Acne is the most common skin disorder affecting 85% of all people at some point in their lives. The belief that acne is a ‘teenage problem’ is a myth, as the condition is not restricted to any particular age group.
There has been a significant increase in acne through all ages in the last half century and many adults are now suffering with it for the first time.
In fact the research shows that more and more adults are suffering with the condition and the number of ‘adult acne’ patients is the age group of the greatest increase. These findings are not as recent as some may think. In 1994 it was found that the average age of patients in acne clinics had risen to twenty-six years old from twenty years old in 1984.
Furthermore it has been over a decade since, Cutis (2001) referred to adult acne as a “world-wide epidemic” in an editorial in the prestigious dermatology journal.
"Epidemiological studies show that there appears to be an increase in post-adolescent acne, and that the disease is lasting longer and is requiring treatment well into the mid-forties." (International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 2004)
It is estimated that 25% of all adult men and 50% of all adult women will experience acne at some point in their adult lives. This is in comparison to the estimation that 40% of all adolescents will suffer with acne, emphasises there is no dominant age group.
It is estimated of the proportion of adult acne sufferers, approximately 75% will be experiencing ‘persistent acne’, where the condition has continued from adolescent through to adulthood. However the remaining 25% make up millions of adults of who may have escaped teenage acne but are living with the condition for the first time, known as ‘late onset acne’. It is believed that women aged between 30 and 40 are particularly susceptible to late onset acne, which amounts to an estimated 25% of all adult acne sufferers.
In the United Kingdom, there are approximately 9 to 12 million sufferers with active acne at any one time. There is currently an estimated 40 to 50 million acne sufferers in the United States, with approximately 20 million of these being adults and millions more who do not seek care.