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Keywords:

  • acne;
  • dermatology;
  • epidemiology;
  • prevalence;
  • risk factors;
  • teenagers

Abstract

Background  Acne is a disease that affects almost all teenagers (60–90%), and it is the pathology exhibiting the highest morbidity in the 10–24 year-olds age group. There are no consistent data at national level by which we can evaluate the preponderance of this pathology in the Portuguese population.

Objective  To estimate the prevalence of acne in teenage school students (10–12 year-olds).

Study design  A study was carried out involving all 8 regions in the north of Portugal. One school per region was selected at random.

Results  As expected, the figure we obtained for the prevalence of this pathology was high (82.4%) with males being the most affected. Nevertheless, only 44% of the affected treated their acne, although the face is the part of the body most affected. In the females high androgenization (which is manifested by the presence of hair on the upper lip and on the side of the face) doubles the median of the degree of acne registered. Regional asymmetry was found in relation to information about the disorder. The degrees of acne are higher in schools in the interior. In the more rural areas, the pharmacist still plays an important role in prescribing treatment.

Conclusion  As a rule, individuals are correctly informed about acne, confirming that the search for treatment and awareness of its value are generally helping to gradually eliminate some of the stigmas from the past.