Philippine Dermatological Society

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Acne is a common chronic skin disease that occurs due to blockage and/or inflammation of pilosebaceous units (hair follicles and sebaceous glands). Acne can present as non-inflammatory lesions, inflammatory lesions or both, affecting mostly the face but may also involve the chest and back.  Initiation of treatment should be done the soonest time possible to prevent scarring and pigmentation.


  • Teenagers, 10-18 years old 


  • Whiteheads and blackheads
  • Red bumps that sometimes may have pus
  • Cysts and nodules in severe cases
  • Areas commonly affected are the face, chest, back, and shoulders 

REASONS FOR DEVELOPMENT – Acne is not caused by dirt or “maruming dugo”

  • Clogging of pores
  • Excess oil in the skin
  • Increase in skin bacteria, acnes
  • Inflammation 


  • Strong family history of acne
  • Use of products that can cause whiteheads and blackheads
  • Application or intake of certain medications (ex. steroids)
  • Hormonal imbalance which may also manifest as irregular menses in females
  • New evidence says diet high in sugars or carbohydrates (high glycemic index/ load) may worsen acne. 


  • Requires use of one or more drugs (applied to the skin, taken by mouth, or both) to control and prevent recurrence
  • Discontinue the offending drug, if drug-related
  • Requires long periods of treatment because acne does not go away immediately (it may take one to four months before improvement may be noticed)
  • Certain procedures such as lasers and light therapy, chemical peels, extraction and injection 


  • No exact preventive measure as the disorder commonly occurs in teens
  • See a dermatologist for early treatment to prevent complications such as scarring 


  • Over-the-counter medications may not work for moderate to severe acne. Ask your dermatologist for prescription-strength medicines and for appropriate procedures for your condition
  • Effective management of acne often require combining two or more medications for best results. A board-certified dermatologist can create a treatment plan suited to your individual needs
  • Acne can be a side effect of a drug used to treat another disorder (ex., use of oral steroids in asthma) or a manifestation of another disease (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). A board-certified dermatologist will know what to ask in your medical history.
  • Scarring is a complication of acne. A board-certified dermatologist knows the effective and proven therapies for acne to prevent scarring.

Scarring must be prevented because it has been shown to cause low self-esteem which may show as poor school performance or impaired socialization skills.