Acne Vulgaris

Acne Vulgaris: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Acne vulgaris is a chronic skin condition due to the over activity of oil. This common skin disease is characterized by papules, comedones, seborrhea, nodules, pimples, and the possibility of scarring. Acne vulgaris is formed when oil and dead skin cells clog the pores of the skin. It can occur on any place of the body, and effects both men and women. It is estimated that 80-90% of teenagers are effected by acne vulgaris.


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What causes acne vulgaris?

There are many causes of acne vulgaris. Those can include using cosmetics that have an oil base, high levels of humidity, which could lead to sweating (which can clog the pores), hormonal changes due to puberty, the menstrual cycle, stress, birth control pills, or pregnancy, certain medications (steroids, estrogen, testosterone, phenytoin), and heredity. An individual’s diet can also effect acne vulgaris. Diets high in refined sugars have been linked to this common skin condition.

What symptoms will an individual see with acne vulgaris?

There are many symptoms an individual may experience with acne vulgaris. Those include:

  • Blackheads -Dark spots on the skin that are caused by a small plug in the opening of the pore. These are also referred to as open comedones.
  • Whiteheads- White raised bumps on the skin, also known as closed comedones or pimples. Whiteheads are caused by oil and dead skin cells in the pores.
  • Nodules- Large, painful bumps beneath the surface of the skin
  • Papules- Small red bumps on the skin
  • Pustules- Small pus filled blisters on the skin that are inflamed and are tender
  • Cysts- A pouch of skin that can be filled with fluid, air, pus, or other materials
  • Crusting of the skin
  • Redness around the skin eruptions
  • Possible scarring of the skin

What steps can one take if acne vulgaris is present?

Should an individual have acne vulgaris, he or she should visit with their skin specialist to find a treatment plan designed to fit the individual’s needs. Other things that may be helpful to keep acne vulgaris under control is to wash the face daily with a gentle cleanser that will not dry out the skin. Be gentle with the skin, never scrubbing too hard. An individual will also want to keep their hair clean, shampooing daily if the hair is oily.

An individual should remember that there are things that are best avoided when dealing with acne vulgaris. This includes picking at the acne, washing the face too often, touching the face with the hands or fingertips, wearing tight headbands or ball caps or other items that cause friction or pressure on the skin, and using heavy oil based cosmetics or face creams.

How can a skin specialist help acne vulgaris?

Should an individual have acne vulgaris, and home treatment is not bringing relief, an individual can visit with his or her dermatologist. A skin specialist will determine what type of acne grade the individual has (grade 1 is mild while grade 4 is severe acne). The skin specialist may recommend a topical treatment be used to treat the acne, or could prescribe antibiotics to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation of the skin. The topical treatment could be one that is recommended that is an over the counter one, or one that is prescribed by the skin specialist. The skin speacialist may prescribe birth control pills to females to help clear up the acne. Acne vulgaris can also be treated with many treatments in the skin specialists office, including dermabrasion, microdermabrasion, dermal fillers ( for acne scars), chemical peels, laser and light therapy, comedo extraction, and acne removal (drainage and extraction methods).

If you suffer from acne vulgaris, contact one of our friendly skin specialist today and see how we can help you. At Advanced Dermatology we offer a range of skin treatments and acne skincare that will help with the acne vulgaris.


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5 replies
  1. great ..
    great .. says:

    Acne vulgaris ruined my high school life. I was called pizza face, dot (due to having so many zits), crater face, all sorts of mean names. My family was poor and my parents could not afford to take me to the dermatologist for it. When I was a freshmen in college, I got a job and saved to go to the dermatologist. With his help, I was able to learn about how my acne vulgaris was forming and what I needed to do to take care of my skin. I was given an antibiotic to clear up the inflammation. I started washing my face twice a day with warm water and a gentle soap, and applied benzoyl peroxide. These two things greatly helped me. Just last year ( my senior year in college), I had my first chemical peel, which made my skin look amazing. My acne is going away and it feels great to be able to say that I will not be that girl that once had acne anymore!

  2. Ellie
    Ellie says:

    Acne is a thing of the past for me. I use to have grade 3, which to me was awful. I was able to work a treatment plan out with my dermatologist, which was a godsend to me. I was prescribed a special face wash, which I use twice daily. I was given a prescription as well for my skin, which helped to clear it up. I am thankful that my doctor was so willing to work with me. My face has not broken out for a while now, and it feels so good!

  3. acne problems
    acne problems says:

    I was prescribed birth control pills for my acne vulgaris. Granted, I was only 17 when I went on birth control, and did not need it for preventing pregnancy. However, within a few months of taking the birth control, I noticed that my face really cleared up. I was skeptical at first when my doctor told me that the pills could help with my acne. But they truly have! My face has never looked better, and I only have a few pimples a week now, versus the many that I used to have.

  4. Nothing works
    Nothing works says:

    I suffer with acne vulgaris. I have tried every type of face wash there is, every toner, used all sorts of home remedies, even tried the oil cleansing method. Nothing works for me. I have never been to the dermatologist but maybe it is time that I found one. I hate the way that I look and I feel very poorly about myself. I have zero self esteem. I rarely go out because my acne scares every guy I meet away. I want to get on with my life and start having the life that I deserve. I do think that I will make an appointment with a dermatologist in my area. I am hoping in a few months I can get back on here and let everyone know what my results are and what treatment he or she came up with.

  5. Mika
    Mika says:

    I used to suffer with acne vulgaris. I had grade 4. Mine was very severe. My mom took me to my dermatologist and he prescribed me an antibiotic to take. I also washed my face twice a day only. I was used to washing up to 4 times a day, which was only drying out my skin. He told me to use a gentle cleanser, and also told me to watch my diet. I was used to eating a diet that had a lot of refined sugars in it, so I cut down on these sugars. And long behold, my face eventually cleared up a bit. And over time, my face started to look better. But my face was scarred so I had him do microdermabrasion on it. I am very happy with the results. Pleased that I finally got my acne vulgaris under control!


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