At what age do adolescents start to get acne?

Richard Ricciardi
Advanced Practice Nursing
Great question. Acne is an extremely common skin condition in adolescence. It can begin in early adolescence (around age 10) or in some adolescents, it may not develop until late adolescence (around age 17). So the age that adolescents start to get acne is different in each adolescent. Asking the adolescent's biological parents when they started having acne may be a good way to predict when she/he will get acne, and may give a clue to how serious the acne will be.
Dr. Doris Day, MD
Girls typically start to get acne when their hormones kick in (approximately 11 to 13 years old), which is about the time that they start their period. Boys start to get acne at the age of approximately 12 years, with a range of 9 to 15 years old. As most girls will attest, boys on average mature later than girls.

Early on in the onset of teen acne, the main lesions are blackheads and whiteheads. Later in puberty, there is a higher incidence of inflammatory lesions. Early lesions usually occur around the center of the face and on the forehead. Teenagers are usually active and have very busy school and after-school schedules as well as increasingly active social lives. Being a teenager is tough enough as it is without adding the complicating factor of acne. Unfortunately, one pimple can make the difference between popularity and outcast in the mind of many teens.

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