Adult female acne: a new paradigm.
Dréno B, Layton A, Zouboulis CC, López-Estebaranz JL, Zalewska-Janowska A, Bagatin E, Zampeli VA, Yutskovskaya Y, Harper JC.
J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2013 Sep;27(9):1063-1070. doi: 10.1111/jdv.12061. Epub 2013 Jan 10.



Adult female acne is a problem.

Indeed 12% of females at age 40 still have acne.

Most have a history of mild acne during the teenage years with a beginning of bothersome lesions at 25 years old or even later.

Lesions tend to be located on the mandibular region and the trunk is often less affected.

Treatment is like normal acne, however difficult to treat cases need to be screened for hormonal balances and a gynecologist needs to examine the patient for other factors which could be related (such as hirsutism in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (Stein Leventhal Syndrome).



This review article deals with the problem from etiology to treatment.

Treatment-wise spironolactone is the classically described treatment when a hormonal imbalance is found, but all other treatments (topical, systemic, cosmetic) can be used. Interestingly the authors mention zinc salts which reduces inflammatory lesion count:

  • -it is given at a dosage of 200mg daily without food
  • -side effects include nausea and vomiting.