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Clin Dermatol. 2014 May-Jun;32(3):389-96. doi: 10.1016/j.clindermatol.2013.11.005. Epub 2013 Nov 23.

Acne as a chronic systemic disease.

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Departments of Dermatology, Venereology, Allergology, and Immunology, Dessau Medical Center, Auenweg 38, 06847 Dessau, Germany. Electronic address:


Acne is the most common skin disorder. In the majority of cases, acne is a disease that changes its skin distribution and severity over time; moreover, it can be a physically (scar development) and psychologically damaging condition that lasts for years. According to its clinical characteristics, it can be defined as a chronic disease according to the World Health Organization criteria. Acne is also a cardinal component of many systemic diseases or syndromes, such as congenital adrenal hyperplasia, seborrhea-acne-hirsutism-androgenetic alopecia syndrome, polycystic ovarian syndrome, hyperandrogenism-insulin resistance-acanthosis nigricans syndrome, Apert syndrome, synovitis-acne-pustulosis-hyperostosis-osteitis syndrome, and pyogenic arthritis-pyoderma gangrenosum-acne syndrome. Recent studies on the Ache hunter gatherers of Paraguay detected the lack of acne in association with markedly lower rates of obesity, diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, and cardiovascular diseases, a finding that indicates either a nutritional or a genetic background of this impressive concomitance.

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