Acne vulgaris

Last reviewed: 7 Sep 2022
Last updated: 12 Apr 2022

Summary

Definition

History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • skin lesions
More key diagnostic factors

Other diagnostic factors

  • skin tenderness
  • depression, social isolation
  • systemic complaints
Other diagnostic factors

Risk factors

  • age 12 to 24 years
  • genetic predisposition
  • greasy skin/increased sebum production
  • endocrine disorders
  • medications
  • dietary factors
  • female sex/estrogens
  • obesity/insulin resistance
  • hyperandrogenism
  • halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons exposure
More risk factors

Diagnostic investigations

1st investigations to order

  • clinical diagnosis
More 1st investigations to order

Investigations to consider

  • hormonal evaluation
  • bacterial culture
More investigations to consider

Treatment algorithm

ONGOING

not hormone-related (not pregnant)

hormone-related (women, not pregnant)

pregnant

Contributors

Authors

Robert P. Dellavalle, MD, PhD, MSPH

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

Aurora

CO

Disclosures

RD has been an Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics investigator of global antibiotic use for acne. He has received royalties from UpToDate. RD was the PI on Pfizer Pharmaceutical independent research grants to the University of Colorado for development of open access patient decision aids.

Torunn E. Sivesind, MD

Dermatology Research Fellow

University of Colorado School of Medicine

Aurora

CO

Disclosures

TS receives fellowship funding from the Pfizer Global Medical Grant Dermatology Fellowship 2020 (PI: R.P. Dellavalle), and serves on the Medical Advisory Board of Antedotum Inc.

Acknowledgements

Professor Dellavalle and Dr Sivesind would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr Sarah Shangraw, Dr Mark Naftanel, Dr Yolanda Rosi Helfrich, and Dr Amanda Howland, previous contributors to this topic.

Disclosures

SS, MN, YRH, and AH declare that they have no competing interests.

Peer reviewers

Gina Taylor, MD

Resident

Department of Dermatology

SUNY Downstate Medical Center

New York

NY

Disclosures

GT declares that she has no competing interests.

Gillian Murphy, MD, FRCPI, FRCP, Edin

Consultant Dermatologist

Dermatology

Beaumont Hospital

Dublin

Ireland

Disclosures

Not disclosed.

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