• Mary Gail Mercurio
Reference work entry

Acne vulgaris is a common disorder affecting the skin. It specifically involves the pilosebaceous unit, consisting of the hair follicle and sebaceous gland. The cause is multifactorial and the four major causal components are proliferation of the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes, abnormal shedding of the cells lining the pores, androgen-induced sebum production, and inflammation. It primarily affects teenagers but is not confined to this age group. The lesion types in acne are divided into two major groups, inflammatory and noninflammatory. Noninflammatory lesions include open and closed comedones, also known as whiteheads and blackheads, respectively. Inflammatory lesions are more prominent, appearing as red papules, pustules, or, the most severe, cysts. Acne predominates in areas rich in sebaceous glands such as the face, chest, and upper back. Although acne does not constitute a life-threatening condition, multiple studies have demonstrated that the psychosocial ramifications of...


Benzoyl Peroxide Sebaceous Gland Systemic Antibiotic Topical Product Proper Patient Selection 
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Suggested Reading

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    Baldwin, H. E. (2002). The interaction between acne vulgaris and the psyche. Cutis, 70, 133–139.PubMedGoogle Scholar
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    Goulden, V., Stables, G. I., & Cunliffe, W. J. (1999). Prevalence of facial acne in adults. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 41, 577–580.PubMedGoogle Scholar
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    Shaw, J. C. (1996). Antiandrogen and hormonal treatment of acne. Current Therapy, 14, 803–811.Google Scholar
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    White, G. M. (1998). Recent findings in the epidemiologic evidence, classification, and sub-types of acne vulgaris. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 39, S34–S37.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary Gail Mercurio

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