition peaks before the age of 25. Approximately 12% of women and 3% of men will continue to suffer from clinical acne until the age of 44. A few will have inflammatory papules and nodules into late adulthood. In rare cases, acne appears in neonatal, infantile and childhood.
Acne typically begins during puberty and is often the first sign of increased levels of oestrogen or testosterone affecting sexual development. When acne begins at around the age of 8 and 12 years, it is frequently comedonal, affecting primarily the forehead and cheeks. It may remain mild in appearance with only an occasional inflammatory papule. However, as hormone levels rise during middle teenage years, more severe inflammatory pustules and nodules occur, with spread to other areas.
Acne develops earlier in adolescent women than adolescent men which may reflect the earliest onset of adolescence in girls. In most cases, a significant number of comedones appear before the development of inflammatory lesions, and when there are early comedones, this may be signs of the onset of the disease. Acne may also begin in 20–35-year-old women who have not experienced teenage acne.
Even though acne is more frequent in women than men, in the latter, acne tends to be more severe and more widespread as they have an oilier skin. Women may experience a flare of their papulopustular lesions a week or so before menstruation.
Consequently, acne is a multi-functional skin condition which affects a significant number of people. The accurate and prompt diagnosis of the type of acne as well as the identification of skin characteristics are mandatory in order for an expert dermatologist to suggest the appropriate and individualised therapeutic regimen.