Acne vulgaris is a common skin disorder characterized by raised, red bumps that occur when hair follicles get clogged by particles like dead skin cells or oil, and it primarily occurs on the face, neck, chest, and back.
Although the exact cause of acne is not completely understood, there are a few main factors that are known to contribute to acne formation.
These include keratin plugs that block the opening of the hair follicle; increased sebum released by sebaceous glands, which sometimes occurs in response to increased androgen production during puberty; and overgrowth of bacteria like Cutibacterium acnes that trigger local inflammation.
Acne vulgaris can be categorized into different types based on specific characteristics. Mild acne usually consists of comedones, while moderate acne usually consists of pustules, and severe acne usually consists of cysts and nodules.
Depending on the severity and location of acne, there are various medications that can be used to treat acne.
These include topical medications, such as keratolytics like salicylic acid, azelaic acid, and benzoyl peroxide, vitamin A derivatives like tretinoin and adapalene, and topical antibiotics like erythromycin or clindamycin; as well as systemic medications, such as oral antibiotics like the tetracyclines tetracycline and doxycycline, oral retinoids like isotretinoin, and hormonal agents like spironolactone or oral contraceptives containing a combination of estrogen and progestin.