Almost all young people between the ages of 12 and 17 have at least occasional breakouts of whiteheads, blackheads or pimples. Most can manage their acne with over-the-counter treatments but for some, acne is more serious. By their mid-teens, nearly 35% of teenagers have acne severe enough to require some treatment from a medical professional.
In most cases, acne starts at around the age of 12 or 13 and can last for 5 to 10 years. It usually goes away by the early twenties. But for some, acne can be persistent, well into the late twenties or thirties and even into the forties. Some people get acne for the first time as an adult, never having it as a teen.
Acne affects young men slightly more than young women.Young men are more likely to have severe, longer lasting forms of acne and are less likely to visit a dermatologist.
Some young women are more prone to occasional acne flare-ups due to their use of cosmetics and the hormonal changes associated with their menstrual cycle. These kinds of acne may affect young women well into adulthood.
Acne lesions usually occur on the face, but can also occur on the neck, shoulders, chest, scalp, back, arms and legs.