Nodular acne is a severe form of the condition. It creates inflamed, painful, and large breakouts that can be very difficult to treat. Similar to cystic acne, nodular acne lesions are deep-set and inflammatory, but they are often hard to the touch. This type of acne looks like bumps under the skin, which can be the same color as the skin or red. Nodular acne does not have a distinctive “head,” as blackheads and whiteheads do. Don’t hesitate to seek out nodular acne treatment.
Cystic and nodular acne are often confused for one another. While both are severe forms of acne, and both will require the help of a doctor to treat, nodular acne has a significantly reduced risk of bursting. Nodules are not full of pus, which means there is less of a chance for further infection. Still, the condition can be very painful and unsightly, and the best way to receive treatment is to visit a dermatologist.
Nodular Acne Symptoms
Nodular acne appears as large, painful nodes deep in the skin. The condition typically persists for months at a time, but they can appear and reappear without warning. Acne nodules form deep under the skin, resulting in a red or skin-colored bump. These bumps are firm, sensitive, and painful. Nodular acne symptoms can appear on any part of the body, but they are most common in areas that have a high number of oil-producing glands, like the face and trunk.
Once this type of acne sets in, patients may experience a new nodular acne symptom. Pigmentation on the skin’s surface may appear, creating dark marks on the skin above the inflamed nodules. Scars can also form on the inflamed parts of the skin, even after the nodules and bumps have healed. That said, scar reduction treatments can be very effective for people who have experienced nodular acne.
Causes and Risk Factors for Nodular Acne
Nodular acne is caused by the overproduction of oil in the skin’s cells. When this oil is trapped inside the pore alongside dead skin cells and bacteria, an infection can form. This causes the area to swell, which results in a breakout.
That said, nodular acne differs significantly from typical comedones. Most people with acne nodules have a genetic predisposition to the condition. Studies show that those with first-degree relatives experiencing nodular acne symptoms are more likely to develop the condition themselves.
Hormonal changes, especially in people who are female, can also be a significant risk factor. Hormonal changes that occur during the menstrual cycle and puberty can result in sebum oil overproduction, which can increase a person’s risk of developing nodular acne.
Common Treatments for Nodular Acne
Nodular acne is rarely treatable with over-the-counter products. That said, these drugs can be used to reduce inflammation, control oil production, and soothe peeling skin. However, the best type of nodular acne treatment is one that requires a doctor’s prescription. When you visit your dermatologist, they will likely recommend oral antibiotics, which can kill bacteria while also reducing inflammation. Isotretinoin, a popular but powerful drug known to cure this type of acne, may also be a viable nodular acne treatment option.
When to See a Doctor for Nodular Acne
Most people may dismiss severe nodular acne as mere pimples. Nodular acne forms persistent papules, manifesting as inflamed, red bumps that are painful to the touch. This is a severe skin disease that requires immediate medical attention. If you suspect you have nodular acne, schedule an appointment at the Skin Care Center of Southern Illinois. Our dermatologists can assess your skin, provide a diagnosis, and work with you to develop an effective nodular acne treatment plan. Contact us to schedule your consultation today.