S.Y.D.LIM1, C.L.GOH1, X.ZHAO1, P.SU1, H.H.OON1
National Skin Centre1
The prevalence of acne vulgaris remains significant in adulthood, with considerable psychosocial impact. We aim to establish the epidemiology and clinical features of adult acne locally.
This prospective observational study evaluated clinical characteristics, comorbidities, and quality of life in adults (age ≥25 years) diagnosed with acne at our tertiary referral center from April 2015 to July 2021.
Of 249 patients recruited, 80 (32.1%) were male. Mean patient age was 30.6, and mean age of acne onset was 19.3 years. Most were Chinese (67.9%), of skin phototype IV (59.6%), had mild acne (53.0%), and acne involving multiple facial zones (71.1%). Of comorbidities studied, only dissecting cellulitis was associated with more severe acne (p=0.0008).
Patients with predominantly truncal acne tended to have persistent acne from adolescence (90.0% vs 69.0%, p=0.0169). Patients with predominantly mandibular acne were younger (mean age 29.97 vs 32.57, p=0.0081) and had more severe acne (p=0.0373). Scarring was more common in skin phototype IV (p<0.0001). Increasing acne severity was associated with a larger impact on quality of life (p=0.0022).
The higher prevalence of females than males with adult acne echoes our previously published data, but this study found a higher proportion of patients with acne from adolescence persisting into adulthood (64.0% vs 40.5%). Contrary to data from a Western population, we found no significant differences between females with and without predominantly mandibular acne, other than younger age. Genetic and lifestyle factors may play a role. Given the impact of acne on quality of life, psychosocial factors should be addressed.