A Guide To Acne

Match to Acne Clinical Trials

What is Acne?

Acne is a common condition characterized by skin lesions that are caused when hair follicles get plugged with oil and dead skin cells. Acne is most common in teenagers because the skin’s oil content changes in the teen years. However, it can affect people of any age and appear throughout the human body.

Acne Symptoms and Associated Conditions

The most common acne symptoms include:

  • Whiteheads: Plugged skin pores that are closed
  • Blackheads: Plugged skin pores that are open
  • Papules: Sensitive red bumps
  • Pimples: Papules gathering pus at the tips
  • Nodules: Solid, painful lumps under the skin
  • Cystic lesions: Painful, pus-filled lumps under skin

Of these, nodules and cystic lesions are relatively rare. Many teens will experience periodic acne episodes (breakouts) consisting of whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples. Hormonal changes and other factors influence the timing of these breakouts, which tend to taper off after the teen years.

For some acne patients, the condition can be persistent. It may last into the 20s or periodically recur throughout life. The longer someone has untreated acne, the more likely they are to have scarring and other more severe complications. Acne can detract significantly from mental health and self-image.

Acne in women over 25 is more common than acne in men of the same age. Flare-ups can be brought on by hormonal changes and are not usually cause for alarm. However, a sudden episode of acne in an adult with no recent history of it may suggest an underlying heath disorder, such as an allergic reaction.

Match to Acne Clinical Trials

Acne Medication and Treatments

Acne treatments are widely available over the counter. Most cases of acne will clear up without the need for a prescription acne medication. Common acne treatments focus on removing oil and irritants from the upper layer of the skin to make it less likely that hair follicles will become clogged.

Persistent acne for three months or more with no visible improvement after over the counter treatment may require a doctor’s help. Dermatologists, who study conditions of the skin, are usually consulted. A dermatologist may recommend powerful acne medication in the form of a prescription cream.

Acne can become painful and lead to scarring if a breakout is attended by severe inflammation or by bacterial infection. A dermatologist can prescribe acne medication that will help with these symptoms or refer the patient to a doctor who can.

Acne Recovery and Lifestyle Changes

The most severe cases of acne may require several months or even years to treat. However, most patients will eventually overcome acne without the need for many, if any, significant lifestyle changes. Contrary to popular belief, neither dirty skin nor oily foods contribute to acne. However, patients who wear makeup may be advised to switch to an oil-free brand. Likewise, patients should be alert to future breakouts and see a doctor if needed.

Current Acne Clinical Trials

Current acne clinical research focuses on both treatments for minor acne and treatments for acne patients suffering from the most intense and prolonged cases, a small fraction of patients overall. This list includes all current acne clinical trials registered with ClinicalTrials.gov. To tell us about a new acne clinical trial, contact us today.


Virtually everyone will experience acne at some point in life. When acne lingers, however, it should be treated as a serious skin condition. Acne clinical trials offer the opportunity to help prevent and treat long-term acne. Acne clinical research is continuing to uncover important information on hormonal health and other factors. Acne may never disappear for good, but better acne treatments and acne medications are on the horizon.

Match to Acne Clinical Trials