Prof Niki Ralph in Stellar Magazine

Prof Niki Ralph recently spoke to @stellarmagazine about ‘U-Zone’ acne. Below are some edited excerpts from the piece:

“The term ‘U-zone’ is used to describe primarily adult-onset female acne, whereby the female lesions are located on the mandibular region (jawline), the perioral region (around the mouth) and the chin, which is essentially a U-shape,” explains Prof Niki Ralph. “This may also include extension onto the front of the neck.”

You can expect to find all sorts of lovely friends popping up on the U-zone, from inflammatory papules or pustules (AKA spots that come to a head) to closed comedones (blocked pores). While acne in the T-zone is mostly down to excess oil production. U-zone acne can be associated with genetics and hormones.

“Acne in this area tends to occur in adult females over 25 years of age, rather than the pattern seen in teenagers,” Prof Niki adds. In addition, the skin may be more sensitive than that of adolescents, with less tolerance for treatment with topical medications.”

Annoyingly, the U-zone happens to be the exact area where you face mask now sits, so if you’re already prone to acne around there, you’ll have to tiptoe extra-gently to avoid the dreaded maskne. However, with proper care and attention, you can get U-zone acne under control.

Prof Niki suggest the following steps to tackle U-zone acne:

▫️Double cleansing with a micellar water first then a cream based cleanser or foaming gel cleanser for those with excessively oily skin.
▫️Use a product that targets spots directly, with ingredients like salicylic acid, which cleans the pores, and niacinamide, which helps to reduce redness and inflammation. Prof Niki naturally recommends the La Roche-Posay Effaclar range – the new Effaclar Ultra Concentrated Serum contains both salicylic acid and niacinamide and is designed to fight spots while exfoliating the skin. Cult favourite Effaclar Duo, meanwhile, is a light gel moisturiser that works at reducing spots as you go about your day.
▫️Prof Niki also suggests introducing a retinoid into your routine, which will reduce oil production and encourage cell turnover, stopping the formation of comedones.
Just make sure you’re using SPF every day to protect your brand new skin from the sun’s rays.
“At any point, if someone feels their acne is impacting on their quality of life, they should seek medical advice,” Prof Niki continues. “Studies have shown that having chronic acne or regular breakouts is associated with low mood, depression and anxiety. No one should have to suffer from years of acne when there are lots of treatments that can improve your skin.”
The full feature is available to read on