an inflammatory disease of the sebaceous glands, characterized by comedones and pimples, especially on the face, back, and chest, and, in severe cases, by cysts and nodules resulting in scarring.
Contemporary Examples

And acne, well, acne is just the great equalizer (move over, death and taxes).
A New Huck on the Hardcore LGBT Hudson William O’Connor June 10, 2014

You gotta have acne scars and a mean dad in your past, not a portfolio and European runway memories.
Twitter Creates a New Star Jill Soloway April 21, 2010

As much as it is loved, chocolate has also been associated with unappetizing things: child labor, tooth decay, acne, love handles.
How Boards Are Destroying Corporations David Zweig, John Gillespie January 12, 2010

She says she herself has acne scars from picking at her face in attempt to create perfection.
The War on ‘Teen Vogue’: Young Readers Escalate Campaign for More ‘Real Girls’ Abigail Pesta July 17, 2012

In nervous moments, her hand wanders to a small patch of acne on her forehead, a reminder of just how young she really is.
Hallucinating Away a Heroin Addiction Abby Haglage May 3, 2014

Historical Examples

Does the eruption in acne disappear without leaving a trace?
Essentials of Diseases of the Skin Henry Weightman Stelwagon

In what respect does the pustular syphiloderm differ from acne?
Essentials of Diseases of the Skin Henry Weightman Stelwagon

acne, a skin disease showing hard reddish pimples; acne rosacea, a congestion of the skin of the nose and parts adjoining.
The Nuttall Encyclopaedia Edited by Rev. James Wood

The latter is frequently associated with acne (acne rosacea).
Essentials of Diseases of the Skin Henry Weightman Stelwagon

All however were well nourished, and their functions, save that of the skin (five had acne and one ichthyosis) well performed.
The Criminal Havelock Ellis

Also called acne vulgaris. a chronic skin disease common in adolescence, involving inflammation of the sebaceous glands and characterized by pustules on the face, neck, and upper trunk See also rosacea

1813, from Modern Latin, from aknas, a 6c. Latin clerical misreading of Greek akmas, accusative plural of akme “point” (see acme). The “pointed” pimples are the source of the medical use.

acne ac·ne (āk’nē)
An inflammatory disease of the sebaceous glands and hair follicles of the skin that is marked by the eruption of pimples or pustules, especially on the face.
ac’ned adj.
An inflammatory disease of the skin in which the sebaceous glands become clogged and infected, often causing the formation of pimples, especially on the face. It is most common during adolescence, but also occurs in infants and adults.


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  • Acne conglobata

    acne conglobata acne conglobata acne con·glo·ba·ta (kŏn’glō-bā’tə) n. Severe cystic acne characterized by cystic lesions, abscesses, communicating sinuses, and thickened, nodular scars.

  • Acne erythematosa

    acne erythematosa acne erythematosa acne er·y·the·ma·to·sa (ěr’ə-thē’mə-tō’sə, -thěm’ə-) n. See rosacea.

  • Acne indurata

    acne indurata acne indurata acne in·du·ra·ta (ĭn’də-rā’tə, -dyə-) n. Deeply seated acne with large papules and pustules that can cause severe scarring.

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