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Patient demographics – Acne is common in all ages 

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In teenagers, acne is very common: 85% of people aged 12–24 years have acne to some degree and acne is diagnosed as moderate-to-severe in up to a fifth of young people.[2]


In adults aged over 25 years, around 50% have some degree of facial acne, and clinical facial acne continues into middle age in around 12% of women and 3% of men.[3] The prevalence of ‘female acne’ is increasing and affects up to 50% of women aged >25 years.[4]


Burden of acne – Understanding the wider impact

Acne is a chronic condition and can sometimes persist into adulthood. As well as the physical effects, acne is also associated with psychosocial burden and pharmacoeconomic implications.[2],[5]

In addition to the clinical severity of acne, there are many factors that affect the patient and that need to be considered when determining the overall severity of disease.

Physical aspects include pain, hyperpigmentation and scarring;[6]; emotional factors include profound psychosocial impact that can range from embarrassment to anxiety and severe depression.[1],[7],[8],[9] Acne also has a detrimental impact on relationships, school, work and social functioning.[7],[9]

Optimal management of acne requires the identification of these factors – through effective dialogue and assessment – and taking them into account when managing your patient’s acne



  1. Krakowski A, et al. Practical considerations in acne treatmentand the clinical impact of topical combination therapy. PediatrDermatol 2008;25 Suppl 1:1–14
  2. Bhate K, et al. Epidemiology of acne vulgaris. Br J Dermatol2013;168(3):474–85.
  3. Cordain L, et al. Acne vulgaris: a disease of westerncivilization. Arch Dermatol 2002;138:1584–1590.
  4. Preneau S, et al. Female acne – a different subtype ofteenager acne? JEADV 2012; 26: 277–282.
  5. Bowe W, et al. Effective over-the-counter acne treatments.Semin Cutan Med Surg 2008;27(3):170–6.
  6. Morelli JG. Acne. In: Kliegman RM, ed. Kliegman: NelsonTextbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: SaundersElsevier; 2011. Accessed June 2015.
  7. Williams C, et al. Persistent acne in women: implications forthe patient and for therapy. Am J Clin Dermatol2006;7(5):281–290.
  8. Goodman G. Cleansing and moisturizing in acne patients. AmJ Clin Dermatol 2009;10 Suppl.1:1–6.
  9. Dunn LK, et al. Acne in Adolescents: Quality of life, self-esteem, mood, and psychological disorders. Derm online J2011;17(1):1.

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