Acne isn’t fun at any age. It is a pain to deal with and highly persistent when it lasts past puberty to any great extent. Many women and others still need to deal with acne from time to time due to hormonal shifts, but at the same time, it isn’t quite the same as the persistent issues people with acne-prone skin deal with all the time. It is a constant struggle to manage the problem without going overboard and making the issue worse. Acne prone skin is little more than a constant frustration for the people who deal with it and yet they do deal with it. Those with such skin learn how to manage their skin through trial and error until it isn’t terribly obvious that their skin is a constant bother. It seems relatively thankless beyond being able to feel confident about their skin, but it turns out there may actually be a hidden bonus in the genes of the people with acne prone skin. All those trials might just make their skin far more resilient in the long run.
A Mask of False Ideas
There’s no getting around the fact that acne leaves its mark on our skin. It can be difficult to fully manage a breakout to the extent that you prevent any scars or spots from turning up. This difficulty is compounded by the fact that those of us who deal with acne more frequently have to use slightly harsher products than average to keep our skin looking and feeling healthy. This doesn’t tend to leave us with any great confidence of how well our skin will age. After all, continual skin issues throughout one’s life have a habit of showing up clearly in age and making the signs of aging appear faster in most cases. Additionally, worry is added by the fact that most of us know that harsh products generally exact a toll on the skin anyway. Everyone’s had the experience of needing to use a stronger cleanser at one point or another and needing to use a better moisturizer to ensure it doesn’t dry out the skin or otherwise hurt it. All of this makes it incredibly surprising that it actually seems people who deal with acne their whole lives actually show signs of age noticeably slower than their peers.
It seems to fly in the face of common sense, but the pattern is actually held up by many dermatologists. People with acne are less prone to premature aging and normal signs of aging than their peers. The benefits seem the most concentrated around the formation of wrinkles. This is good news for anyone prone to acne and has been mostly a quirk that no one quite knew what was going on with for ages. However, scientists recently published a study that ended up potentially seeing what might cause this effect. People with acne appear to have longer telomeres, sections of chromosomes that shorten with age when compared to people of their same age. In effect, their skin appears to actually be younger when you look at it with a fine enough scientific instrument. This doesn’t really make up for the hassle of acne, but it at least means that at least there is a small bit of compensation for your difficulties if you’ve fought acne your entire life.
What This Means
Despite how interesting this information is, it actually isn’t terribly meaningful to most people for now. It is a small comfort to anyone with chronic acne, yes, but it changes little for the rest. However, it is important to note that science progresses constantly even though a recent discovery might not truly show its benefit for a decade or more. Finding this strange link between acne and fewer signs of physical aging is a puzzle piece more than anything at the moment. Scientists will try to replicate the study to verify the findings and then it will be another piece of data for further study. The modern science of aging is still in its comparative infancy as various theories actively compete to try to pin down why we age and how we can mitigate the worst of the effects of aging. This piece may eventually be useful, but, for now, it is a curiosity that you can surprise your friends with the next time you’re sharing trivia.
People with acne prone skin may actually age slightly slower than the rest of us. At the moment the evidence is largely confined to skin cells, but science seems to imply that this is true. Countless years of practice for many dermatologists also seem to indicate that there is a practical truth to it too. If you’ve suffered from acne for ages, then you can at least rest easily and know that all your hard work caring for your skin likely means you’ll look younger and healthier than your peers once you’re all older.