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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 33-36

Common misconceptions about acne vulgaris: A review of the literature


Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong

Correspondence Address:
Rex WH Hui
Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam
Hong Kong
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/CDR.CDR_16_17

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Acne vulgaris (acne) is a common chronic skin disease and affects over 90% of teenagers worldwide. Despite its prevalence, acne vulgaris is shrouded in multiple misconceptions that are widespread in the general public, among acne patients, and even in health-care professionals. This article reviewed six common misconceptions about acne vulgaris: (1) acne is a trivial condition and does not require medical attention; (2) acne is a transitory disease of adolescence; (3) dietary factors cause acne; (4) acne is caused by uncleanliness; (5) acne improves rapidly upon treatment; and (6) acne can be treated by sunlight. These misconceptions span across the natural history, etiology, and treatment of acne vulgaris. The paucity of knowledge about acne has potentially severe consequences and should not be overlooked. Underestimating the severity and progression of acne may delay treatment, while misinterpreting the etiology of acne could lead to unnecessary and disruptive lifestyle changes. Unrealistic expectations about therapy will lead to dissatisfaction, which may decrease treatment compliance. Actions in public health, medical education, and research are warranted to eradicate these misconceptions about acne vulgaris.


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