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Trend: Acne occurs at younger average age

Winston-Salem, N.C. — The age at which onset acne vulgaris occurs has decreased significantly, findings of a Wake Forest University study suggest.

Researchers used National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey data to analyze physician visits for acne vulgaris in children ages 6 to 18 from 1979 to 2007. Investigators assessed trends in the mean age of children with acne and compared the trends according to race and sex. The analysis revealed a significant decrease in the mean age of children seeking treatment for acne over the 28-year period.

There was no significant change in the mean age of black children seeking treatment for acne. Furthermore, black girls had the lowest mean age; white boys had the highest.

The study concludes that “There has been a decrease in the average age of children seeking treatment for acne that may be indicative of earlier acne onset. This finding provides supporting evidence of the increasingly earlier onset of puberty in girls.”

The study was published online in Pediatric Dermatology.

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