Studies conducted in the 1970s showed that the prevalence of acne peaks in late adolescence. The incidence was found to reduce with age, and more severe forms of acne were more often found in males.1 Yet, the visibility of this disorder can have a greater negative impact on women’s social and emotional functioning in Western societies where beauty is a prominent positive attribute. Facial acne is difficult to hide and can have a detrimental impact on quality of life.
The degree of psychosocial impairment correlates with the adult patient’s subjective assessment, and not the objective clinical severity of acne. The major emotional implications, and their social consequences, challenge the classical view of acne as something purely physiological or even trivial.2
‘Female acne’ has become a distinct clinical entity, and it is important to be aware that acne in adult women differs from that of teenagers. Females tend to have more red spots and pustules, and fewer blackheads and whiteheads.3