Prevalence of facial acne in adults

J Am Acad Dermatol. 1999 Oct;41(4):577-80.


Background: Acne is usually considered a disorder of adolescence, and a number of studies have examined the prevalence of this condition in the adolescent population. There are, however, relatively few data on the prevalence of acne in the adult population.

Objective: A community-based study was carried out to investigate the current prevalence of facial acne in adults.

Methods: Seven hundred forty-nine persons older than 25 years were examined for facial acne by means of the Leeds acne-grading technique.

Results: A degree of facial acne was recorded in 231 women and 130 men, giving an overall prevalence of 54% (95% confidence interval [CI], 49-58) in women and 40% (95% CI, 35-45) in men (P <.001). The acne observed in volunteers consisted principally of physiological acne, but clinical facial acne (grade > 0.75) was recorded in 3% (95% CI, 1.2-4.8) of men and in 12% (95% CI, 9-15) of women (P <.001). The prevalence of acne did not substantially decrease until after the age of 44 years (P <.001).

Conclusion: This study shows a prevalence of clinical facial acne in women of 12%, which is likely to persist into middle age.

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / epidemiology*
  • Adult
  • Facial Dermatoses / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology