The Clinical Name For Acne

The medical profession seems to delight in giving long and mostly unpronounceable names to human disorders. For example; a broken collarbone is a “fractured clavicle.” Somehow the names that doctors give to all human disorders make them sound worse and a lot more complicated than they actually are.

Acne is no different, of course. The correct medical name for just plain old garden variety acne is “acne vulgaris.” That sounds really gross, doesn’t it? The word “vulgaris” does NOT mean that the acne is vulgar. Vulgaris is a doctor word that means “common.”

Acne is a very, very common disorder that affects about 95% of all American teenagers to some degree. The large number of a particular age group makes it a “common” ailment rather than a “rare” ailment.

A lot of factors contribute to acne over which one has no control at all. For example, heredity is one of the major factors that determine who will get acne and to what degree. If one parent had acne, then your chances are double those of the general population. If both parents had it, your chances are doubled again. There’s nothing you can do about your genes.

Your age is another factor that contributes to your likelihood of getting acne. If you are between 12 and 20, your odds are high. There’s no way we’ve ever figured out to just skip these years.

There’s nothing you can do about your hormones, either, and they are another major contributing factor for acne. Child bodies must become adult bodies. Hormones are thrown into disarray as the process happens. The good news is that it doesn’t last forever. Most acne simply disappears in a person’s early 20s.