Acne Vulgaris: Meaning, Diagnosis and Overview

What is Acne Vulgaris?

  • Acne vulgaris commonly called as ACNE is a common skin disorder. It is a disease of pilosebaceous unit (which consists of hair follicle, hair shaft and a sebaceous gland), primarily affecting face, chest, and back. Acne starts when excess sebum (oily material) clogs the openings of hair follicles and bacteria begin to grow causing pimples. This is characterised by blackheads, blemishes, whiteheads, zits.
  • When you have just a few red spots, or pimples, you have mild acne. Severe acne can mean hundreds of pimples that can cover the face, neck, chest, and back. Or it can be bigger, solid, red lumps that are painful (cysts).
  • Acne is very common among teens. It usually occurs at puberty. It affects both men and women.
Pimples overview

Recovery Time

 Mild acne usually gets cured in 3-5 days but severe acne requires patience and time to get recovered, it may take several weeks or months (1-6 months) to see improvement. The marks or scars left by acne will end up being visible after 12 months.

Acne recovery time


Diagnosis is done based on the medical history and physical examination of acne. Women may be asked about their menstrual cycles.

FAQs prepared by doctor

Q1.  What is acne?
Acne / pimple is the collection of sebaceous gland secretion under the skin, usually affecting the face and neck.     

Q2.  Why and at what age will I get acne and what causes it?
You can get acne at any age, but is more commonly seen in teenage, when there is excessive production of sebaceous secretion from the gland, due to increased hormonal activity. You are more likely to get it if your parents had during their teens. 

Q3.  What is the treatment available for acne?
Certain creams are available for mild form of acne. Harmonal therapy is reserved for severe acne. Laser therapy can also be given to reduce the scar. 

Q4.  How long does it take to cure? And is there any chance of recurrence?
It depends on the severity. Recurrence rate is high. 

Q5.  How do I prevent Acne?
Acne can be prevented to some extent by keeping your skin clean using skin cleansing agents.  Your dermatologist would prescribe you one for your skin type. 

Q6.  Are there any complications of acne?
Acne may get infected in such cases antibiotic treatment will be required.   

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