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It is a long term skin problem that occurs when hair follicles become clogged with dead skin cell and oil (sebum) from skin. It usually occurs around puberty.


  • Site: mostly face, neck, chest, shoulder and back
  • Mild: Whiteheads and blackheads which when infected can turn into pimple
  • Severe: many pimples over large area or few but large pimples
  • Pain, scarring and pigmentation


A result of variety of factors:

  • Genetic
  • Infection: with Propionebacterium acnes
  • Hormonal: Thus seen around puberty and premenstruation
  • Diet: High sugar containing diet are suspected
  • Cosmetics: oil based products, facial massage
  • Others: Stress, drugs


  • Skin hygiene: Regular gentle cleansing with soap and water and avoiding oil-based cosmetics
  • Diet: not necessary  to restrict diet
  • Avoidance of stress


Severe forms of acne lead to scarring and pigmentation of face which can lead to low self-esteem and even depression in some.


  • Mild: Retinoic acid gel/cream
  • Benzoyl peroxide/azelaic acid/antibiotic creams can be added
  • Moderate: Oral antibiotics and retinoic acid cream/gel
  • Severe: oral retinoic acid

*Oral retinoic acids are highly teratogenic so should be avoided in pregnancy and are also toxic to liver. So they should be used only after consulting a doctor.

  • Other : Cryotherapy, Laser therapy, phototherapy