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Did people in different periods of history have acne?

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I've always wondered if people before the 20th century or even earlier got acne, and if not what are we doing to cause it?

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I recall reading in a history book that the Greeks and Romans had steam baths, and one of the reasons was to combat acne.

I recall someone posting a newspaper clipping of an acne treatment ad from the 17th century.

But why do we seem to have lots of acne in the 20th century?

Honestly, I don't think we do. Just the advent of the internet allows us acne people to congregate together. I walk outside, and I hardly see anyone with acne.

Another reason could be maybe that were too germophobic nowadays. Thats one of the theories of the increase of allergies...because we don't allow kids to get dirty and use antibiotics all the time...we don't allow our immune system some exercise.

Or it could be more chemicals in foods.

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yes, they did. even the ancient greeks and egyptians had acne. i came across a news paper advertisement from the 1800s for some magical acne elixir, i wish i had saved it because i can't find it now.


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Acne was present in Ancient China too.

However, I do think that in modern times, acne has become WAY more common (weren't there surveys done asking people if they suffered from acne and "yes" was significantly lower than it is now?)

I'm not claiming that acne is caused by a modern lifestyle (I've seen and read the many arguments of a holistic enthusiast against an accutane enthusiast...), but in answer to your question, acne was present in the past too.


Take care of your skin, ya'll!


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What about the claim then that acne does not exist in developing countries? Many theories out there claim that it is our industrialized culture which brought it on. It is definitely factual that developing countries do not suffer from acne as much as we do.

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What about the claim then that acne does not exist in developing countries? Many theories out there claim that it is our industrialized culture which brought it on. It is definitely factual that developing countries do not suffer from acne as much as we do.

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I'm of Greek origin. If only I could meet my ancient Greek ancestor culprit who passed me on the acne gene... grrr...

Btw, the common African ancestor story is just a theory. In the university where I work, the experts who work on that theory still have many doubts about our true origin.

Maybe we came from outer space and the acne came with us? LOL!!

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But did adult acne exist before the 20th century?

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It's a common old myth that masturbation and sex caused acne, used to keep kids and teens from doing it, so back then, i'd say acne existed and was definitely something feared and looked down upon like it still is.

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That's interesting. I always assumed people had less acne in the past, along with lower cholesterol, blood pressure, fewer people were overweight, etc. etc.


Regimen:

Morning/Night - Cetaphil cleanser, moisturizer - Oil of Olay protective renewal

Daily: Fish oil supplements

Weekly: Pendo pad (body/bacne, 1x or 2x, depends), still looking for a good facial exfoliator

No makeup, and weaning myself off soda...


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That's interesting. I always assumed people had less acne in the past, along with lower cholesterol, blood pressure, fewer people were overweight, etc. etc.

**NEW REGIMEN**

-No more prescription or over the counter products.

-No more antibiotics

-Just cleanse 3 times a day with ONLY water, lukewarm water to be exact..my face is far less dry(knock on wood)

-Eat fairly healthy but im not going overboard with it, if i want to eat something i will

-Keep touching face to a VERY minimal

-Drink water ONLY

-Try my best not to pick,squeeze or pop unless its ready to be

-Excercise everyday, weight training

-Enjoy Life!!!!


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Of course they did... people look at a few pictures in some books and say "oh well, they don't have acne!"... well, go to the bookstore and look at any book or magazine of TODAY and see if you can find a single person with acne... you won't! Even without photoshopping/airbrushing a lot of cameras will not capture acne.

As far as developing countries.... have you seen how bad those people look? Their skin is normally in terrible shape, acne or not.

I honestly don't believe that acne is any more abundant today than it was hundreds of years ago... I can tell you walking around a college campus that I don't see ANYONE with acne, ever. The last time I saw someone with noticeable acne was about a year ago. Severe acne is NOT that common. We have a skewed view of it because we are all here on this forum talking about it all the time and we think this is an appropriate representation of the world, it's not.


"Factors that are known to cause variation in the levels of growth hormone (GH) and IGF-1 in the circulation include an individual's genetic make-up, the time of day, his or her age, gender, exercise status, stress levels, nutrition level and body mass index (BMI), disease state, race, estrogen status and xenobiotic intake."

IGF-1 --> androgens --> sebum --> acne.


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Of course they did... people look at a few pictures in some books and say "oh well, they don't have acne!"... well, go to the bookstore and look at any book or magazine of TODAY and see if you can find a single person with acne... you won't! Even without photoshopping/airbrushing a lot of cameras will not capture acne.

As far as developing countries.... have you seen how bad those people look? Their skin is normally in terrible shape, acne or not.

I honestly don't believe that acne is any more abundant today than it was hundreds of years ago... I can tell you walking around a college campus that I don't see ANYONE with acne, ever. The last time I saw someone with noticeable acne was about a year ago. Severe acne is NOT that common. We have a skewed view of it because we are all here on this forum talking about it all the time and we think this is an appropriate representation of the world, it's not.

No, acne is stasitically more common now than it ever was, and more common in western industrialized socieities than any others. It just is.


"Factors that are known to cause variation in the levels of growth hormone (GH) and IGF-1 in the circulation include an individual's genetic make-up, the time of day, his or her age, gender, exercise status, stress levels, nutrition level and body mass index (BMI), disease state, race, estrogen status and xenobiotic intake."

IGF-1 --> androgens --> sebum --> acne.


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Must be all the chemicals and crap that passes our lips and lungs everyday that has made it more prevalent.


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It's the way we live in today's world. Gas, oil, chemicals, air being as thick as tar etc

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Remember the old period films?

where you see ladies and gents with little black dots on their faces,

they were to cover up acne scars and blemishes!

i only heard about that the other day on a history program,

so i guess cavemen probably had acne too lol.


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another thing you have to remember is that we're all obsessed with appearances, and if you surveyed someone they'd say they had terrible skin.

i have literally 20 times more acne than i used to, but i've ALWAYS complained about having bad skin. Now that i have it bad, my friends are like "Dude you used to have like perfect skin, what the hell happened?"

it's all relative.

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My guess is more dairy products in our diet (with hormones, incompatible enzymes, etc) could intensify the hormones that we already have.

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