Monday, 28 November 2011

Acne, a side effect of being a successful 'high flying' career woman? Not at all.

This is the latest blight to 'successful', 'high powered', 'bossy' women...

According to The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, Marie Claire, and Female First:

- 'Acne new problem for successful women'

- 'Acne, curse of the high-flying career woman: Growing stress levels to blame for outbreak of pimples'

- 'Stress causing acne in successful women'

Acne is commonly associated with puberty. However, people still suffer from acne after their teenage years and it can develop acne later in life. A resent research paper (I found this via @featuresjourno ) published in  reviewed the literature in order to decide if female acne should be classified as a different subtype of acne than 'teenager acne'. The paper evaluated 14 different studies and evaluations already published in the literature. They concluded that adult female acne does differ from adolescent acne and suggest that female acne should be classified and investigated separately to teenage acne.

They state, 'The review of the literature did not permit to identify specific factors for explaining aggravating outbreaks in female acne. At the moment the factors remain similar to those implicated in teenager acne.' However, they do discuss a number of different theories including hormonal factors, genetic predisposition, use of cosmetics, stress, tobacco use and use of medication. From the literature evaluated they identified two key factors that seemed to dominate the development of female acne:

- Hormonal factors
- As a result of resistant Propionibacterium acnes strains and abnormal innate immunity responses in some women (this is linked to genetic factors).

Both of these factors could be modulated by genetic and external (tobacco, stress, cosmetic) factors.

The paper does not investigate if the numbers of women with acne is rising. Although it does state, 'However, in literature as in daily life, female acne is becoming more and more common' and 'At the practical level, the dermatologists in their offices have an increasing number of female patients consulting for acne lesions.' They do not provide any sources for this (it may well be common knowledge)

The paper does not link successful women with acne

The paper does not link having a job and/or children with acne

The paper does not say stress is causing an increase in acne cases

The Daily Mail even link being a working mum with acne - 'Stress makes the adrenal glands release male hormones, which trigger more oil production, blocking pores. With 66 per cent of UK mothers working, it has led to a new generation of women battling pimples.' There is no link at all showing that working UK mothers are suffering from large bouts of 'pimples' as a result of working and having children.

I do not have a copy of the press release so I am unable to say if the press release was the culprit for the link between successful women, stress and acne..... if anyone finds it, or got sent it it I would love to take a look at it!

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