Acne: When it comes to skin problems, it is known that women suffer more from it when compared to men but that does not mean, that men don’t suffer from skin problems or skin issues at all. There are various issues of the skin which men are affected by and they fear it as much as women do, they just don’t show it as such.
Some men conspicuously often try out various kinds of treatments to make sure their acne disappears, while others wait patiently for the condition to disappear on its own.
What is acne?
Acne is a chronic and inflammatory condition of the skin which causes pimples usually in the face, neck, shoulders and back.
Most people often believe the myth that acne occurs in women most of the time. But this is a myth for a reason as acne affects men as much as it affects women.
In most cases, acne occurs when a person hits puberty and is applicable for both men and women. The condition of acne is not dangerous in any extent, but once it disappears, it leaves scars or marks on the skin.
Whiteheads, pimples, cysts, blackheads are all types of acne and can occur for men as well.
Is acne common among men?
When it comes to acne in men, it is not any different from how you might have experienced it when you hit puberty or immediately after it. Not many traits, you as a man carry from your days of puberty to adulthood but acne is the exception.
Acne in men can come anytime and anywhere as well. It might be painful and embarrassing at the same time if it appears in places such as on your beard or your back or even can appear as a inflammation on your jawline which might appear ‘different’.
According to statistics, over 10% of men experience an adult acne breakouts even after they cross the age of 25. The kind of acne which might have affected you when you hit puberty, this acne affects your overall look by appearing as marks and scars on the face or back.
Can a man have acne due to hormonal imbalance?
Hormonal imbalance is one of the causes of acne in women and yes, men as well.
Acne is a result of an internal imbalance that eventually leads to excessive production of sebum (skin oil) by the sebaceous glands. This extra sebum when combined together with dead skin cells and dirt creates an ideal condition for bacteria to grow on the skin and in turn, causes an inflammation that presents itself as acne in the form of pimples, whiteheads and blackheads.
The most powerful stimulator of these sebaceous glands are the male hormones known as androgens or testosterone. Both women and men actually produce sexual hormone (testosterone) naturally but men secrete much more than required in some cases and therefore their cases of hormonal acne may be more severe and prevails for longer periods of time.
What hormones cause acne?
Understanding that androgen related hormones can influence sebaceous gland secretions is only a part of the cause which result in this condition. According to statistics, only 1-2% of these hormones circulate freely in the blood whereas the other 98% are bound to a protein called Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG).
However, if the androgen hormones are bound with SHBG in the blood they will not cause acne, it is only the free or unbounded forms of DHT that can cause the sebaceous glands to make more skin oil or sebum. Since men naturally have more testosterone related hormones in their bodies, it is more likely that these forms of the male hormones may be found in the free form leading to an increased risk of acne.
What aggravates male acne?
Acne is such a condition that once you have already suffered from it, a slight deviation from the given routine or diet can cause it to aggravate or even relapse. Everytime acne relapses, it increases and gets worse.
So some of the aggravators of acne are:
- Hormones: Male hormones known as Androgens(as mentioned before) that increase in boys as well as girls during puberty cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge and make more skin oil.
- Certain medications: Some drugs containing corticosteroids, testosterone or lithium can aggravate acne to a great extent.
- Diet: Studies show that certain foods when taken in your diet such as milk and carbohydrate-rich foods such as bread and chips may worsen acne. Chocolate has also been suspected of making acne worse since a long time. A study was done on 14 men with acne showed that eating chocolate was related to a worsening of symptoms.
- Stress: Stress can also make acne worse.
What are the areas affected due to male acne?
The face is the most common area of the body where acne occurs. Apart from the face, the neck, chest, forehead and upper back are other places where acne might take place.
What are the ways to treat acne in men?
Treatments for acne has always been a varied subject when it came to women. But when it comes to men, the treatments are seldom different.
If you have already tried over-the-counter acne preventions or medications for several weeks and they haven’t helped at all, please visit your doctor so that they can help you in suggesting various other skin treatments for you. If you don’t have a dermatologist, visit or book an appointment with us at Ambrosia Clinics and we will help you get rid of your acne.
A dermatologist can suggest how to:
- Control the acne
- Avoid scarring ,marks or other any other kind of damage to your skin
- Make the scars less noticeable
Most acne medicines work by reducing the oil production, fighting bacterial infections and reducing the inflammation which eventually helps prevent scarring. When it comes to most prescription drugs for acne, you might not see results for four to eight weeks, and your skin may gets a lot worse before it gets better. It can take many months for your acne to clear up completely.
The most common topical prescription medications for acne are as follows:
- Salicylic acid and azelaic acid.
These therapies may be suggested in select cases, either alone or in combination with medications.
- Lasers and photodynamic therapy: A variety of new and light-based therapies have been tried by dermatologists around the world with some amount of success. But further applications and study is needed to determine the ideal method, light source and dose of this method.
- Chemical peel: This procedure is one of common procedures as treatments and it uses repeated applications of a particular chemical solution, carefully made for this procedure, such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid or retinoic acid. Any improvement in acne is not always long lasting, so repeated treatments are usually needed over a period of time.
- Extraction of whiteheads and blackheads: Your cosmetic surgeon might use special tools to gently remove whiteheads and blackheads that haven’t cleared up with various topical medications. This technique might cause scarring as well as a side effect.
- Steroid injection: At times, Nodular and cystic lesions can be treated by injecting a steroid drug directly into them by direct contact. This therapy has often resulted in rapid improvement and decreased pain as well which is also preferred nowadays by people.
Why is it important to treat acne in men?
Acne is harmful to your skin and of course to your image and confidence. When it comes acne and it being in places on your face such as your cheeks or even your chin, shaving the beard is often troublesome as the razor often goes over the pimple or cyst and causes bleeding.
The last reason and probably externally related is confidence. Any kind of mark, scar or even having cysts or pimples on your skin, takes a negative toll on your confidence level. So if you have acne in the form of pimples, cysts, blackheads or anything else, visit us or book an appointment with us at Ambrosia Clinics and we will assess your condition and treat you accordingly so that the pimples go and the scars and marks which are left behind can also be made invisible.
About The Doctor:Dr. Theertha Lenin, BHMS, FMC is a Medical Cosmetologist, Aesthetician and Tattoo artist. Her passion towards aesthetic medicine made her start practice at very young age.She has been a part of several organisations at various locations in India; and is one of the best cosmetologists among her peers. She has passion and skill in non–surgical cosmetic procedures like Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy, Dermaroller, Stem Cell Therapy, Anti–Ageing Treatment, Chemical Peels, Laser Therapy, Mesotherapy. She does preliminary counselling and looks after patients before and after major surgeries too.