How common is acne?

Currently an estimated 60 million Americans have acne. Of that number, 20% have acne that is severe enough to cause scarring. Twenty percent of Americans continue their teenage battle with acne into adulthood.
Judy Caplan
Nutrition & Dietetics

Acne is very common. The severity of acne varies from person to person. Some people are born with an acne gene and no matter what they do they will still suffer from it. These individuals often need prescription medications like Accutane, Retin A, or antibiotics to help prevent facial scarring. Others with milder less aggressive cases may be able to control acne with topical medications and diet. Almost all teenagers get some pimples at one time or another. It is unusual to go through your teen years without any breakouts.

Acne is the most common skin disorder of teenagers, affecting about 85% of Americans at some time between ages 13 and 20. It's also a problem for 5 to 10% of adults and preteens. The most important thing to know about acne is that it is a medical condition that can be successfully treated. If you have acne, ask your pediatrician, family doctor, or dermatologist to recommend the best over-the-counter or prescription acne medications for you.    
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Acne is the most common skin condition known. It can affect men, women, and children of all ages, races, and most ethnicities. People with higher-than-normal sebum levels are at most risk because the oily substance clogs pores where bacteria can thrive. Sebaceous (oil-making) glands enlarge when certain hormones rise, which helps explain why teenagers, pregnant women, and people with some hormonal diseases are prone to acne. In the United States, an estimated 40 to 50 million people have acne, and 40% of U.S. teens develop acne or acne scarring, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Although acne usually disappears during adulthood, it can develop for the first time, at any age, even during midlife.


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.