|Acne vulgaris is an inflammatory disease of the skin, caused by excessive secretion of oils from the sebaceous glands accompanies the plugging of the pores with naturally occurring dead skin cells (corneocytes) blocking hair follicles. Acne can be treated with vitamin A derivatives (tretinoin), and exfoliating and anti-inflammatory agents. Vitamin A itself has also anti-acne effects but is not as effective as tretinoin which is the treatment of choice for comedonal acne. It works by increasing skin cell turnover promoting the extrusion of the plugged material in the follicle.
Common exfoliating agents include salicylic acid and glycolic acid, which induce peeling of the top layer of skin preventing a build-up of dead skin cells and blocking pores. It also helps to unblock already clogged pores. Vitamin C is supportive in acne treatments as it has mild anti-inflammatory properties.