Acne is a chronic skin disease involving inflammation of the sebaceous glands. It usually appears on the face but can also appear on the back and chest. It affects 80% of teenagers and many adults, especially women, 35% being between the ages of 30 and 40. Acne represents 15-20% of consultations in dermatology.
There are different types of acne, the most frequent being inflammatory acne (78%). Even if it is not life-threatening, acne can cause physical and psychological scars, by cruelly impairing self-image, psychological well-being and affecting the ability to form relationships. It is often associated with anxiety and depression.
Acne generally occurs during puberty, due to hormonal changes. There are several factors involved in the genesis of the disease: increase in sebum production, abnormal keratinization, which can cause plugging (comedones), proliferation of Propionbacterium acnes (a bacteria that normally lives in the skin), and inflammation, producing inflamed lesions (red pimples).
Acne is a chronic, recurrent disease that requires initial treatment, as well as maintenance therapy. Initial treatment is based on topical retinoids alone or in a combination with topical and/or oral antimicrobials (topical benzoyl peroxide, systemic antibiotics), depending on the severity of the disease. The most severe form is treated with oral isotretinoin. All patients should use maintenance therapy, which includes topical retinoids.