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The pathophysiology of acne vulgaris in children and adolescents, Part 1

The pathophysiology of acne vulgaris in children and adolescents, Part 1

Cutis 74(2): 92-97

Microcomedones, the earliest lesions of acne, appear at adrenarche, which typically occurs at about 8 years of age when androgens of adrenal origin begin to stimulate follicular hyperkeratosis and sebaceous hyperplasia in pilosebaceous units on the face. Comedones appear about 2 years later, when androgens of gonadal origin are produced and colonization of follicles by Propionibacterium acnes increases. Inflammatory lesions, such as pustules, papules, and nodules, are the result of the host's immune responses to P acnes; the proinflammatory cytokines are released by immunocompetent leukocytes that are recruited in response to this bacterium and its metabolic by-products. Androgens also affect the barrier function of the skin, and disturbances of barrier function may stimulate epidermal DNA synthesis. This leads to epidermal hyperplasia, which may also contribute to follicular hyperkeratosis in acne. Optimal treatment for this disorder will address these various pathophysiologic factors.

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Accession: 050687553

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PMID: 15379361

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