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WHAT IS ACNE VULGARIS?

Acne vulgaris is a common skin disorder characterized by persistent or recurrent formation of bumps of varying sizes on the skin, sometimes containing pus usually on the face, neck trunk or upper extremities. These bumps are known as pustules, papules, or nodules depending on their size or contents 

It is most frequently seen in adolescents and young adults and ranges in severity of skin involvement from minimal involvement to highly inflammatory presentations which can commonly result in hyperpigmentation, scarring, low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. AS a result, there is a high demand for effective acne therapies.

HOW DOES ACNE BEGIN?

Acne vulgaris is an inflammatory disorder of the unit in the skin comprising of the hair follicle and the sebaceous gland (a gland in the skin which secrete a lubricating oily substance -sebum into your hair follicles to help lubricate the skin and the hair). Multiple factors play a part in the development of acne such as hormone-mediated stimulation of the sebaceous glands, disruption in the balance of the natural bacteria in the sebaceous gland+hair follicle unit, immune response, genetics, stress, and diet. Acne is formed from an interaction of multiple factors that result in the formation of comedones (Skin colored bumps formed from excess sebum and development of inflammation.

Acne can range from closed comedones commonly known as “whiteheads”, to open comedones commonly known as “black heads”, to papulopustular acne (inflamed pustules, usually <5 mm in diameter), to nodular acne where you could see nodules >1cm diameter.

“WHY” IS IT IMPORTANT FOR YOU?

Resolution of individual acne lesions may result in hyperpigmentation and scarring of the skin which can be distressing for many patients.

Treating acne vulgaris early is important to prevent the complications of post inflammatory scarring and hyperpigmentation. Generally, for mild acne vulgaris, topical therapy is the primary mode of treatment, ranging from topical retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, and topical antibiotics, while, for moderate to severe acne vulgaris or for persistent mild acne vulgaris not responsive to topical therapies, systemic therapy is usually needed. 

Do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss this if it a concern of yours.