Acne is a very common skin disorder that is characterised by the formation of comedones, papules, pustules, nodules and/or cysts. It can affect many areas of the body however they are very commonly observed on the back, face and chest regions. Acne not only affects individuals in their adolescent years but can also appear later on in life. It can be caused by a variety of factors such as fluctuations in hormones and excessive cleaning of the skin.

Propionibacterium acnes is a normal skin anaerobe present in skin however, when dead skin cells and sebum obstruct hair follicles and their associated sebaceous glands, this is when acne can form (refer to image below). Acne can be classified as either inflammatory if there is inflammation of the hair follicle, or non-inflammatory if there is no inflammation present.

Formation of acne

Formation of acne






a) Inflammatory acne normally manifests as papules, pustules, nodules and cysts.
b) Non-inflammatory acne usually presents as comedones or uninfected sebaceous plugs. These can be further classified into open (commonly termed “black heads”) or closed (“white heads”) depending on whether the follicle is dilated or closed on the surface of the skin.

If severe or not treated correctly, acne can lead to permanent skin scarring. Although treatments are available for acne scarring, the best treatment is prevention of scarring by appropriate, tailored acne treatment using non-comedogenic vehicles. Treatment of acne focuses on bacterial proliferation, skin inflammation and/or follicular and non-inflammatory hyperproliferation.

Acne is often classified into Mild, Moderate and Severe with diagnosis based on examination. Please contact us for more information, references and product information.