Acne across Europe: an online survey on perceptions and
management of acne
* P. Wolkenstein,
Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Allergology, Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland
Department of Dermatology, H
opital Henri Mondor, APHP, UPEC, Cr
Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
Department of Dermatology, UCL, Cliniques Universitaires St-Luc, Brussels, Belgium
Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Motol Hospital, Prague, Czech Republic
Pierre Fabre Dermatologie, Les Cauquillous, Lavaur, France
*Correspondence: J.C. Szepietowski. E-mail: email@example.com
Background Acne is common among young people.
Objective To describe the burden, management and sources of advice of acne in a representative sample of young
people in Europe.
Methods This cross-sectional survey was conducted in a representative sample of individuals aged 15–24 years from
Belgium, Czech and Slovak Republics, France, Italy, Poland and Spain (n = 3099).
Results Most individuals considered their acne (all severity stages) to be no/minor problem, although 29.7% consid-
ered it a major problem/burden. Over-the-counter (OTC) topical treatments were used more frequently than prescribed
treatments. Acne was diagnosed by physicians in 47.6% of cases; other health professionals (nurses, pharmacists) or
patients accounted for the remainder of diagnoses. Physicians were the source of acne information in just over one-
quarter of cases (27.0%). The vast majority of advice was from friends/family and the Internet.
Conclusion Almost one-third of young people consider acne to be a major problem/burden. Fewer than half of acne
diagnoses are made by a physician, and acne is often self-managed using OTC treatments.
Received: 16 October 2017; Accepted: 21 November 2017
Conﬂicts of interest
JCS, PW, SV, DT and AM received fees as members of the European Severe Acne Board supported by Pierre
Fabre Dermatologie. AD is a Pierre Fabre Dermatologie employee.
The survey was supported and funded by Pierre Fabre Dermatologie.
Acne vulgaris is common among young people and can have
Effective treatments are available,
but there is evidence that many young people have limited
knowledge about acne,
and many do not seek medical help
for the condition.
A survey of people aged 12–25 years in
France found that 81% considered acne to be an unavoidable
part of adolescence, and 39% had not consulted a doctor,
although 71% thought that acne should be treated.
Gaining a better understanding of adolescents’ and young
adults’ views and actions concerning acne could help optimize
management strategies. In particular, it would be helpful to
understand where young people obtain information about acne
from, how many do/do not choose to seek medical help for their
acne, and what prescribed or non-prescribed treatments they
As part of a population-based survey study performed to
determine the prevalence of self-reported acne in young people
in Europe and identify associated lifestyle factors,
and management of acne were evaluated from the patients’ per-
spective. This short report describes the ﬁndings related to the
Methodological details for the cross-sectional online survey,
which enrolled a representative sample of individuals aged 15–
24 years from Belgium, Czech and Slovak Republics, France,
Italy, Poland and Spain, have been reported previously.
© 2017 European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
2018, 32, 463–466