Study Finds Damage Caused by Free Radicals Linked to Adult Acne

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According to results from a 2012 Journal of Drugs in Dermatology study, inflammation and oxidative stress caused by free radicals can lead to acne in adults. This challenges the conventional theory that clogged pores are the primary cause and require alternative treatment options. Multiple studies showed adults with acne had fewer antioxidants—their blood levels of vitamins A, C, and E were lower—compared with their clear-skinned peers. Given these findings, effective treatments for adult onset acne include antioxidant-rich topical serums and creams, as well as incorporating foods high in antioxidants such as kale, salmon, and strawberries and drinks such as green tea to their diet. As a bonus, these help reverse the signs of aging and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. (More in depth coverage of antioxidants from the August issue) For more severe symptoms, additional treatments, such as antibiotics, oral contraceptives, and laser and light therapy, may be needed.