Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What is Acne Vulgaris?

Acne vulgaris means common acne. It is the type of acne that most people get and 7 out of 10 people do suffer from it at some point in their lives. Two of 10 white people will get a more severe form which can leave acne scarring. Acne vulgaris is one of the most common diseases and manifests itself as comedones on the face, the upper part of the chest, and the back and by inflammatory papules, pustules, and nodules.

The key cause is a genetic predisposition. You will more likely suffer from it if your parents did although sometimes it skips a generation. It starts with the plugging of hair follicles with dead skin cells which are being produced too quickly by the body and this is the problem that is inherited. It starts with the plugging of hair follicles with skin cells which are produced too quickly by the body. Excessive sebum production and certain bacteria also contribute to the problem.

It is likely that androgen hormones are a trigger to the start of acne as they seem to stimulate the production of excessive sebum.

In teenagers acne is more common amongst boys but amongst adults women are more affected.

A comedone is a whitehead or a blackhead without any inflammation. Papules and pustules are raised reddish bumps with inflammation. The face is the most commonly affected area, but the chest, back, and upper arms can be as well. Comedones are the earliest lesions of acne. Blackheads (closed comedones) are those that often become inflamed.

Many cosmetics, excessive sunlight and tight clothing can worsen acne vulgaris.

Acne vulgaris is treated with both topical and systemic medicines. One of the most effective topical agents is benzoyl peroxide. Doxycyline is one of the more effective systemic antibiotics frequently prescribed.

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