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From the JAMA Network
May 28, 2014

Treating Acne With High-Dose Isotretinoin

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky
JAMA. 2014;311(20):2121-2122. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.2323

Acne vulgaris is a chronic inflammatory condition of the pilosebaceous unit affecting up to 87% of adolescents.1 The condition can persist into adulthood in half of those affected. At age 40 years, acne lesions persist in 5% of women and 1% of men.2 Acne vulgaris presents with a spectrum of lesions including open and closed comedones (blackheads and whiteheads, respectively), erythematous papules and pustules, and cystic nodules. Lesions occur in areas with the greatest density of pilosebaceous units—the face, neck, chest, and back. Severe acne can be disfiguring and may result in permanent scarring, resulting in significant psychosocial disability. Quality-of-life measures of social, psychological, and emotional symptoms in patients with acne are similar to those in patients with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, and arthritis.3 Considering how common acne is, how it may cause permanent scarring with subsequent psychosocial effects, having effective therapies for moderate to severe acne is imperative.

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