Acne Conglobata – Causes, Treatment and Occurrence
Acne is a universal problem, showing up on the skin of the face, shoulders and other body parts. But rarely, it may transform into a very severe form, which represents as nodulo-cystic acne in which lesions develop. This form of severe acne is called acne conglobata in which these lesions become inflamed and spread over the region of the skin, turning into pus-filled pimples. Read carefully to know about the different aspects related with it along with the remedial measures.
What causes Acne Conglobata?
It is time that we discover the reasons how these dangerous cystic nodules which crop up. Though the factors which cause it are still elusive, some explanation can still be given. One reason which has been suggested is flaw in the XYY karyotype. Other reason which is yet to be proven is possible connection of HLA phenotypes or human leukocyte antigen. Sometimes, it has been observed that due to the presence of acne, the route to acne conglobata gets paved. The general causes for acne, like uncontrollable androgen in the body, due to various reasons, have been attributed to the formation of this serious form of acne. Regular acne might turn severe and show symptoms as these.
How does acne conglobata show itself on skin?
Initially, acne appears to be like regular breakouts, forming clusters of them. This is seen to spread and cracks develop in the patches. Then it turns serious with the rupturing of the lesions. These lesions become connected with each other and it may crack up many a times.
The way it is presented is:
- Occurring of deep abscessed
- Blackheads appear on face, upper arms, neck and upper body.
- Inflammation in the nodules
- Scars on the skin
- Damaging the skin
What are the options for acne conglobata treatment?
First of all, you should seek medical attention from a good dermatologist. It is on the basis of your acne severity that treatment will be decided. Medical therapy is given more importance than surgical cure, as that comes under the last option. Some of the therapies for treating acne conglobata have been summarized below:
- Isotretinoin is the preferred mode of treatment for this form of acne. However, in the presence of systemic symptoms of this acne, systemic steroids like prednisone may be suggested. This should be administered along with the above mentioned treatment.
- In some cases, the acne might not respond to the treatment. In these cases, usually dapsone is prescribed under strict medical supervision.
- Doxycycline, oral tetracycline and monocycline are some of the alternate treatments for this acne. But tetracycline antibiotics are never to be administered along with isotretinoin, to avoid complications.
- Modern treatment options are also available which can be used to address acne conglobata. External beam therapy is an option which can be tried but only if the doctors considers. Using fractional laser following laser abrasion on cysts can be performed in addition with tretinoin therapy.
- In some cases, surgical removal of nodules which get interconnected can help as a treatment mode.
- Aspiration of massive hemorrhagic bumps is also done in some of the cases.
How to Prevent Acne conglobata scars?
Scarring is a common trait of acne conglobata. Major disfiguration is caused on the skin due to this acne. One of the implications of the scars is psychological damage, as it affects the self-esteem of a person. Is there any way to prevent the scars?
In some of the trials, it has been seen that by the use of laser treatments, the formation of scars can be ruled out to some extent. Light therapy or laser can be applied to diminish the nodules’ size and also may help in controlling the deep scars.
Though there are no sure shot ways to stop the occurrence of acne conglobata, people with family history of it can fix an appointment with the dermatologist to keep a check on its occurrence. They may use products/medications for cleaning their face and acne-prone body parts.
Are there any home remedies for acne conglobata?
We have always resorted to home remedies/natural treatments when we have found conventional treatments to be less effective. Though we have several medical treatments, often they do not tend to work for some people. Here are some home treatments which you can follow to reduce the breakouts to some extent:
Apply baking soda paste
Make a paste of baking soda by adding in some water and put that on your face. Wash it off after 15 minutes of application. It might dry out your skin, for which you can apply some light aloe vera.
Apply oatmeal paste
Make a paste of oatmeal and water to apply on the acne-prone region. This wash is beneficial if you follow the regimen. Keep it on for 10 minutes and wash it off.
Are there any complications of acne conglobata?
Instance of Renal amyloidosis has been said to have occurred as a complication of acne conglobata.
The complication might not be manifesting physically, but can crumble the emotional well-being of the individual. Since it is usually caused during the adolescence, scars might become a cause of worry for the youngsters.
How can acne conglobata be investigated?
Mere clinical investigation is enough to diagnose acne conglobata. But there might be some other reasons which can be considered. For considering isotretinoin treatment, LFT or lipid profiles (fasting) can be necessary.
What is the differential diagnosis of Acne conglobata?
Some of these ailments can be considered:
- Acne vulgaris
- Acne rosacea
- Acne fulminans
Severe acne conglobata
A severe form of acne conglobata is also found to occur related with systemic symptoms. Acne fluminans is the name of this disorder. This type of severe acne conglobata is characterized by some of these features:
- Deep acne scarring
- Sudden appearance of acne
- Accompanied with fever
- Increased white blood cell count.
- Pain in the joints
- Nodular acne formation on upper body, which becomes ulcerated.
- Feeling of discomfort
- Appetite loss accompanied with weight loss
In case it becomes so severe, immediately schedule an appointment with the dermatologist. For managing this condition, the doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics like erythromycin in very high doses along with salicylates for reducing inflammation. Dapsone and isotretinoin are other treatment options for controlling it. In such cases, usually topical medicines don’t work.
Facts about Acne Conglobata
Here is some associated information about acne conglobata:
- It seems to occur more in the male population than the females.
- It might show up all of a sudden from the site of once active acne.
- Pustular acne can turn severe giving rise to acne conglobata.
- Though very rare in infants, the age group between 18 years and 30 years is the worst affected.
Acne conglobata is not a malignant condition hence it does not lead to death. It can however cause depression in patients due to ugly marks and nodules. Prognosis of this acne shows the prevalence of lesions for a long period. It is always best to consult a dermatologist with the slightest appearance of acne to reduce it from its initial growth. Patients of acne conglobata may require emotional support to put up with the ailment.