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Acne vulgaris...

Discussion in 'Dermatology' started by Heba Hossam, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. Heba Hossam

    Heba Hossam Active member

    Dec 21, 2013
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    Cairo, Egypt
    Practicing medicine in:

    Acne vulgaris is the most common skin disease in the United States. This condition has a multifactorial pathogenesis, of which the key factor is genetics.

    Examination in patients with acne vulgaris includes the following features:

    • Comedonal acne: Presence of open and closed comedones but usually no inflammatory papules or nodules
    • Mild acne: Presence of comedones and a few papulopustules
    • Moderate acne: Presence of comedones, inflammatory papules, and pustules; a greater number of lesions are present than in milder inflammatory acne
    • Nodulocystic acne: Presence of comedones, inflammatory lesions, and large nodules greater than 5 mm in diameter; scarring is often evident
    Laboratory tests

    Acne vulgaris is a clinical diagnosis. However, laboratory testing may be indicated in the following situations:

    • Female patients with dysmenorrhea or hirsutism: Consider a hormonal evaluation with levels of total and/or free testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, luteinizing hormone, and follicle-stimulating hormone
    • Cases refractory to treatment or when improvement is not maintained: Culture skin lesions to rule out gram-negative folliculitis
    See Workup for more detail.

    Treatment of acne vulgaris should be directed toward the known pathogenic factors, including follicular hyperproliferation, excess sebum, P acnes, and inflammation. The most appropriate treatment is based on the grade and severity of the acne.


    The following medications are used in the treatment of Propionibacterium acne vulgaris:

    • Retinoid-like agents (eg, topical tretinoin, adapalene, tazarotene, isotretinoin)
    • Antibiotics (eg, tetracycline, minocycline, doxycycline, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, clindamycin, topical clindamycin, topical erythromycin, daptomycin)
    • Selective aldosterone antagonists (eg, spironolactone)
    • Estrogen/progestin combination oral contraceptive pills (eg, ethinyl estradiol, drospirenone, and levomefolate; ethinyl estradiol and norethindrone; ethinyl estradiol and norgestimate; ethinyl estradiol and drospirenone)
    • Acne products (eg, erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide, clindamycin and tretinoin, clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide, azelaic acid, benzoyl peroxide)
    When a topical or systemic antibiotic is used, it should be used in conjunction with benzoyl peroxide to reduce the emergence of resistance.


    Diet therapy, such as a low-glycemic diet and avoidance of “junk foods,” has been suggested as a nonpharmacologic measure to manage acne vulgaris.


    Procedural treatments for acne vulgaris include the following:

    • Manual extraction of comedones
    • Intralesional steroid injections
    • Superficial peels that use glycolic or salicylic acid

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