Prevalence and course of acne


About 90% of all teenagers get acne, while 20% of all cases are adults. Acne is not limited to teenagers.

Acne in babies is uncommon and results from the effect of maternal hormones.

Acne usually resolves in early adulthood. Some people develop acne for the first time after they have reached adulthood. Five percent of women older than 40 may still be troubled by acne. Only one percent of men in a similar group have acne.

The severity may differ from person to person and may fluctuate over time.

Teenage boys tend to have more severe acne than teenage girls.

Acne is most prevalent in the teens and early adulthood, mainly because of hormone production. However, many people have acne throughout their lives. In most people who develop acne, it will last 6-10 years. Blackheads and whiteheads (non-inflammatory acne) may develop into pimples or pustules (inflammatory acne), and pimples may develop into cysts.

Risk factors

  • Acne and its severity often run in families.
  • People with oily skin tend to get more acne.
  • Teenage boys tend to have more severe acne than teenage girls.

Reviewed by Professor H.F Jordaan, MBChb, MMed (Derm)

Read more:
Acne top 10

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