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Acne – how to answer the most common questions patients ask?

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The emergence of acne is generally hormonal The emergence of acne is generally hormonal, due to excessive androgen production

Acne is one of the most common skin diseases. Acne is virtually universal in young people, but it can also affect adults, particularly women in their twenties.1 Acne is predominantly seen on the face (in 99%), as well as the back (in 60%) and the chest (in 15%).2 Acne is graded as mild, moderate or severe and can vary from comedonal (the presence of whiteheads and blackheads only) acne, where non-inflammatory and inflammatory lesions can arise as papules, pustules or deep-seated pustules and nodules.2

Health care professionals will be asked about acne by patients, and they have an essential role in supporting and informing patients about acne management. This article will provide an overview of managing acne by discussing 10 common questions asked by parents and carers. The evidence base is discussed in this article for these frequently asked questions to help health care professionals formulate informative answers for all patients with acne.

Why do I have acne and will it ever go away?

The emergence of acne is generally hormonal due to excessive androgen production at puberty. All women can experience pre-menstrual flares. Adult women, aged 20-40 can develop anti-androgen responsive acne which may be associated with hormonal diseases, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, late onset congenital adrenal hyperplasia and hypercortisolism.2

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