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Health Condition

Acne Vulgaris

About This Condition

Acne vulgaris, also known as common acne, is an inflammatory condition of the sebaceous glands of the skin. It consists of red, elevated areas on the skin that may develop into pustules and even further into cysts that can cause scarring.

Acne vulgaris occurs mostly on the face, neck, and back of most commonly teenagers and to a lesser extent of young adults. The condition results in part from excessive stimulation of the skin by androgens (male hormones). Bacterial infection of the skin also appears to play a role.

Symptoms

Acne is a skin condition characterized by pimples, which may be closed (sometimes called pustules or “whiteheads”) or open (blackheads), on the face, neck, chest, back, and shoulders. Most acne is mild, although some people experience inflammation with larger cysts, which may result in scarring.

References

1. Shality AR, Smith JR, Parish LC, et al. Topical nicotinamide compared with clindamycin gel in the treatment of inflammatory acne vulgaris. Internat J Dermatol 1995;34:434-7.

2. Enshaieh S, Jooya A, Siadat AH, Iraji F. The efficacy of 5% topical tea tree oil gel in mild to moderate acne vulgaris: a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2007;73:22-5.

3. Hillström, L Pettersson L, Hellbe L, et al. Comparison of oral treatment with zinc sulfate and placebo in acne vulgaris. Br J Dermatol 1977;97:681-4.

4. Verma KC, Saini AS, Dhamija SK. Oral zinc sulphate therapy in acne vulgaris: a double-blind trial. Acta Dermatovener (Stockholm) 1980;60:337-40.

5. Dreno B, Amblard P, Agache P, et al. Low doses of zinc gluconate for inflammatory acne. Acta Dermatovener (Stockholm) 1989;69:541-3.

6. Michaelsson G. Oral zinc in acne. Acta Dermatovener (Stockholm) 1980;Suppl 89:87-93 [review].

7. Michaelsson G, Juhlin L, Ljunghall K. A double blind study of the effect of zinc and oxytetracycline in acne vulgaris. Br J Dermatol 1977;97:561-6.

8. Cunliffe WJ, Burke B, Dodman B, Gould DJ. A double-blind trial of a zinc sulphate/citrate complex and tetracycline in the treatment of acne vulgaris. Br J Dermatol 1979;101:321-5.

9. Thappa DM, Dogra J. Nodulocystic acne: oral gugulipid versus tetracycline. J Dermatol 1994;21:729-31.

10. Hoffman D. The Herbal Handbook: A User's Guide to Medical Herbalism. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1988, 23-4.

11. Leung LH. Pantothenic acid deficiency as the pathogenesis of acne vulgaris. Med Hypotheses 1995;44:490-2.

12. Kligman AM, Mills OH Jr, Leyden JJ, et al. Oral vitamin A in acne vulgaris. Preliminary report. Int J Dermatol 1981;20:278-85.

13. Snider B, Dietman DF. Pyridoxine therapy for premenstrual acne flare. Arch Dermatol 1974;110:130-1 [letter].

14. Joliffe N, Rosenblum LA, Sawhill J. Effects of pyridoxine (vit B6) on resistant adolescent acne. J Invest Dermatol 1942;5:143-8.

15. Braun-Falco O, Lincke H. The problem of vitamin B6/B12 acne. A contribution on acne medicamentosa. MMW Munch Med Wochenschr 1976;118(6):155-60 [in German].

16. Xu Y. Treatment of facial skin diseases with acupuncture—a report of 129 cases. J Tradit Chin Med 1990;10:22-5.

17. Xu YH. Treatment of acne with ear acupuncture—a clinical observation of 80 cases. J Tradit Chin Med 1989;9:238-9.

18. Liu J. Treatment of adolescent acne with acupuncture. J Tradit Chin Med 1993;13:187-8.

19. Chen D, Jiang N, Cong X. 47 cases of acne treated by prick-bloodletting plus cupping. J Tradit Chin Med 1993;13:185-6.

20. Ding LN. 50 cases of acne treated by puncturing acupoint dazhui in combination with cupping. J Tradit Chin Med 1985;5:128.

21. Shenefelt PD. Hypnosis in dermatology. Arch Dermatol 2000;136:393-9.

22. Fulton JE Jr, Plewig G, Kligman AM. Effect of chocolate on acne vulgaris. JAMA 1969;210:2071-4.

23. Anderson PC. Foods as the cause of acne. Am Family Phys 1971;3:102-3.

24. Gaby A. Commentary. Nutr Healing 1997;Feb:1,10-1.

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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2018.