Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Prevalence of facial acne vulgaris in late adolescence and in adults.

Br Med J 1979; 1 doi: (Published 28 April 1979) Cite this as: Br Med J 1979;1:1109
  1. W J Cunliffe,
  2. D J Gould


    A survey of 1066 healthy women and 1089 healthy men aged 18-70 years, performed to determine the prevalence of facial acne, showed that clinical acne was not confined to adolescents. Though it was more prevalent among men than women at 18, beyond the age of 23 clinical acne was more prevalent among women as the prevalence in men gradually declined. At 40-49 years 3% of men and 5% of women still had definite, albeit mild, clinical acne, and at 50-59 years 6% of men and 8% of women had physiological acne. The surprisingly high prevalence of acne in adults may be related to antibiotic treatment or, in women, to the use of oral contraceptives or cosmetics, though this survey did not study their influence. Further studies in different populations are needed to establish the prevalence of acne in the community, and its distribution.