Acne may affect any age group, but it is most common in adolescents.
Lesions consist of non-inflammatory comedones (whiteheads and blackheads) and inflammatory papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts.
Systemic effects may be present with acne fulminans, a rare variant of nodulocystic acne.
Treatments include topical retinoids, keratolytics, and antibiotics; severe nodulocystic acne may require oral isotretinoin.
Acne vulgaris is a skin disease affecting the pilosebaceous unit. It is characterised by comedones, papules, pustules, nodules, cysts, and/or scarring, primarily on the face and trunk. Clinical manifestations range from mild comedonal acne to severe nodulocystic acne, which can be permanently disfiguring. In addition to the physical lesions, acne can have profound psychological and social impact on patients.  
Professor of Dermatology and Public Health
University of Colorado School of Medicine
Colorado School of Public Health
Chief, Dermatology Service
US Department of Veterans Affairs
Eastern Colorado Health Care System
RD is the PI on Pfizer Pharmaceutical independent research grants to the University of Colorado for development of open access patient decision aids. He receives editorial stipends from the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology and the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, and he receives royalties from UpToDate and Wiley Blackwell.
University of Colorado
Department of Dermatology
AH declares that she has no competing interests.
Professor Dellavalle and Dr Howland would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr Mark Naftanel and Dr Yolanda Rosi Helfrich, previous contributors to this topic.
MN and YRH declare that they has no competing interests.
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