Acne vulgaris overview

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Main article: Acne Vulgaris

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Hamid Qazi, MD, BSc [2]Tayyaba Ali, M.D.[3]


Acne Vulgaris is a skin disease caused by changes in the pilosebaceous units (skin structures comprising a hair follicle and its related sebaceous gland). Severe acne is inflammatory, but acne can also manifest in noninflammatory forms.[1] Acne lesions are defined as pimples, spots, or zits. Acne diminishes with age, by early twenties acne disappears. There is no set age for acne to disappear, some individuals have acne decades later, into their thirties and forties and even beyond.[2] The term acne comes from a Greek word άκμή (acme in the sense of a skin eruption) in the writings of Aëtius Amidenus. The vernacular term bacne or backne is often used to show acne found specifically on one's back.[3]


There are multiple grading scales for rating the severity of acne vulgaris. [4] Three techniques include the Leeds acne grading technique, which counts and categorizes lesions into inflammatory and non-inflammatory (ranges from 0 to 10.0), Cook's acne grading scale, which uses photographs to rate severity from 0 to 8 (0 being the least severe and 8 being the most severe), and the Pillsbury scale, which classifies the severity of the acne from 1 (least severe) to 4 (most severe). [5]

Epidemiology and Demographics

In the United States, acne affects 17 million people. It is most common during adolescence, affecting more than 85% of teenagers, and frequently continues into adulthood. [6]

Risk Factors

Acne is the most common skin disease that occurs in all races and ages, including teenagers and young adults. About 80 percent of all people between the ages of 11 and 30 have acne outbreaks in life. Some people in their forties and fifties still suffer from acne.[7]


  2. Anderson, Laurence. 2006. Looking Good, the Australian guide to skin care, cosmetic medicine, and cosmetic surgery. AMPCo. Sydney. ISBN 0 85557 044 X.
  3. Cure forAcne
  4. Leeds, Cook's and Pillsbury scales obtained from here
  5. "zit - docdud".
  6. James WD (2005). "Clinical practice. Acne". N Engl J Med. 352 (14): 1463–72. PMID 15814882.
  7. "Acne - Aesthetipedia".

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