It is a common myth that acne is the bane of adolescence which gradually fades away after approaching adulthood. Those adult acne treatment sufferers who have been sporadically struggling with this perturbing skin disorder might realize this more than any one else. It is a fact that many people at their thirties and forties and even after that face the onset of irritating acne pimples.
What Statistics Says
Adult acne is found to be more prevalent in women rather than in men. Most of the people, especially women at their late twenties and thirties face this skin disorder due to esoteric hormonal activity during menstrual cycle. Nearly fifty percent of total adult women and ten percent of total men become victims of mild to moderate acne blemishes throughout the world.
How Hormone Plays Its Role
Although a number of external and physiochemical causes are attributed to the formation of adult acne; however, among all other causal factors fluctuation of hormonal level in our blood is believed to be responsible for this tormenting skin disorder.
The various forms of acne are believed to be instigated by the ambiguous action of male hormone androgen. This masculinizing hormone is not only present in male body but also impart some masculine traits like growth of hair, enhanced libido, deepening of voice, etc. in female.
Androgen hormones are comprised of 5-dihydrotestosterone, testosterone, androstenedione, and dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate, which are produced in female body from the adrenal glands and ovaries by the mediation of gonadotrophins. It has been found that in adult women the androgen serum level goes on top at the beginning of their menstrual cycle.
Thus excess quantity of male hormones excites the sebaceous glands to exude overflow of sebum (body oil) through the pilosebaceous units of hair follicles beneath the epidermal skin layer. Surplus body oil gets implicated with piles of dead skin cells and Propionibacterium acnes bacterial buildup, leading to swelling of hair follicles and explosion of premenstrual adult acne lesions across the lower face, neck, and back area.
In case of adult males the elevated level of testosterone causes more severe form of acne blemishes. Testosterone gets converted into 5-dihydrotestosterone which in a similar way results in initial non-inflamed acne lesions all through the body surface.
Adult acne treatment
As women folks are mostly affected by adult hormonal acne most of the treatment procedures attributed in this respect are mainly aimed at controlling the excess production of androgen hormones and their erratic behavior in female body. There are several hormonal treatments available to sweep away adult acne lesions in women.
Birth control pills
These popular oral acne medications are mainly manufactured from the hormone progestin or a combination of progestin and estrogen.
Role of progestin: Progestins are known for their androgenic (acts like androgens) as well as anti-androgenic (prevents the production of androgen and androgen receptors which help female body to utilize androgen hormone) properties. Those progestins which possess anti-androgenic properties get the main priority in hormonal acne treatment in adult women. The most important therapeutic aspect of this hormone is its immensely effective formulation in controlling the pouring out of androgen during premenstrual phase, thereby significantly reducing the number of acne blemishes.
Role of estrogen: Estrogen mainly works as an antiandrogenic agent. They decrease the production of androgen hormones by inhibiting the serum level of enzyme 5-alpha-reductase and enhancing the level of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). These activities directly influence female body to cut back the discharge of sebum from oil producing glands, which effectively thwart adult acne flare ups.
Oral corticoids and spironolactone in adult acne treatment
Oral corticoids are often prescribed to alleviate the inflammation and irritation when women suffer from acne breakouts due to over active adrenal glands. On the other hand spironolactones are synthetic antiandrogens which efficiently prevent androgen synthesis in female body by blocking the androgen receptors.
Precautions and Side effects
Although the drugs used for treating hormonal adult acne are prepared with great care to minimize any plausible side effects, however there are still a few of these side effects which have been reported to be active among some females:
1) Most prominent side effects of birth control pills include headache, nausea, and breast tenderness. They often vary from person to person and are found to be tolerable. In case you face any of such side effects or if you feel any kind of discomfort with your oral contraceptive immediately consult with you physician.
2) Oral corticoids are found to affect the patients by enhancing the body weight.
3) Women should not go for oral contraceptive medication for treating adult acne if they have past history of coronary heart disease as well as very high level of cholesterol, breast cancer, or any other estrogen related cancer.