ACNE is a chronic disease of the skin. It starts in preadolescence and, for some, lasts well into the 30s. There is an 80% inheritance factor from first degree relatives; these forms are more severe. The reasons for an increase in the number of adult women getting this disease are unknown; however, research is ongoing. We do have effective treatments now!
Acne consists of three different etiologies: INFECTION, INFLAMMATION, AND KERATINIZATION.
INFECTION: Predominantly Propionibacterium acnes bacteria and some staphylococcus aureus.
INFLAMMATION: Overwhelming predominance of sebum.
KERATINIZATION: Disturbed keratin content in the follicle.
There are three distinct zones on the skin with different causes of ACNE: The well-known T Zone, now considered the NT zone; the U zone; and the O zone. All areas distinct in their sebum concentration and inflammation. There is no association with foods, smoking, or sun exposure; however, one study has an association with the amount of dairy consumed. This is promising, but limited based on the number of the persons studied. (Sun exposure to inflamed skin can result in hyperpigmentation)
One subpopulation has seen an increased incidence of acne: Adult women. Statistically, these individuals’ only risk factors were associated with more stressors in their life. Of those, they only had a more severe case of the inflammation. Some medical and psychological diseases are associated with the presence of skin conditions; acne is just one example.
As more and more research is completed, we have found that inflammation is the leading problem with this and many other diseases. Many have been ruled out but there are many more to find.
Both topical and oral medications that target this process first will be the best long term plan. ONCE the inflammation is under control, then you can start to repair the damage.