Current Dermatology Reports

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 29–39 | Cite as

Epidemiology and Management of Acne in Adult Women

  • Whitney A. Fisk
  • Hadar A. Lev-Tov
  • Raja K. SivamaniEmail author
Epidemiology (A Armstrong, Section Editor)


Adult acne is becoming recognized as a unique form of acne including either early (adolescent) acne that remains persistent or late onset acne. Women are predominantly affected in adult acne and will be focus of this review. The epidemiology and the characteristics of adult acne are discussed including clinical differences between adolescent and adult acne. We review topical therapies such as antibiotics, retinoids, dapsone, azelaic acid and combination-based therapies. We also review systemic therapeutic considerations, including antibiotics, isotretinoin, oral contraceptives, and hormonal modulators. We discuss the use of light-based therapies such as visible light and photodynamic therapy. Alternative therapies such as the use of botanical and phytochemical therapies are reviewed as well. Finally, we discuss the clinical and laboratory screening for considering polycystic ovarian syndrome when evaluating adult women with acne.


Adult Woman Acne Epidemiology Management Hormone Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Therapy Isotretinoin Botanical Phytochemical 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

WA Fisk declares no conflicts of interest.

HA Lev-Tov declares no conflicts of interest.

RK Sivamani declares no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Whitney A. Fisk
    • 1
  • Hadar A. Lev-Tov
    • 2
  • Raja K. Sivamani
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.School of MedicineUniversity of California, Davis School of MedicineSacramentoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medicine, Division of DermatologyAlbert Einstein College of MedicineBronxUSA
  3. 3.Department of DermatologyUniversity of California, Davis School MedicineSacramentoUSA

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