While acne is generally considered a skin problem for teenagers, increasing numbers of women ages 29 to 45 are coming to dermatologists with new cases of acne and other skin conditions due to lockdown conditions and associated stress factors with the pandemic.
According to Christy Rainey, MD, Chief Medical Officer at DermatologistOnCall: “We have noticed a significant increase in the number of visits from young women suffering from skin conditions that may be exacerbated by the pandemic.”
DermatologistOnCall is the largest dermatology telehealth platform in the U.S. with nearly than 200 board-certified dermatologists across all 50 states.
Acne, which may be inflamed by wearing a mask, is now termed ‘maskne,’ and a common complaint among women.
“Stress incurred due to the financial impact of COVID-19 has caused many skin conditions to flare, including psoriasis, acne, urticaria, shingles (herpes zoster) and hair loss, causing many to seek out dermatologic care that may have ordinarily sought treatment elsewhere,” Dr. Rainey says.
The painful acne breakouts typically feature deep, cystic pimples found along the jawline, lower cheeks, and neck. Pandemic-related stress is a significant factor in these breakouts.
When people become stressed, their bodies produce cortisol. Cortisol causes androgen levels to rise. This causes the skin to produce more sebum or oil. That oil creates a number of issues including clogged pores and feeding the bacteria that live on our faces. All of this is leading to hormonal acne in young women.
Not only does stress have this direct impact on the skin of women, but it also leads to disrupted sleep schedules and poor diet. In addition, patients with an acne diagnosis have a 63 percent higher chance of developing depression compared with those who don’t. And of course, Zoom calls with close facial video adds to the stress.
More than 12 percent of women between 25 to 45 years old suffering from adult acne also report missing school or work due to a breakout each month. Nearly half the women with acne reported difficulty concentrating at work “some” or “all of the time.”
(Note: Photo and biography of Dr. Rainey available upon request.)
DermatologistOnCall is the largest dermatology telehealth provider in the U.S. with nearly 200 board-certified dermatologists in all 50 states.
DermatologistOnCall offers high-quality medical services through its virtual platform, empowering patients to get health care they need, when and where they need it most. The easy-to-use, nationally-available service has become an indispensable tool for uniting doctors and patients in the new digital world.