Acne vulgaris in the United States: a descriptive epidemiology

Cutis. 2010 Aug;86(2):94-9.


While acne vulgaris is a common skin disease, many misconceptions still exist. The purpose of this study is to provide epidemiologic data to accurately describe the US population affected with acne and its associated comorbidities. Patient information was obtained from a third-party database of administrative claims from more than 80 public and private healthcare plans, representing approximately 9.6 million unique patients, and analyzed using the Total Resource Utilization Benchmarks process. Benchmarks in this study included sex, age, comorbidities, medication, and cost. Nearly two-thirds of visits were made by females (65.2%). Teenagers (age range, 12-17 years) comprised only 36.5% of patients with acne, while patients 18 years or older comprised 61.9%. Depression was reported in 10.6% of females with acne. The average total episode cost across all age groups was determined to be $689.06, with a range of $361.25 (age range, 0-11 years) to $869.06 (age range, 15-17 years). The older patients (age 65+ years) more often were prescribed different medications than younger individuals. This analysis only included patients who sought treatment of their acne and may underestimate the total prevalence of acne in the population. Acne is a disease that affects all age groups, not just adolescents. Differences in age are associated with differences in pharmaceutical treatment as well as total healthcare utilization. Depression is a substantial comorbidity and patients seeking treatment of acne should be screened for depression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / economics
  • Acne Vulgaris / epidemiology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • United States / epidemiology