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JAMA Clinical Guidelines Synopsis
October 4, 2016

Management of Acne Vulgaris

Author Affiliations
  • 1Section of Dermatology, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
  • 2Section of Internal Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
JAMA. 2016;316(13):1402-1403. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.11842

About 50 million people in the United States have acne.1 Acne affects 85% of all adolescents and about 12% of adult women.2,3 Acne is a chronic inflammatory condition presenting as comedones (blackheads and whiteheads), papules, pustules, and nodules. It is caused by androgen-induced sebum production, follicular hyperkeratinization, and colonization of the folliculosebaceous unit by the Proprionibacterium acnes bacterium.4 Follicles become impacted with sebum because of follicular keratinization and then become distended, forming comedones. Proprionibacterium acnes growth in the follicle results in cytokine release, causing inflammatory lesions.5 Although it is a benign condition, acne can have considerable morbidity, including pain and discomfort, permanent scarring, and depression and anxiety resulting in poor self-esteem.2