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72 Acne Statistics: Insights into Prevalence, Impacts and Treatments

72 Acne Statistics: Insights into Prevalence, Impacts and Treatments

Miriam Otero

11 min

April 2, 2024

Acne is a skin condition that transcends age, geography, and lifestyle, marking its presence across the faces and lives of adolescents and adults alike.

It occurs when hair follicles get clogged with oil and dead skin, leading to pimples, blackheads, and cysts. It's linked to sebaceous glands in our skin that produce oil to keep it moist.

Sometimes, these glands produce too much oil, especially during hormonal changes, setting the stage for acne.

While acne is most common on the face, it can also appear on the back and chest, where we have more oil glands. The causes of acne vary, including hormones, genetics, diet, and stress, showing how sensitive our skin is to different factors.

At HAIR & SKIN, we offer a number of facial treatments that can help address and prevent acne. We're not just about treatments; we're about understanding your skin's needs.

Since our team is constantly doing more research on the topic, we thought we’d provide you with some interesting and informative statistics to keep you updated on acne.

Top 10 Acne Statistics

  • Research found that 12% of women experience clinical facial acne. [Source: 1]
  • After their teen years, more women reported having acne than men. [Source: 2]
  • About 85% of individuals aged 12 to 24 experience acne. [Source: 3]
  • Acne ranks as the top skin issue in the United States, impacting around 50 million Americans each year. [Source: 4]
  • Acne can appear at any age and persist into your 30s and 40s. [Source: 4]
  • The market for acne treatments is projected to grow to more than 14 billion U.S. dollars by 2031. [Source: 5]
  • Acne is linked to increased instances of depression, anxiety, and underperformance in academic and social settings. [Source: 6]
  • Acne patients who were 20 years and older exhibited more overall self-awareness compared to those aged 16 to 19 years in a study. [Source: 6]
  • In the U.S, adults aged 18 and over account for 61.9% of dermatologist visits for acne. [Source: 6]
  • In the U.K, over one-third of adults (34%) have experienced acne at some time in their lives. [Source: 7]

Acne by Age Group Statistics

Acne can happen to anyone, from young people to adults. It's a common problem, so finding specific treatments and taking good care of our skin and health are important.

Child and Adolescent Acne

Hormonal changes often cause acne in teenagers. An increase in testosterone during puberty is a primary factor, affecting not just boys but girls as well, where their testosterone levels also rise.

While many might think this hormone only affects boys, it's a significant trigger for both genders. For most individuals, acne clears up by adulthood.

  • Acne typically begins in puberty but can also appear in children. [Source: 9]
  • Around 85% of teenagers will be impacted by acne vulgaris at some stage. [Source: 10]
  • In Greece, over half of adolescents (51.2%) between the ages of 11 and 19 have acne, affecting boys and girls equally. [Source: 8]
  • Most adolescents in Greece report having mild acne (71.2%), while about 28.8% face moderate to severe acne. [Source: 8]
  • Stress and family history are closely linked to the presence and severity of acne, but smoking isn't related. [Source: 8]
  • Eight out of ten individuals between the ages of 11 and 30 experience acne to varying extents. [Source: 11]

Adult Acne

Adult acne is a dermatological condition that extends beyond adolescence, often triggered by hormonal imbalances, stress, and dietary factors. Its persistence into adulthood highlights the necessity for ongoing, specialised dermatologic care and treatment strategies tailored to the adult physiology and lifestyle.

  • In a study done on adults in the U.K, it was found that:
    • 72% of those who have acne are older than 24. [Source: 7]
    • Among those aged 45 to 55, about 8% (1 in 12) report suffering from acne. [Source: 7]
    • Individuals aged 25 to 34 are significantly affected, with over 20% experiencing acne. [Source: 7]
    • 14.6% of those aged 35 to 44 say they have acne. [Source: 7]
    • 3.5% of adults aged 55 and older report they currently have acne. [Source: 7]
  • Just 20% of men continue to experience acne into their 30s. [Source: 11]
  • Smoking habits were reported in 16.3% of adult acne patients, with no significant differences between genders. [Source: 12]
  • The average age of adults with acne increased from 20.5 to 26.5 years. [Source: 12]

According to Dr Lauren A. Fine, a dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon at The Derm Institute of Chicago, acne treatment isn't one-size-fits-all. “Not everyone gets the same four ingredients or products,” explains Dr. Fine.

She believes that a thorough physical examination and comprehensive patient history are key to determining the most effective treatment approach.

We fully agree with that sentiment. At HAIR & SKIN, we start by providing patients with a skin analysis, aiming to uncover the underlying causes of their skin concerns.

This initial step allows us to design a treatment plan that's customised for each individual. It's an essential first move before experimenting with various treatments, ensuring you're on the right path to clearer and healthier skin from the get-go.

Acne Prevalence Statistics

Acne affects individuals across various age groups, manifesting differently from one person to the next.

  • 8.6% of females report experiencing mild to moderate acne currently. [Source: 7]
  • 5.8% of males also report similar (mild to moderate) levels of acne. [Source: 7]
  • 6.1% of the surveyed males in a U.K study indicated they deal with severe acne, while only 2.5% of females describe their acne as severe. [Source: 7]
  • A higher risk of developing acne is linked to having parents who also had acne. [Source: 9]
  • In Turkey, 59.3% of study participants felt that eating fatty foods worsened their acne issues. [Source: 15]
  • In a study done on 1,167 outpatients in a European clinic it was found that:
    • Mild acne was the most common type among all adults and adolescents, occurring in 92% of adult women, 82% of adult men, 89% of teenage girls, and 77% of teenage boys. [Source: 12]
    • Severe acne was the least common, affecting 1% of adult women, 3% of adult men, 1% of teenage girls, and 1% of teenage boys. [Source: 12]
    • Persistent adult acne was more common (70.7%) compared to late-onset adult acne (29.3%). [Source: 12]
    • The impact of acne on quality of life was significantly negative, more so among females than males in both adult and adolescent groups. [Source: 12]
  • The severity of acne was found to have a strong association with having an oily skin type. [Source: 13]
  • Another study showed a strong link between acne and the consumption of dairy products, sweets, chocolate, and oily foods. However, it did not discover any significant correlations between acne and factors like age, body mass index (BMI), emotional state, or the use of cosmetics.

Impact of Acne Statistics

These numbers reveal the broader effects of acne on individuals' mental health, self-esteem, and daily life.

They invite a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by those with acne and emphasize the importance of addressing this common skin condition with sensitivity and comprehensive care.

  • Acne is a widespread health issue that isn't triggered by dirt and is usually not related to diet. [Source: 9]
  • Conversely, some individuals notice their acne worsens after consuming specific foods. [Source: 9]
  • In adults with facial acne, 92% felt a psychosocial impact due to their acne, and 71% experienced a decrease in self-confidence. [Source: 11]
  • Acne is linked to up to a 40% chance of having a psychiatric disorder. [Source: 12]
  • If acne isn't treated, it can result in permanent scarring. [Source: 9]
  • Squeezing pimples can lead to increased redness, swelling, inflammation, and scarring. [Source: 9]
  • Around 20% of teenagers experience facial scarring from acne. [Source: 10]

At HAIR & SKIN, we offer medical needling as one of our treatments. It helps with pigmentation and age spots, (acne) scars and enlarged pores. Our patients have found this treatment to be deeply effective as it penetrates deeper into the skin.

With microneedling (a common treatment carried out by beauticians), the skin penetration depth is a maximum of 0.5mm. Our medical needling treatment is performed by Doctors and has a minimum depth of 0.5mm.

  • About 65.4% of students, or 7 out of 10, feel distressed because of acne. [Source: 15]
  • The more anxious students feel about their social appearance because of acne, the lower their quality of life tends to be. [Source: 15]
  • Acne distress strongly influences the decision to use complementary and alternative medicine. [Source: 15]
  • How acne affects one's quality of life can also predict the likelihood of turning to alternative medicine. [Source: 15]
  • Social appearance anxiety related to acne can indirectly be linked to acne's impact on quality of life. [Source: 15]
  • Greater impairment in quality of life due to acne was observed in those living in rural areas among both adolescents and adults. [Source: 16]
  • Adolescents displayed more anxiety, whereas adults showed a tendency towards depressive symptoms due to acne. [Source: 16]
  • In one study, the education level of adolescents and adults was associated with the extent of psychological impairment they experienced. [Source: 16]
  • The longer someone had acne, the more it affected their mental well-being, regardless of their age. [Source: 16]

Acne Treatments Statistics

While there's no immediate or lasting cure for acne, it can be managed effectively. [Source: 9]

  • Many treatments for acne can make the skin more susceptible to sunlight, raising the risk of sunburn. [Source: 9]
  • Between February 2021 and January 2022, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in England prescribed 1.52 million acne treatments, totaling £22.67 million in cost. [Source: 7]
  • Every year, acne leads to more than 5 million visits to the doctor. [Source: 11]
  • By 2025, the worldwide market for acne is projected to hit $7.35 billion. [Source: 11]
  • Research done found that it's common for people to treat their acne using self-medication. In a survey done on 350 medical students across different countries, it was observed that:
    • Cosmetic acne creams, including coal cream masks and blackhead remover creams, accounted for 26.6% of the products used. [Source: 13]
    • Topical retinoids were chosen by 28.9% of individuals. [Source: 13]
    • A smaller percentage, 10.2%, opted for topical salicylate. [Source: 13]
    • The majority, with 70.3%, used topical antibiotics to treat their acne. [Source: 13]
    • Topical corticosteroids, like betamethasone, were used by 6.3%. [Source: 13]
    • Herbal products, such as chamomile and green tea, were utilised by 22.7%. [Source: 13]
    • Nearly half, 47.7%, resorted to home remedies, including yogurt, honey, and coffee masks. [Source: 13]
    • Oral acne medications were less common: isotretinoin (9.4%), antibiotics like tetracycline (7.8%), and oral contraceptives (4.7%). [Source: 13]
    • Spironolactone was used by a minimal 1.6%. [Source: 13]
  • A study done on acne and medical professionals found that pharmacists' understanding of acne treatment was insufficient. [Source: 13]

It’s fairly evident from these statistics that people are trying multiple treatments in the hope it will help with their acne. We believe that skin boosters are a promising option not just for revitalising the skin but also for addressing acne and the lingering scars it often leaves behind.

Infused with hyaluronic acid, these treatments enhance skin quality, diminish redness, and smooth out scar textures, for those seeking solutions beyond conventional methods.

At HAIR & SKIN, our skilled physicians tailor customised treatment plans, incorporating skin boosters among other strategies to deliver optimal outcomes.

This commitment to personalised care reflects our dedication to helping individuals navigate the challenges of acne, embracing a holistic approach to achieve not just healthier skin but also bolstered confidence and improved quality of life.

Frequently asked questions

Which country has the most cases of acne?

  • United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Canada, and Japan. [Source: 14]

What is the percentage of people that have acne in the world?

  • Worldwide, about 85% of individuals aged 12 to 24 experience acne. [Source: 3]

Who is most at risk for acne?

  • Teenagers and young adults, especially those undergoing hormonal changes, are most at risk for acne. [Source: 3]

What are the best treatments for acne?

  • The best treatments for acne typically include topical retinoids, topical antibiotics, benzoyl peroxide, and for more severe cases, oral medications like isotretinoin. Lifestyle changes and proper skincare routines also play a crucial role in managing acne.

Does acne go away with age?

  • Acne can persist into one's 30s and 40s, but it often begins to clear up by adulthood. [Source: 4]


  1. [Source: 1] - Prevalence of facial acne in adults by the American Academy of Dermatology
  2. [Source: 2] - The prevalence of acne in adults 20 years and older by PubMed
  3. [Source: 3] - Acne (Acne Vulgaris) by Yale Medicine
  4. [Source: 4] - Skin Conditions By The Numbers by the American Academy of Dermatology
  5. [Source: 5] - Size of the acne medication market worldwide by Statista
  6. [Source: 6] - The Influence of Acne Vulgaris on Self-Esteem by National Library of Medicine
  7. [Source: 7] - Acne Statistics UK 2022 by Click2Pharmacy
  8. [Source: 8] - The impact of acne vulgaris in young adolescents in Greece by Sociedade Brasileira de Dermatologia
  9. [Source: 9] - Acne by The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne
  10. [Source: 10] - Acne vulgaris in teenagers by Contemporary PEDS Journal
  11. [Source: 11] - Acne Statistics: Market Report & Data by GITNUX
  12. [Source: 12] - Adult Acne Versus Adolescent Acne by Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology
  13. [Source: 13] - Prevalence of acne and its impact on quality of life by Scientific Reports
  14. [Source: 14] - Acne Vulgaris Clinical Trial Analysis by Trial Phase by Global Data
  15. [Source: 15] - The effect of acne on quality of life by Complementary Therapies in Medicine
  16. [Source: 16] - Psychosocial impact of acne vulgaris on the quality of life among adolescents versus adults by Royal College of Physicians 2023