Acne aka Acne Vulgaris

A few terms that you should that you can refer back to when reading through this article on acne or acne vulgaris:

  • Open comedones (blackhead) or closed comedones (whitehead) are non-inflammatory lesions
  • Papules are solid elevations of the skin without the presence of fluid
  • Pustules are small elevations of the skin containing pus
  • Nodules are solid elevations of the skin with the presence of inflammation that extends into the deeper layers of the skin and may cause tissue destruction that leaves scarring


The types of acne or acne vulgaris are:

  • Mild acne is defined as the presence of comedones, a few papules and pustules (generally < 10) but no nodules
  • Moderate acne is defined as the presence of several to many papules and pustules (10-40) along with comedones (10-40)
  • Moderate to severe acne is defined as the presence of > 40 papules and pustules along with larger, deeper nodular inflamed lesions (≤ 5)
  • Severe acne is defined as the presence of numerous or extensive papules and pustules with many nodular lesions


Acne or acne vulgaris is the most common skin disease in the USA and is most common in teenagers − especially from 16- to 18 years of age. 


The cause of acne or acne vulgaris is the overactivity of sebaceous glands and/or the blockage of ducts.

However, there are many risk factors that makes a person more prone to acne or acne vulgaris:

  • Environmental factors include hot, humid and tropical climates
  • Medications include iodine in cough medicines or hair greasers
  • Industrial exposure to halogenated hydrocarbons


The signs and symptoms associated with acne or acne vulgaris may include:

  • Commonly distributed over the face, back and upper chest
  • Open comedones (blackheads) and/or closed comedones (whiteheads)
  • Oily skin
  • Presence of scars from prior acne
  • Various stages of development and severity
  • Inflammatory papules and pustules


From a Naturopathic standpoint, Dr. Moira Kwok ND will obtain a very thorough medical history in order to put all of your "puzzle pieces" together to form a whole picture of everything that is going on from a health perspective.  From this holistic approach to treatment, she will put together an individualized treatment plan based on a combination of dietary and lifestyle recommendations, supplements, botanicals, acupuncture and/or IV therapy that is based on your specific case.



  • Ferri FF.  2007.  Ferri’s Clinical Advisor: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment.  Mosby Elsevier: Philadelphia, PA.