Written by Stephanie Sutton, M.D. –

Acne can present in adolescence and in adulthood. It is most common in teenagers, but a significant percentage of adults experience acne in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s with decreasing prevalence as age increases. Women are more likely to experience acne in adulthood than men.

With the school year starting, many teenagers are motivated to get acne under better control. Up to 85% of teens experience some form of acne. Acne can lead to poor self-esteem, anxiety, and even depression in some patients. Teenagers often feel self-conscious about the skin on their face. They can feel embarrassed if they are experiencing a breakout of acne. Acne can lead to social withdrawal. Adolescence is an important time in kids’ lives when they are making new friends, learning new things, and developing their personality and interests. Acne can interfere with school and social life.

A recent study looked into the role that acne plays in women ages 18-40. The women listed their goals as having “clear skin, no scarring, and no acne or a manageable number of blemishes.” They voiced concerns about appearance, confidence, mental health, and self-worth. They reported feeling less confident at work when they had acne and they felt that acne affected how other people perceived them. Acne breakouts led to thoughts of lower self-worth. Acne affected their “social, professional, and personal lives.” It also led to altering their behavior.

There are many treatments available for acne. Schedule an appointment with a dermatology provider at Sutton Dermatology + Aesthetics to discuss the best treatment for you or your child.

Stephanie Sutton, MD, is a contributing author to the Sutton Dermatology Blog. Stephanie Sutton is a psychiatrist and she focuses on wellness.
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Barbieri, J., Fulton, R., Neergaard, R., et al. “Patient Perspectives on the Lived Experience of Acne and Its Treatment Among Adult Women With Acne.” JAMA Dermatol. Published online July 28, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2021.2185


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