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What is actually


Acne (acne vulgaris = “common acne”), one of the most common skin diseases, affects millions of people worldwide, especially during puberty and young adulthood. This inflammatory skin disorder usually occurs on the face, back and chest and is caused by blocked sebaceous glands. Acne can lead to pimples, blackheads, pustules and even scarring, which often leads to psychological stress. Find out more about the causes, treatment options and prevention strategies for this widespread disease.

About the symptoms
Gesicht mit Pickel auf der Wange

More information

Important facts about acne

Hautabschnitt mit Akne

Symptoms and consequences of acne

  • Blackheads (open and closed comedones)
  • Red, inflamed pimples (papules)
  • Pus-filled pimples (pustules)
  • Nodular, painful inflammations (cysts)
  • Redness and skin irritation
  • Scarring (e.g. acne scars or smallpox scars)
  • Pigment changes and skin spots
  • Mental stress such as anxiety and depression
  • Self-esteem problems and social isolation


What types of acne are there?

Acne vulgaris: the most common type

Acne as an allergic reaction

Acne inversa (acne inversa)

Newborns ("baby acne", acne neonatorum)

Infant acne ("toddler acne", acne infantum)

Mallorca acne

Causes and risk factors of common acne

Common acne, also known as acne vulgaris, has various causes and risk factors


Blocked sebaceous glands

Bacterial infection

Stress as a risk factor

Infant acne ("toddler acne", acne infantum)

How is acne diagnosed?

Acne is easy to recognize due to its external appearance, with pustules, blackheads and pimples as clear symptoms. Nevertheless, it is advisable to consult a dermatologist before undergoing independent treatment in order to rule out other skin diseases and to determine the type of acne and the best therapy.

If the doctor suspects an infection, he may be able to take secretions from the blackheads and analyze them to determine which bacteria are causing the infection. The appropriate treatment is determined on this basis.

What measures can be taken for acne?

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Gentle skin or facial cleansing is important for acne. Special syndets for blemished skin enable gentle cleansing. Avoid greasy products and choose a light moisturizer with an oil-in-water base. When concealing acne with make-up, non-comedogenic products or antiseptic concealer creams should be used. To prevent inflammation and scarring, it is advisable not to squeeze out blackheads and pimples yourself.

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Drug treatment

Various therapies are available to eliminate acne. These can be roughly divided into two categories: external (topical) acne treatments, such as ointments and peelings, and holistic (systemic) treatments with internal acne medication.

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Home remedy

Home remedies such as healing clay, tea tree oil or sage oil are well-known and frequently used natural options to treat acne or support acne treatment. Healing clay is the best-known home remedy for acne, often used as a supplement to drug therapy. Mixed with water as a paste or powder, it is applied to the skin and dried. The treatment removes fat, sebum and skin flakes and promotes blood circulation.


Please note that all content provided regarding individual medical conditions, treatments, procedures, etc. is general information and may vary depending on the physician:in and individual case and initial situation.
For more detailed information, please always consult your doctor.

Bundesverband der Deutschen Dermatologen e.V.: "Acne - more than just a few pimples during puberty", message from 26.04.2019 (retrieval date: 24.07.2023)


S2k guideline of the German Dermatological Society (DDG): "Treatment of acne" (as of 10/2011)

BMJ Best Practice (2018): Acne vulgaris. (Accessed: July 2023).


Cochrane Compact (2015): Complementary therapies for common acne (acne vulgaris). (Accessed: July 2023)


Williams HC, Dellavalle RP, Garner S. Acne vulgaris. Lancet 2012; 379(9813): 361-372.