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Acne (cont.)

What Is the Prognosis for Acne?

The prognosis for most cases of acne is excellent. Most people experience their worst acne during the teen years and grow out of it. The goal in all acne treatment is to prevent scarring. Severe acne left untreated for a long time can result in scarring. The scars can appear as pits (usually on the face) or as big, bumpy scars (usually on the chest and back). The scarring of acne can also be treated. Your doctor can tell you about various ways available to treat acne scars.

  • Pits and depressions left in the skin from acne scarring can be treated with a "skin-sanding" procedure called dermabrasion, chemical peels, and occasionally with tissue fillers.
  • Bumpy scars are often treated with injections of an intralesional steroid.
  • Lasers can be used in treating scars, but they can be expensive.

Acne Pictures

Hair follicle.
Hair follicle. Click to view larger image.

Comedones (blackheads and whiteheads).
Comedones (blackheads and whiteheads). Click to view larger image.

Papules, pustules (zits).
Papules, pustules (zits). Click to view larger image.

Acne nodules.
Acne nodules. Click to view larger image.

Medically reviewed by Norman Levine, MD; American Board of Dermatology


Knutsen-Larson, S. A.L. Dawson, C.A. Dunnick, and R.P. Dellavalle. "Acne Vulgaris: Pathogenesis, Treatment, and Needs Assessment." Dermatol Clin 30 (2012): 99-106.

Titus, Stephen, and Joshua Hodge. "Diagnosis and Treatment of Acne." American Family Physician 86.8 Oct. 15, 2012: 734-740.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/30/2016

Acne Quiz IQ

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Acne:

Acne - Home Remedies

What home remedies have been effective for your acne?

Acne - Experience

Please describe your experience with acne. What type of acne did you have?

Acne (Pimples) - Length Symptoms Lasted

How long did the symptoms of your acne (pimples) last?

Acne - Causes

What do you think caused your acne?

Acne (Pimples) - Treatment

What was the treatment for your acne?

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Acne Vulgaris »

Acne vulgaris is a common skin disease that affects 85-100% of people at some time during their lives.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

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