This guideline covers management of acne vulgaris in primary and specialist care. It includes advice on topical and oral treatments (including antibiotics and retinoids), treatment using physical modalities, and the impact of acne vulgaris on mental health and wellbeing.
In December 2023, we clarified our recommendations on oral isotretinoin treatment in line with the 2023 MHRA advice on the introduction of new safety measures. See the update information for more details.
This guideline includes recommendations on:
- information and support for people with acne vulgaris
- skin care advice
- referral to specialist care
- managing acne vulgaris
- management of acne-related scarring
Who is it for?
- Healthcare professionals providing NHS-commissioned services
- Commissioners of services
- People with acne vulgaris, their families and carers
This guideline was commissioned by NICE and developed in partnership with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG).
Guideline development process
The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals and practitioners are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or the people using their service. It is not mandatory to apply the recommendations, and the guideline does not override the responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and their families and carers or guardian.
All problems (adverse events) related to a medicine or medical device used for treatment or in a procedure should be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency using the Yellow Card Scheme.
Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.
Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.