Medical Definition of Acne vulgaris

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Acne vulgaris: The common form of acne, in teens and young adults, that is due to overactivity of the oil (sebaceous) glands in the skin that become plugged and inflamed. Acne typically develops when the oil glands come to life around puberty and are stimulated by male hormones that are produced in the adrenal glands of both boys and girls. Treatments include keeping the skin clean and avoiding irritating soaps, foods, drinks, and cosmetics. Severe acne and acne in those who are prone to scarring can be treated with topical creams and oral medications. Skin damaged by acne can be improved with treatment by a dermatologist or facial technologist using dermabrasion (sanding), removal of scar tissue via laser, and chemical peels. Also known as pimples.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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