Dermatologists and Skin Care

What Is Acne Vulgaris?

Written by Dr. Rabia and medically reviewed by Dr. Sneha Kannan


Acne vulgaris is a common condition that usually starts in teenage years when sebaceous glands become active. However, acne can also occur in childhood and even in infancy, but it is rare. Some individuals have an inherent tendency of having hyperactive sebaceous glands, this is one of the risk factors for future acne problem.

Some Facts About Acne:

Acne starts with clogged hair follicle that appears in the form of whiteheads further lead to blackheads ultimately forming pimples on the face. It can lead to cyst and nodule formation. Apart from the face, it can involve shoulders and back of the trunk. Especially, in those people who have severe kind of acne. Acne can be due to other reasons like cosmetics, drugs, and certain chemicals.

Having acne early in life is a risk factor for having future acne problems that can be severe. According to recent studies, the time of onset of acne has changed. It is appearing earlier than teenage and lasting longer.

Studies have tried to figure out the relationship between acne and diet, stomach problems, stress, etc., but there is low evidence of a connection between them. Some people have noticed that their acne gets aggravated with stress and tension. In females, acne aggravation can occur at around menstruation.

Can Endocrine Problems Cause Acne?

Acne can be associated with endocrine problems. In females, if acne is associated with an increase in hair loss (alopecia) and menstrual irregularities, one should think of underlying endocrine problems like polycystic ovarian disease, which is the most common cause. Other endocrine problems are less commonly associated.

What Drugs Cause Acne?

Acne can also occur due to certain drugs. The most important cause is steroids. Many people use steroid preparation on the face to lighten their skin color, which leads to acne problem. Certain cheap lightening creams available in the market also contain steroids in it and the consumer does not know about it. Cosmetic products and pomades can cause acne. Oil workers and chemical workers all can get acne due to chemicals.

How Is Acne Vulgaris Treated?

Treatment is given according to the severity of acne.

Mild acne can be treated with topical therapy like antibiotics and Benzoyl peroxide. Severe acne can be treated with oral antibiotics and oral retinoids. Topical and oral retinoids can be used. Oral retinoids have to be used with caution especially in those individuals who are depressed because retinoid themselves have a side effect of suicide ideation.

Retinoids control sebum production and kill the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes that also have a role in causing acne. It is comedolytic that is helpful in controlling comedones in a person with acne. Retinoids can make the skin dry due to its effect, so moisturizer is advisable in such individuals.

Last reviewed at: 09.Mar.2019



Do you have a question on Acne Vulgaris or Management Of Acne?
* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Related Questions & Answers

Top 10 Questions on Acne
Article Overview: Acne vulgaris or what is commonly known as pimples starts in teens. It leads to the lowering of self-esteem, decreased work capacity and some form of permanent scarring. There is a huge misinformation among parents and patients about the disease, thus leaving them perplexed as to how to deal with it. In this article, I have gathered the top 10 questions on acne to help both parents as well as patients to guide them to make informed choices on the issue. These, however, are general guidelines and patients are advised to consult a qualified dermatologist for treatment.  Read Article »
Dr. Abdul Samieh Deva

What Is Acne? Acne is a disorder of pilosebaceous unit found in the skin. Sebaceous gland is often associated with a hair follicle and is known as a pilosebaceous unit. The most important lesion in acne is a comedone. Besides, papules, pustules, and nodules are also found. In common terms, these ar ...  Read Article »
Which medicine can be used to get rid of chicken-pox scars?
Query: Hello doctor, I am 18 years old. I had chicken pox before one and a half month. After the chicken box was gone, I had some scars. So I went to a dermatologist to give me a medicine to clear the scars, he gave me new gel E. I had some pimples on my forehead so he advised and wrote for me a face wash...  Read Full »
Dr. Gauri Kshirsagar

Answer: Hi, Welcome to Acne is a very common condition occurring in teenage years due to hormonal changes. There is no need to worry or be embarrassed by it. Chances are that even after treatment you may get another bout of acne. It will reduce with age.  Read Full »
In winters, my skin gets very dry. What cream would suit me?
Query: Hello doctor,I am a 37 year old female. I am facing pimples problem in and around my nose area on my face. Now, in winters, my skin is getting very dry and also getting white. I want to know which face cream suits me for dry skin.  Read Full »
Dr. Ashwini V Swamy

Answer: Hello, Welcome to Hope you are doing well. At your age, pimples are very unlikely. Pimples seen after 30 years of age is called adult acne, most of the times it is because of a hormonal cause. I am really sorry, I cannot suggest medicines for pimples without seeing your clinical pict...  Read Full »
Adult Acne: A Common Problem
Article Overview: Adult acne is more common nowadays with changes in lifestyle and the use of various cosmetic products. The treatment of adult acne is a challenge for many dermatologists and is also frustrating for the patients. Understanding the cause of adult acne helps establish a better strategy for the prevention and treatment of adult acne.  Read Article »
Dr. Sreelakshmi S

Acne is very common in the teenage group. But, when we have acne as an adult, it is very frustrating. The Acne treatment which worked in adolescent age can be useless or even worsen the condition. Many people wonder 'do adults get acne?'. Yes, adults can get acne. Some continue to get acne in their ...  Read Article »

Ask a Doctor Online

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours

Related Tags