Update in the management of acne in adolescence

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Abstract

Purpose of review

This review will update the pediatric provider on recent data on the pathogenesis and treatment of acne in adolescent patients. A special focus was made to summarize recent guidelines and fill in several identified practice gaps.

Recent findings

Our understanding of the pathogenesis of acne is greatly expanding and data is emerging to tie diet, particularly the role of IGF-1 with inflammation in acne. Additionally, stronger recommendations to limit antibiotic usage in acne are being made worldwide. Although retinoids are considered the base of most effective acne treatment strategies, data suggests that all providers need to emphasize their importance in maintenance of acne.

Summary

An effective acne management strategy targets multiple pathogenic factors in acne, using a retinoid as the foundation. Systemic antibiotics for moderate-to-severe acne should be used for acute management, then discontinued at 3–4 months, while maintaining on topical treatments. If therapy is ineffective, alternate treatments, such as combined oral contraceptives in females or isotretinoin, should be promptly employed to prevent prolonged psychological impact and cutaneous scarring.

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