What is it?

Acne is a common inflammatory skin disorder that affects most people at some point of their lives. It is more common among adolescents but can appear at any age. Risk factors other than genetics have not been well established. However, factors such as stress, hormones, infections and diet are associated with acne

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Acne atrophica
- Acne conglobata
- Acne cosmetica
- Acne detergicans
- Acne estivalis
- Acne fulminans
- Acne indurata
- Acne keloid
- Acne macule
- Acne mechanica
- Acne nodule
- Acne scar
- Acne tropica
- Acne urticata
- Acne venenata
- Acne vulgaris
- Adult premenstrual acne
- Bromide acne
- Chlorine acne
- Comedonal acne
- Cystic acne
- Demodex acne
- Excoriated acne
- Halogen acne
- Hydration acne
- Inflammatory acne
- Iodine acne
- Neonatal acne
- Oil acne
- Pustular acne
- Steroid acne
- Tropical acne
- Acne necrotica

Signs & symptoms

Typical findings include blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and oily skin. Acne involves areas with a large amount of sebaceous glands such as the face, neck, chest, upper back and arms and tends to manifest differently with relation to patients characteristics such as age and sex. The severity of skin involvement varies widely. After resolution, acne may leave scars and hyperpigmentation, often causing negative psychological effects.


The diagnosis of acne is clinical, which means that the diagnosis is based on the physical examination, symptoms and medical history, with no need for further testing. In some cases, when the clinical evaluation suggests specific underlying conditions, lab tests of radiologic tests are required.


The choice of acne therapy depends on the acne severity, type, patient preferences, the ability to withstand treatment and more.
Generally, for patients with mild acne, topical treatments are usually sufficient. These include topical retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, azelaic acid, and salicylic acid. In moderate cases, a topical antibiotic can be combined. In more severe cases, oral antibiotics are preferred over topical ones. Patients with severe, unresponsive acne are usually treated with an oral retinoid (isotretinoin). Some patients are advised to use topical retinoids to prevent recurrence. It is important to note that pregnant women should not be treated with retinoids of any type due to increased risk for birth defects.
If an underlying condition causing acne is present, it must also be addressed.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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