Working women beyond the age of 25 tend to develop unsightly and painful acne due to the growing amount of stress even if they never had spots as teenagers, dermatologists have revealed.
Stress makes the adrenal glands release male hormones, which trigger more oil production, blocking pores, and with 66 percent of UK mothers working, it has led to a new generation of women battling pimples.
Researchers from the Nantes University Hospital in France also reported that adult acne takes a different form as compared to teenage spots, although the reasons are not yet completely understood.
Unlike adolescents, who tend to get eruptions around the T-zone of the forehead, nose and chin, women past their mid-twenties get more cystic, harder-to-treat spots, deeper under the skin.
Adult acne also tends to be more sporadic, with 85 percent of women reporting attacks before and during their period.
The researchers also found that women are up to three times likelier to suffer from acne than men, a difference which may be due to the fact their skin is more sensitive to the action of male hormones on the sebaceous glands.
More than a fifth of women in the UK also smoke and two studies have found female smokers suffer more frequent and serious acne attacks as nicotine is believed to boost the production of oily sebum and deplete supplies of Vitamin E, which is vital for skin repair.
"It’s time to re-evaluate who we think gets acne. It’s not recognised enough how much it affects the lives of adult women," the Daily Mail quoted Susannah Baron, consultant dermatologist at Kent and Canterbury Hospital and the Chaucer BMI Hospital as saying.
"For many, it kicks in later life when they have to juggle families and careers at the same time. Many of the female patients I see also have stressful jobs and a lot to deal with. Interestingly, many of them did not have significant acne as teenagers," she added.