Is acne contagious? No, acne is not contagious. Although acne is caused by the p. acnes bacteria, it cannot spread like bacterial infections. Nearly everyone has p. acne bacteria on their skin, but other factors must be in play for the p. acnes bacteria to lead to the formation of acne. When skin cell regulation is disrupted and sebum collects in the skin's follicles, the p. acnes bacteria gravitate to the follicles. This produces the inflammatory papules (bumps) that present as acne on the face. These multiple factors that lead to acne can have a genetic predisposition, but they cannot be contracted from another person. Dr. Schweiger explains that, "Close contact cannot spread acne from one person to another. Acne is not contagious. The p. acnes bacteria is present on all of our skin, but other factors determine whether is leads to the formation of acne or not. You cannot get acne from spending time with people who have acne." There are many treatment options for people with acne. It is important for even those people with very mild acne to see a dermatologist. It is important to treat acne promptly, in order to prevent the formation of permanent acne scars. Topical prescription medications, such as Retin-A and Acanya, are often used in combination with oral medications, such as Doryx or anti-androgen medications, in order to treat and prevent acne. In-office treatments, such as Photodynamic Therapy and the Isolaz acne laser therapy, can treat acne quickly and reduce the risk of scarring.
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