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The prevalence of acne in adults 20 years and older

Author(s): Collier CN, Harper JC, Cafardi JA, Cantrell WC, Wang W, et al.

Abstract

Background

Acne, one of the most common skin diseases, is often mistakenly thought to affect exclusively the teenaged group. However, a significant number of patients either continue to experience acne or develop new-onset acne after the teenaged years.

Objective

A survey was designed to assess the prevalence of acne in the teenaged years, and aged 20 to 29 years, 30 to 39 years, 40 to 49 years, and 50 years and older.

Methods

Adults aged 20 years and older were asked to complete surveys distributed at various sites on our university campus and medical complex.

Results

Of 1013 participants aged 20 years and older, 73.3% (n = 744) reported ever having acne. After the teenaged years, women were more likely to report having acne than men, with the difference being statistically significant in all age groups. The prevalence of acne reported in women versus men was as follows: 20 to 29 years, 50.9% (n = 276) versus 42.5% (n = 201) (P = .0073); 30 to 39 years, 35.2% (n = 152) versus 20.1% (n = 73) (P < .0001); 40 to 49 years, 26.3% (n = 93) versus 12.0% (n = 36) (P < .0001); and 50 years and older, 15.3% (n = 41) versus 7.3% (n = 18) (P = .0046).

Limitations

Our results are based on the participant's own perception of the presence or absence of acne rather than a clinical evaluation.

Conclusions

Acne continues to be a common skin problem past the teenaged years, with women being affected at higher rates than men in all age groups 20 years or older.

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