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common inflammatory disease of the hair follicles and sebaceous glandssebaceous gland
, gland in the skin of mammals that secretes an oily substance called sebum. In humans, sebaceous glands are primarily found in association with hair follicles but also occur in hairless areas of the skin, except for the palms of the hand and soles of the feet.
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 characterized by blackheadsblackhead,
yellowish or blackish plug of material accumulated in the duct of a sebaceous gland. The material consists of keratin (horny cells of the epidermis) and modified sebum (oily secretions of the sebaceous gland). Blackheads are the primary lesions in acne.
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, whiteheads, pustules, nodules and, in the more severe forms, by cysts and scarring. The lesions appear on the face, neck, back, chest, and arms. There are several types of acne, including tropical acne, a condition of light-skinned people who are exposed to unaccustomed heat and humidity, and chloracne, a form resulting from exposure to chlorinated hydrocarbons.

The most common type is acne vulgaris, a form prevalent among adolescents. Although its exact cause is not known, it is undoubtedly related both to genetic predisposition and to the increased hormonal activity that occurs at puberty, which causes an overproduction of sebum, the oily secretion of the sebaceous glands. Exposure to external oils and grease (e.g., oil-based cosmetics or hair products, occupational use of cooking oils) can worsen the condition. There is no connection between diet and acne.

Washing the skin removes surface oils and can prevent acne from spreading. The contents of blackheads and pustular lesions should be evacuated only by a physician under proper aseptic conditions to lessen the possibility of scarring. Application of benzoyl peroxide, retinoic acid, azelaic acid, and antibiotics to the skin can clear many cases; exposure to ultraviolet light may also be used. More severe cases of acne may require oral antibiotic treatment. Treatment of the most resistant cases of acne includes the use of isotretinoin (Accutane), a drug that decreases sebaceous secretions. Isotretinoin is a well-established teratogen (i.e., it causes birth defects) and is not given to women who are pregnant. In the past dermabrasion (scraping off of the top layer of skin) was used to improve the appearance of skin scarred by acne, but such severe effects can now be avoided with proper treatment.



the name used to designate various skin eruptions that are often associated with functional disturbances of the sebaceous glands. There are several types of acne.

Common acne occurs during adolescence, usually on the face, chest, and back. It appears in the form of pink papules that may attain the size of a pea; these papules sometimes develop sebaceous plugs, or comedones, which often suppurate. The causes of common acne include hormonal changes, infections, and hereditary predisposition.

Rosacea is a type of acne that is most common in women over 40. It is marked by dilation of the capillaries of the facial skin (telangiectasis) and by the development of red papules that sometimes suppurate.

Some types of acne are caused by exposure to certain substances or by the use of some medicines. They include petroleum acne, which results from contact with petroleum products, and halogen acne, caused by the use of preparations of such halogens as bromine and iodine. Acne may also result from the use of hormonal preparations.

Acne is treated externally with suspensions, ointments, and the application of alcohol. General treatment includes physical therapy and the administration of vitamins, antibiotics, and hormones.


Kozhnye i venericheskie bolezni, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1975. Pages 236–38,242–44.



A pleomorphic, inflammatory skin disease involving sebaceous follicles of the face, back, and chest and characterized by blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, and nodules.


a chronic skin disease common in adolescence, involving inflammation of the sebaceous glands and characterized by pustules on the face, neck, and upper trunk
References in periodicals archive ?
First-line therapy for most patients with inflammatory acne, comedonal acne, or both, should be a topical retinoid plus topical benzoyl peroxide (BPO), the panelists agreed.
There are no studies specifically describing acne in black patients in the private health sector in SA.
Acne fulminans previously has been described with a range of terms, including acne maligna, acute febrile ulcerative acne conglobota, and pseudo-acne fulminans, which the authors said has led to some confusion.
In addition to replicating our findings, future research is necessary to elucidate the mechanisms linking diet and acne and to evaluate the effectiveness of [medical nutrition therapy] on biological factors associated with acne and conceivably acne-specific quality of life," they added (J Acad Nutr Diet.
She referred to a controlled intervention study that randomized 43 male patients with acne aged 15-25 years to a low glycemic load diet, or to a carbohydrate dense control diet without regard to glycemic index for 12 weeks (Am J Clin Nutr.
Acne affected the quality of life in 94% of patients (Table I).
A recent study by the National Health Service estimated that 5 percent of women and 1 percent of men over the age of 25 experience acne woes.
By type of contraceptive, the percent of women who reported that the contraceptive made their acne worse was: LNG-IUD, 36%; progestin implant, 33%; depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), 27%; levonorgestrel-ethinyl estradiol oral contraceptive, 10%; norgestimate-ethinyl estradiol (EE), 6%; etonogestrel-EE vaginal ring, 4%; drospirenone-EE, 3%; and desogestrel-EE, 2%.
In our study, the age of the patients ranged from 10 to 19 years with majority of them belonging to 16-18 years (50%) supporting the fact that acne is a chronic disease affecting about 85% of the teenagers.
This approval makes Differin Gel the first and only O-T-C acne product containing a full prescription-strength retinoid," the company says.
If the inflammation goes deep into the skin, an acne cyst or nodule appears.
Other significant game changers to the acne market would be the Rx-to-OTC switch of prescription acne medications making them available to consumers without a doctor's prescription.