Acne Vulgaris

Acne vulgaris is the most common type of acne, which is a condition that mainly affects adolescents. However, it may persist or even become more severe in adulthood. It is affecting at least 85 per cent of adolescents and young adults in the US only.

Acne vulgaris affects those areas of skin that are overcrowded with sebaceous follicles, which include the face, the upper part of the chest, and the back. It is more common in males than in females during adolescence and more common in women than in men during adulthood. The local symptoms may include pain or tenderness and systemic symptoms are usually absent.

Comedones, papules, pustules, and nodules in a sebaceous distribution characterize acne vulgaris. A comedone is classified as a closed comedone (a whitehead) and as an open comedone (a blackhead). Papules and pustules are raised bumps with obvious inflammation. The face may be the only involved skin surface, but the chest, the back, and the upper arms are often involved.

It may well be influenced by genetic factors. Trigger factors related to acne may include diet (i.e., high fat, low fiber), certain foods (e.g., chocolate, nuts, colas, carbohydrates), and stressful or emotional situations. It has the potential to cause significant psychiatric and psychological complications, while negatively affects quality of life.

Effective treatment can prevent psychological and physical scarring. Therapy treatments vary according to the severity of the disease. Topical medications are generally adequate. Benzoyl peroxide, the first topical agent for acne vulgaris, remains the most widely used nonprescription agent. Systemic antibiotics are frequently in use and can be highly effective.

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