Acne is a complex disease. The Acne Science section covers a range of scientific topics related to the development of acne and the available treatments. For more discussions about common acne questions, refer to our Frequently Asked Acne Questions page. What Causes Acne? Acne is a complex disease and many factors can contribute to the … Continue reading “Acne Science”

What Does “Contraindicated” Mean? A medication is contraindicated when there is an existing condition that makes its use inadvisable. Certain medications can be contraindicated in specific groups of people (eg. pregnant women) or in combination with other medications (eg. aspirin and warfarin). Basically, some medications are contraindicated with one another because taking them together is … Continue reading “Avoiding Negative Interactions Between Medications”

Most people can recognize acne when it presents on the face or body. Most people also have the vague understanding that acne is associated with oily skin and an excess production of sebum. But beyond that, few people really grasp what is actually happening at the microscopic level of a pimple. Understanding the physiological and … Continue reading “Acne at a Cellular Level”

What are Anabolic Steroids? Anabolic Steroids (aka Roids, Juice, AAS, etc) are molecules that mimic the shape and function of androgen hormones (eg. Testosterone). Anabolic Steroids are generally used to stimulate protein synthesis and muscle growth. Anabolic steroids should not be confused with corticosteroids, which are immune suppressants and can actually inhibit muscle growth. Corticosteroid … Continue reading “Anabolic Steroids and Acne”

Acne scars are the result of tissue damage caused by inflammatory acne. How Do Acne Scars Form? The vast majority of acne scars are caused by from persistent cases of inflammatory acne affecting the same area of skin. Individuals who suffer from frequent nodular and cystic acne outbreaks (Acne Types: 3-4) are at a very … Continue reading “How Do Acne Scars Form?”

Sebaceous glands produce and secrete sebum, which is responsible for moisturizing and protecting skin and hair. Sebaceous glands are essential components of healthy skin. Damaged or malfunctioning sebaceous glands contribute to many dermatological conditions, including acne vulgaris. Structure of the Sebaceous Glands Sebaceous glands are clusters of specialized cells in the skin. These specialized cells are called sebocytes. … Continue reading “Sebaceous Glands”

What is Sebum? Sebum is a naturally occurring substance that moisturizes, lubricates and protects the skin and hair. Sebum is produced by the sebaceous glands of mammals. Healthy sebum production is essential for the integrity and normal function of the skin as a protective organ. Sebum is also an important source of energy (food) for … Continue reading “Sebum”

There are many different families of antibiotics. Each antibiotic family targets bacteria in a unique way. Each antibiotic family tends to be more effective against certain types of bacteria, and less effective against others. Antibiotics from several different families are used for the treatment of acne. The antibiotic families most commonly used in acne treatment … Continue reading “The Antibiotic Families”

Summary For the past 50 years, physicians and researchers have been screening the susceptibility of Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) bacteria to different antibiotics. The results from these studies clearly demonstrate that in many places, P. acnes bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to certain classes of antibiotics. In many countries, a significant percentage of the P. … Continue reading “The Antibiotic Susceptibility of Propionibacterium acnes”