A quantitative study was made of the microflora of 174 acne and 68 non-acne subjects. Two groups of organisms were investigated, the anaerobic diphtheroids and members of the Micrococcaceae. The results showed high numbers of both groups of bacteria in skin bearing blackheads, papules or pustules and in non-acne adolescent skin. There were significantly lower numbers of bacteria in the pilosebaceous ducts of normal looking skin in acne areas and in pre-adolescent skin when compared with non-acne adolescent skin. It is suggested that increased numbers of bacteria alone do not predispose to acne, but that their interaction with the skin, which is a function of the localized skin environment, may be important.