What is Acne Vulgaris and How Does it Develop?

Acne vulgaris is one of the most common types of acne, affecting teenagers and adults. This distressing and common skin condition develops due to overactive sebaceous glands during puberty, but this is not the sole cause of this condition.

If you are an acne sufferer, you will have felt overwhelmed by the outbreaks at some point in your life and maybe you have tried various different approaches in order to treat it. Indeed acne vulgaris is well known for its recurrent character and as long as the fundamental underlying causes, which lead to the development of this condition aren’t addressed, no matter what acne vulgaris treatment is used, it is not going to provide satisfactory and permanent results.

In order to determine the pathogens, which have caused this ailment, it is important to know that there are two different forms of acne vulgaris, these being mild and severe, each of them being triggered by different factors. The mild form is usually easier to treat, the discomfort associated with it is less severe and it manifests through the development of blackheads, whiteheads, papules or pustules. The physical symptoms of severe acne vulgaris are significantly more distressing and its presentation is associated with nodular acne, cystic acne, acne fulminans and acne conglobata, which may also present sinus tracts. The latter three types are less well known and their incidence is lower compared to the milder forms of acne vulgaris.

acne vulgaris treatment | what is acne vulgaris

The symptoms of acne vulgaris can be classified according to the degree of its severity:

  • Grade I. acne consists of black and whiteheads,
  • Grade II. acne includes pustules and papules,
  • Grade III. acne is associated with nodules,
  • Grade IV. acne will include the formation of cysts.

Now that you have the basis for understanding what is acne vulgaris is and how it manifests, it is important to evaluate the best treatments for each type.

Acne Vulgaris Treatment Options

In cases of mild to moderate acne vulgaris, the physician may recommend applying gels or ointments that contain benzoyl peroxide, which is usually the product used as the first-line of treatment for less severe acne symptoms. Salicylic acid may also be prescribed for eliminating black and whiteheads, but regardless of the product you are prescribed, don’t forget that the best results will be obtained when the skin is kept clean.

Severe acne vulgaris requires more powerful acne medication and remedies, so your dermatologist will probably prescribe topical or oral antibiotics or perhaps anti-inflammatory medications. Antibiotics are efficient in reducing the inflammation of cystic or nodular acne as they have the ability to kill the bacteria contained within these lesions. The commonly prescribed acne antibiotics in these cases are Erythromycin, Tetracycline and Minocycline.

Other potential treatment for severe acne includes the prescription of topical or oral retinoids, such as Accutane. These medicines are developed to prevent hyper-keratinization, the processes that usually trigger the blockages in hair follicle linings. Retinoids also function by reducing oil secretion, therefore they prevent new cysts and acne nodules from developing.

When it comes to acne vulgaris treatment in women who develop acne due to the overproduction of androgens, hormonal treatments in the form of oral birth control medications may be recommended, as various doses of estrogen or progesterone can bring good results in such cases.

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