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Int J Dermatol. 1999 Feb;38(2):128-30.

Acne neonatorum: a study of 22 cases.

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National University of Athens, Department of Dermatology and Venereology, A Sygros Hospital, Greece.



Acne is not uncommon in the neonatal period. Acne neonatorum is characterized by a mainly facial eruption of inflammatory and noninflammatory lesions. It is most commonly mild and transient. Hyperactivity of sebaceous glands, stimulated by neonatal androgens, has been implicated as the underlying pathogenetic mechanism.


All patients diagnosed with acne neonatorum in "A. Sygros" Hospital, Athens, Greece, during the years 1993-1996, were evaluated clinically and epidemiologically. Histologic examination and smears for Propionibacterium acnes and Pityrosporum ovale were performed in selected cases.


Of the 22 patients studied, 18 were male (81.8%) and 4 were female. The mean age at onset was 3 weeks and the mean duration of the disease was 4 months. Papules and pustules were the most frequent types of lesions (72.7%), followed by comedones only (22.7%). The cheeks were the most common site of predilection (81.8%). A family history of acne was reported in only three patients. Histologic examination showed hyperplastic sebaceous glands with keratin-plugged orifices. Smears for P. ovale were negative.


Our findings are consistent with previous experience, although inflammatory lesions were encountered more often than previously reported. Hereditary factors did not seem to play a significant role in our series. Topical treatment hastened the resolution of this self-limited condition. Recalcitrant cases warrant investigation for underlying androgen excess.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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