The cause and treatment of acne vulgaris: fact versus fiction
Wan, Steven Guo
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Acne vulgaris is a complicated disease. It is primarily caused by dead skin, excessive sebum, and bacteria proliferation, all of which clogs hair follicles. The nature of this disease can start as comedone acne that affects young children, which progress into inflammatory acne in adolescent. The disease can persist into adulthood and is even reported to affect those 40 years of age. In adulthood, acne is more prevalent in women than in men. In addition to scarring and other physical damage, acne can also be psychologically damaging, especially in adolescents and adults. This paper will attempt to elucidate the causes of acne which includes: hormone, diet, smoking, environment, and human biology. Then this paper will explain common treatments that include: oral antibiotics, isotretinoin, topical treatment, hormone therapy, and light and laser therapy. After establishing researched causes and treatments, this paper will look into misconceptions regarding acne. Since there are many myths surrounding acne, this paper will only visit a few well documented misconceptions. Finally, this paper will formulate some new areas of research that acne literature is lacking. Acne is a serious disease and new information and research must be done in order to clear up misconceptions and allow physicians to provide better treatment.