Miscellaneous types of acne

1. Acne Vulgaris: the medical term for common acne. Acne vulgaris may occur on the face, chest, back and sometimes even more extensively, which is characterized by presence of one or more of the following: blackheads, whiteheads, papules and pustules.

2. Acne Conglobata: a chronic and severe form of acne vulgaris, characterized: deep abscesses, inflammation, severe damage to the skin, scarring. Males are more likely than females to have acne conglobata; the age of onset is usually between 18 and 30 years. The cause of the condition is not well understood.

3. Acne Fulminans: is a rare and very severe form of acne conglobata associated with systemic symptoms. It nearly always affects males, which is characterized by symptoms of severe and often ulcerating acne, fever, inflammation and aching of joints, especially hips and knees.

4. Acne Cosmetica: In the past, various cosmetic compounds were found to induce comedo formation when applied to the external ear canal of rabbits, and cosmetic were considered to be major cause of adult acne in women. Consequently, with the exception of very greasy, occlusive products, cosmetics are infrequent etiologic agents for acne.


Three physical factors cause acne:

 Hormones: Acne happens when sebaceous glands come to life around puberty. These glands are stimulated by male hormones that are produced in the adrenal glands of both boys and girls. The sebaceous glands, which are located just beneath the skin, continuously produce and secrete oil through opening in the skin.

 Heredity: People do have acne just the way their parents did.

 Bacteria: The bacterium is a regular resident of all skin types. It multiplies rapidly, creating the chemical reaction, that we know as inflammation in the follicle and surrounding skin.


Five life-style factors cause acne:

 Pollution: Dust, fume, light will stimulate oil entrapment, which as expained earlier can cause acne.

 Food: Sweat, greasy and fried foods are also known to cause acne.

 Stress: Stress plays an indirect role in causing acne. Stress will stimulate secretion of hormones. These hormones will stimulate sebaceous glands and can therefore cause acne.

 Dirt: Sweat and dirt are also known to b the causes of acne. Thus you ought to wash your face after you work or exercise.

 Cosmetics and medicines: Cosmetics and medicines can cause acne too. This type of acne are characterized by small, rashy pink bumps on the cheeks, chin and forehead. These typically develops over the course of a few weeks or months and may persist indefinitely


People of all ages get acne but it is most common in adolescents. Nearly 85 % of adolescents and young adults between the ages of 12 and 24 develop the disorder. People of all races can have acne, but it is more common among Caucasians. For most of the people acne tends to go away by time they reach their thirties, however some people in their forties and fifties continue to have the disorder.


Acne is treated by a dermatologist who treats all kinds of acne especially severe cases. General practitioners or family practitioners may treat patients with milder forms of acne.

The main goal of acne treatment is to prevent scarring. Additional goals are to reduce the number of painful lesions and to minimize the psychological stress and embarrassment caused by this disease.

Doctors generally use drug therapy as the first choice for the treatment of acne. Drug therapy is aimed at reducing several problems that play a part in causing acne-abnormal clumping of cells, increased oil production, bacterium P.acnes and inflammation. Depending on the severity of a person's acne the doctor will recommend one of the several OTC or prescription topical medications or prescription systemic medication. The doctor may suggest using more than one topical medication or using both oral medication and topical medication at the same time.

I. Oral Treatment


Antibiotics given by mouth, including tetracycline, doxycycline , minocycline , and erythromycin , are reserved for the treatment of severe acne. They work by killing bacteria and reducing inflammation . People may need to take one of these drugs for weeks, months, or even years to prevent a recurrence. Some of these drugs have potentially serious side effects and therefore require close monitoring by a doctor.


Oral isotretinoin is considered as best treatment in cases of severe acne who do not respond to antibiotics. It causes dose-related suppression of sebaceous gland activity and a histologically demonstrated reduction in the size of sebaceous glands. However, isotretinoin can have very serious side effects. Isotretinoin can harm developing fetus, and women taking it must use strict contraceptive measures so that they do not become pregnant.

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