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Acne clinical guideline

Acne guideline

Access the full acne guideline from JAAD.

Go to the guideline

Acne vulgaris is a common skin condition occurring when hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells, leading to bacterial overgrowth and inflammation. Acne is one of the most common diseases worldwide, affecting 85% of adolescents and often persisting into adulthood. Acne can be associated with the development of permanent scarring, social isolation, depression, and suicidality. Treatment of acne is associated with reduced symptoms of depression.

Acne Resource Center for patients

Are you looking for information on how to treat and manage your acne or your child's acne? The Academy offers a wealth of treatment help for the public in the Acne Resource Center.

Guideline highlights

Recommendations are made in favor of several topical therapies, including:

  • Benzoyl peroxide;

  • Topical retinoids;

  • Topical antibiotics;

  • Clascoterone;

  • Salicylic acid; and

  • Azelaic acid

Recommendations are made in favor of several systemic therapies, including:

  • Doxycycline;

  • Minocycline;

  • Sarecycline;

  • Combined oral contraceptives;

  • Spironolactone; and

  • Isotretinoin

The guidelines recommend against adding pneumatic broadband light to adapalene 0.3% gel.

In addition, the guidelines recommend several good clinical practices, including:

  • Using topical therapies combining multiple mechanisms of action;

  • Limiting systemic antibiotic use;

  • Combining systemic antibiotics with benzoyl peroxide and other topical therapies; and

  • Adjuvant intralesional corticosteroid injections.

The newest guidelines update the 2016 AAD acne guidelines.

View the Academy guidelines disclaimer.