Localized skin inflammation as a result of overactivity of the oil glands at the base of hair follicles. Acne happens when oil (sebaceous) glands come to life around puberty, when these glands are stimulated by male hormones that are produced in the adrenal glands of both boys and girls. The oil glands, which are located just beneath the skin, continuously produce and secrete oil through openings in the skin. The oil lubricates and protects the skin. Under certain circumstances, cells that are close to the openings of the oil glands block the openings. This causes a buildup of oil underneath the skin. Bacteria, which live in everyone’s skin but generally mind their own business, feast on this oil, multiply, and cause the surrounding tissues to become inflamed. If the inflammation is right near the surface, you get a pustule; if it’s deeper, a papule (pimple); deeper still and it’s a cyst. If the oil breaks though to the surface, the result is a “ whitehead.” If the oil becomes oxidized (that is, acted on by oxygen in the air), the oil changes from white to black, and the result is a “blackhead.” Acne is also
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An inflammatory follicular, papular, and pustular eruption involving the pilosebaceous apparatus. SEE ALSO: a. vulgaris. [probably a corruption (or copyist's error) of G. akme, point of efflorescence]
- a. artificialis a. produced by external irritants, such as tar (chloracne), or drugs internally administered, such as iodides or bromides. SYN: a. venenata.
- bromide a. follicular eruption on face, trunk, and extremities, due to bromide ingestion. SEE ALSO: bromoderma.
- a. cachecticorum a. occurring in persons who have a debilitating constitutional disease; characterized by large, soft, purulent, ulcerative, cystic, and scarred lesions.
- a. ciliaris follicular papules and pustules on the free edges of the eyelids.
- a. conglobata severe cystic a., characterized by cystic lesions, abscesses, communicating sinuses, and thickened, nodular scars; usually sparing the face.
- a. cosmetica low-grade, non-inflammatory a. lesions from repeated application of comedogenic agents in cosmetics.
- cystic a. severe a. in which the predominant lesions are follicular cysts which rupture and scar.
- a. fulminans (ak′ne ful′mi-nanz) severe scarring a. associated with fever, polyarthralgia, crusted ulcerative lesions, weight loss, and anemia. [fulmen, fulminis, thunder, lightning]
- a. generalis a. lesions involving the face, chest, and back.
- halogen a. an acneform eruption caused by bromides or iodides.
- a. hypertrophica a. vulgaris in which the lesions, on healing, leave hypertrophic scars.
- iodide a. a follicular eruption on the face, trunk, and extremities, due to injection or ingestion of iodide in a hypersensitive individual. SEE ALSO: iododerma.
- a. medicamentosa a. caused or exacerbated by drugs, e.g., lithium, halogens, or steroids.
- a. necrotica miliaris SYN: a. varioliformis.
- a. neonatorum a condition in newborn male infants, characterized by papules, pustules, and comedones on forehead and cheeks, usually resolving in a few months.
- pomade a. a form of a. caused by repeated application of hair creams containing oils that block release of sebum from hair follicles; most commonly seen on forehead and temples in young African Americans.
- a. punctata a. with black open comedones.
- a. pustulosa a. vulgaris in which pustular lesions predominate.
- a. rosacea SYN: rosacea.
- steroid a. folliculitis or follicular hyperkeratosis resulting from topical or oral administration of steroids.
- tar a. SYN: chloracne.
- tropical a. a severe type of a. of the entire trunk, shoulders, upper arms, buttocks, and thighs; occurs in hot, humid climates.
- a. varioliformis a pyogenic infection involving follicles occurring chiefly on the forehead and temples; involution of the umbilicated and crusting lesions is followed by scar formation. SYN: a. necrotica miliaris.
- a. venenata SYN: a. artificialis.
- a. vulgaris an eruption, predominantly of the face, upper back, and chest, composed of comedones, cysts, papules, and pustules on an inflammatory base; the condition occurs in a majority of people during puberty and adolescence, due to androgenic stimulation of sebum secretion, with plugging of follicles by keratinization, associated with proliferation of Propionibacterium acnes. Follicular suppuration may lead to scarring. Topical treatments include tretinoin, benzoyl peroxide, and antibiotics. Sunlight, systemic antibiotics, and oral 13-cis-retinoic acid (except in pregnancy) are also effective. SEE ALSO: a..

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ac·ne 'ak-nē n a disorder of the skin caused by inflammation of the skin glands and hair follicles specif a form found chiefly in adolescents and marked by pimples esp. on the face
ac·ned -nēd adj

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a common inflammatory disorder of the sebaceous glands. These grease-producing glands are under androgen control, but the cause of acne is unknown. It involves the face, back, and chest and is characterized by the presence of blackheads with papules, pustules, and - in more severe cases - cysts and scars. Acne is readily treatable. Mild cases respond to topical therapy with benzoyl peroxide, while more refractory conditions require treatment with long-term antibiotics or (for treating women only) anti-androgen, such as Dianette (cyproterone and ethinylestradiol); severe or cystic acne can be treated with isotretinoin.

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ac·ne (akґne) [possibly a corruption of Greek akmē a point or of achnē chaff] 1. any of numerous inflammatory diseases of the pilosebaceous unit of the skin. 2. a. vulgaris.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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