Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry, 2009, 9, 1-10
© 2009 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.
Acne in the Adult
and H. Cabral Marques
iMed, Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Prof. Gama Pinto, 1649-003 Lisboa, Portugal
Abstract: This paper is a general overview that contributes for the knowledge systematization concerning the characteris-
tics of the acne in the adult, its prevalence, causes, diagnosis, classification and drugs available for treatment. The refer-
ence therapy is the combination between topical retinoids and oral antibiotics. Oral isotretinoin is still the only available
therapy that may modify the different acne physiopathologic factors and therefore it is the standard treatment for severe
acne. The importance of the acne treatment in the adult should be enhanced as it can also lead to symptoms of serious
depression and anxiety.
Key Words: Acne, adult, hormones, prevalence, physiopathology, retinoids, antibiotics, chemical structures.
INTRODUCTION: ACNE AND THE PATIENTS´
QUALITY OF LIFE
A sudden interest for acne in the adult has been appear-
ing, and consequently each time is more evident that the psy-
chological, social and physical effects of this condition do
not decrease with the age. Acne and some of its treatments
may lead to depression and other psychiatric problems that,
if not properly diagnosed, could have serious consequences
[1-3]. Previous studies have examined the relationship
between having acne and various psychological factors .
The measurement focus shifted from psychological corre-
lates (eg, personality) and emotional triggers (eg, stress) to
measuring the effect of acne on patients' quality of life.
Skindex  is a validated 29-item instrument to measure the
effects of skin disease on patients' quality of life. Results are
reported as 3 scale scores (functioning, emotions, and symp-
toms) and a composite score (average scale score). In addi-
tion, dermatologists rated the clinical severit