Saturday, October 2, 2010

Acne Vulgaris

Acne vulgaris is a common skin disease that affects 60-70% of Americans at some time during their lives. Twenty percent will have severe acne, which results in permanent physical and mental scarring. Acne vulgaris is American's most common disease and is characterized by noninflammatory, open or closed comedones and by inflammatory papules, pustules, and nodules. Acne vulgaris affects the areas of skin with the densest population of sebaceous follicles; these areas include the face, the upper part of the chest, and the back.

Acne vulgaris is characterized by comedones, papules, pustules, and nodules in a sebaceous gland distribution. A comedone is a whitehead (closed comedone) or a blackhead (open comedone) without any clinical signs of inflammation. Papules and pustules are raised bumps with obvious inflammation. The face may be the only involved skin surface, but the chest, back, and upper arms are often involved.

* In comedonal acne, no inflammatory lesions are present. Comedonal lesions are the earliest lesions of acne, and closed comedones are the precursor lesion of inflammatory lesions.

Acne, grade I; multiple open comedones.

* Mild acne is characterized by comedones and a few papulopustules.

Acne, grade II; closed comedones.

* Moderate acne has comedones, inflammatory papules, and pustules. Greater numbers of lesions are present than in milder inflammatory acne.
Acne, grade III; papulopustules.

* Nodulocystic acne is characterized by comedones, inflammatory lesions, and large nodules greater than 5 mm in diameter. Scarring is often evident.
Acne, grade IV; multiple open comedones, closed comedones, and papulopustules, plus cysts.

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