acne

Definitions

Food

  • noun an inflammation of the sebaceous glands during puberty which makes blackheads appear on the skin, which often then become infected and produce red raised spots

Medical

  • noun an inflammation of the sebaceous glands during puberty which makes blackheads appear on the skin, usually on the face, neck and shoulders. These blackheads often then become infected.

Origin & History of “acne”

It is ironic that acne, that represents a low point in many teenagers’ lives, comes from acme, ‘the highest point’. The Greeks used akme, which literally meant ‘point’, for referring to spots on the face, but when it came to be rendered into Latin it was mistransliterated as acnē, and the error has stuck. (Acme comes, incidentally, from an Indo-European base *ak-‘be pointed’, and thus is related to acid, edge, and oxygen.).
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