Acne vulgaris, a very common condition among adolescents, can result in psychological distress, including anxiety and depression. The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence and risk factors of acne vulgaris among Chinese adolescents. In the Zhou Hai district of Guangdong Province, 3163 students 10 to 18 years old were selected from 7 schools. Information was collected using self-administrated questionnaIres and physician examinations. The prevalence of acne vulgaris was calculated from the collected data. Potential risk factors including age, gender, diet, skin type, sleeping habits, and facial make-up use were analyzed using stepwise logistic regression. The results showed a prevalence of acne vuglaris of 53.5% in all adolescents, with 51.3% in males and 58.6% in females. The prevalence of inflammatory acne in males and females combined was 25.8% and of acne scarring 7.1%. Increased age was related to higher prevalence and severity of acne vulgaris: 15.6%, 44.9%, and 70.4% for 10, 13, and 16 year olds, respectively. Acne vulgaris was more prevalent in girls under and boys over 14 years of age. Significant risk factors of acne vuglaris included age, skin type (oily, mixed, or neutral skin in comparison with dry skin), insufficient sleep, and cosmetic make-up use.
Conclusion: Acne vulgaris is prevalent among Chinese adolescents 10 to 18 years old. Health education to address this condition in Chinese adolescents could have important implications for public health.