Do male (or female) chimpanzees get acne at or around the time of sexual maturity? 

If so, do other primates?  Do other non-primate mammals?  How far back does this trend of puberty-pimples go?

If not, what's made us so special?  Is acne a trade-off for some other advantage (e.g. are we oilier, or more soaked in testosterone at puberty than other primates, for some good reason that has acne as an unpleasant side-effect)?

Hi Christopher:

From what I have read, it seems that chimpanzees don't get acne 'naturally' probably because their sebaceous glands are not as active as those in humans. There have been a number of comments about acne's evolutionary role - Darwin was even interested in it! – see … 463755.ece

I don't know if diet may also have something to do with it, as in humans – see

but various compounds in the environment (e.g., polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs) apparently can cause acne in non-human primates – see

Last edited by Steve Lolait (20th May 2010 20:13:26)