Acne Signs and Symptoms

The first sign of acne is comedones. They appear most often on the face, chest, back, and shoulders. Bacteria populations can grow quickly in comedones. If the follicle wall ruptures, an inflammatory lesion develops. Redness, swelling, and pus-filled lesions accompany infection.

Inflammation that persists can result in the formation of a large, often painful acne cyst or nodule (collection of inflammatory cells). When a cyst heals, it can leave a pitted, discolored scar, known as a pockmark. Scars can be treated with dermabrasion, laser resurfacing, or collagen injection.

Acne Diagnosis

Dermatologists diagnose acne by its appearance. Treatments vary depending on the severity of symptoms.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 31 Aug 2000

Last Modified: 26 Aug 2015