How Acne Became ‘a Disease of Western Civilization’ (

February 8, 2022
How Acne Became ‘a Disease of Western Civilization’ article screenshot

In the U.S., by contrast, up to 95% of adolescents experience at least mild acne — a condition that often persists well into middle age. Rates of acne are similar in many other Western nations, and the rest of the world is catching up quickly. According to a 2021 study in the British Journal of Dermatology, the global incidence of acne has risen by more than 50% in the last three decades.

Adam Friedman, MD, a professor and chair of dermatology at the George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences comments on how acne, Atopic dermatitis (eczema) and other inflammatory skin conditions are also much more common in the West than in other parts of the world.


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