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J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2012 Mar;26(3):277-82. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2011.04214.x. Epub 2011 Aug 16.

Female acne - a different subtype of teenager acne?

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CHU de Nantes, Skin Cancer Unit, and CIC biothérapie, INSERM, Nantes, France.


Above all, acne is considered an adolescent affection. However, in literature as in daily life, female acne is becoming more and more common. According to the articles that cover this subject, the prevalence is estimated from 40% to 50%. The objective of our work was to make an overview of new data about female acne at the clinical and epidemiological level to be precise if female acne has to be considered as a subtype of acne different from teenager acne. This review shows that the most frequently recognized age when speaking about female acne is 25 years old. Most commonly it is a light to moderate acne that mainly affects the face. Two clinical forms can be identified: an inflammatory form, the most frequent, made up of papulo-pustules and nodules on the lower part of the face and a retentional form made up of blackheads and micro cysts with hyperseborrhoea. Concerning its evolution, it is characterized by three subtypes of which two are predominant: the most frequent form called 'continue acne' from adolescence to adult age and the less frequent form called 'late onset acne' that starts after 25 years of age. On a physiopathological level two main hypotheses can be proposed. Specific global assessment and therapeutic algorithm would be necessary for female acne, which in addition, in future would have to be considered separately from teenagers for the evaluation of a new drug.

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