Acne: inflammation

Clin Dermatol. 2004 Sep-Oct;22(5):380-4. doi: 10.1016/j.clindermatol.2004.03.006.


The inflammatory stage of acne vulgaris is usually of greatest concern to the patient. A number of morphologically different inflammatory lesions may form that can be painful and unsightly. In 30% of patients, such lesions lead to scarring(1). Inflammatory acne and acne scarring can have significant psychological effects on the patient, including depression, anxiety, and poor self-image(2). Although inflammatory acne has been well characterized clinically, the mechanisms by which inflammatory lesions arise are still poorly understood. The human skin commensal bacterium, Propionibacterium acnes, has long been associated with inflammatory acne. This organism has been implicated over and above all of the other cutaneous microflora in contributing to the inflammatory response characteristic of acne. However, its precise role in the disease and its interaction with the human immune system remain to be elucidated.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / immunology
  • Acne Vulgaris / physiopathology*
  • Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections / immunology
  • Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Propionibacterium acnes / immunology
  • Propionibacterium acnes / physiology
  • Sebaceous Glands / immunology
  • Sebaceous Glands / physiopathology