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04-11-2010 | Article

Blocked pores common form of adult acne


Free abstract

MedWire News: Acne primarily involving blackheads and blocked pores appears to be a frequent form affecting post-adolescent women and may be associated with smoking, research reveals.

"Acne is generally considered a disorder of adolescence," say Dr Jo Linda Sinagra, from the San Gallicano Institute in Rome, Italy, and colleagues.

"However, the prevalence of acne among adults, estimated around 12% to 14%, is increasing."

They found in their study of 226 women with acne aged 25-50 years that most, at 85%, suffered from blocked pores and blackheads rather than inflammatory pustule-type spots.

These blackheads were found all over the face, but mostly on the cheekbones and forehead.

This clinical form contrasts with the usual description of post-adolescent acne as "an inflammatory, mild-to-moderate dermatosis, frequently involving the lower third of the face, the jawline, and the neck," say the researchers.

The women with blackheads were more likely to have developed acne as adults than the remaining women with predominantly pustule-type spots, and they were also more likely to be smokers, at 73% versus 29%, respectively.

Moreover, the team reports in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology that the severity of blocked pores and blackheads worsened in line with the number of cigarettes smoked per day.

"These findings suggest a role for smoking both in the induction of acne and in the worsening of the disease," say the researchers.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Lucy Piper