Women and acne: any difference from males? A review of the literature

G Ital Dermatol Venereol. 2016 Feb;151(1):87-92. Epub 2014 Sep 18.


Introduction: The attention to the impact of gender differences in acne is needed and, at the moment, lacking. The aim of this paper was to perform a systematic review on gender differences in acne.

Evidence acquisition: A review of the literature was performed using the PubMed and Ovid literature search engines , using a variety of combined search terms including "acne", "gender", "sex", "females", "males". The search extended until July 2013.

Evidence syntesis: Gender differences in acne highlight hormonal interactions as a major target for which more research is needed to translate current findings to clinically significant diagnostic and therapeutic applications. In addition, female patients are more likely to develop anxiety and depression due to their condition, and acne improvement positively influences quality of life.

Conclusions: The patient's sex should not radically alter diagnostic or therapeutic efforts, although gender differences could be necessary to set up clinical management, monitoring also the psychological aspect.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / psychology*
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Quality of Life*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors