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Acne, an inflammatory disease of the pilosebaceous unit (sebaceous follicle) is a most common disease affecting all ages and ethnic groups. In white Caucasian populations 70–95% of individuals aged 12–25 present a variant clinical picture of acne. Although not life-threatening and not a major player in clinical and lab-oratory research over the past decades, acne markedly influences quality of life and constitutes a socioeconomic problem. No less than 15–30% of acne patients require medical treatment due to the severity of their clinical condition, 2–7% of them experience life-long post acne scars. Acne is the leading dermatologic diagnosis with 10.2 million diagnoses (25.4% of the 10 most common dermatologic diagnoses) according to a National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey conducted in 1995 in the USA. In 2001, the amount of acne patients increased to 32% of the 10 most common dermatologic diagnoses. In 1996–1998, 6.5 million new prescriptions at a value of over one billion US dollars per year were provided to US patients for systemic anti-acne medication only, in 2001 this amount was approximately 2.1 billion Euros worldwide. The costs for systemic and topical acne treatment were calculated to represent 12.6% of the overall worldwide costs for the treatment of skin diseases in 1996–1998 and 18.3% in 2001.
These are, however, not the only reasons, why the global interest in acne currently increases, leading it to the significant position among dermatological diseases that psoriasis vulgaris only had in the last years. Newly developed in vitro models have facilitated fascinating research on this solely human disease (Dermato-Endocrinology Volume 1, Issue 2) and new therapeutic compounds are emerging. As a result, there is an increasing number of scientists and clinicians currently involved in acne research.
The expansion of knowledge in the last years makes it challenging to stay up-to-date in the field of acne and acneiform dermatoses, even for experts. On the other hand, limited time and money restrict both researchers’ access to selected journals and the number of conferences they may attend every year.
Over a decade after the Workshop on the Sebaceous Gland during the 1st Tricontinental Meeting of Hair Research Societies, October 8–10, 1995 in Brussels and the 1st International Conference on Sebaceous Gland, Acne, Rosacea and Related Disorders, April 11–13, 1997 in Berlin it was time for the dedicated international group of clinicians and scientists to meet again in order to discuss the numerous developments in the field. Therefore, we are honored and pleased to present to the readers another issue of Dermato-Endocrinology with a peer-reviewed bouquet of dermato-endocrinological manuscripts on acne and acneiform dermatoses from the “2nd International Conference on Sebaceous Gland, Acne, Rosacea and Related Disorders—Basic and Clinical Research, Clinical Entities and Treatment,” which was held on September 13–16, 2008 in Rome, Italy at the IFO Congress Centre “Raffaele Bastianelli.”
The purpose of the Conference was to construct a high impact scientific event providing current research information with clinical relevance to the disorders of the pilosebaceous unit. The speakers were chosen due to their contributions and impact in the areas discussed, leading not only to attraction of the experts but also of motivated young scientists and students working—or wishing to work—in this fascinating field in the future. The participants had the opportunity to share their knowledge and perspectives and to gain better insight into the intricacies of the sebaceous gland, acne, rosacea and related disorders. We have no doubt that the selected manuscripts will transfer the magical spirit of the Conference to those of the readers, who had not the opportunity to make the journey to Rome, but also corroborate the obtained knowledge for the others who enjoyed together with us this interesting experience and had their scientific expectations fulfilled.
We want to express our gratitude to the authors of the contributions who invested valuable time in communicating their expert knowledge to the public. Last but not least, the journal Dermato-Endocrinology and its staff deserve our great thanks for translating our strong wish for this project into reality. We anticipate offering you two most up-to-date and informative Dermato-Endocrinology issues and want to thank you in advance for your interest to the Journal.
Previously published online as a Dermato-Endocrinology E-publication: http://www.landesbioscience.com/journals/dermatoendocrinology/article/8801