What is acne conglobata and what are the treatment options

What is acne conglobata and what are the treatment options

acne conglobataWhat is Acne Conglobata?


Acne conglobata is a type of severe acne combining skin inflammation, nodules, comedones, postules, even cysts all at once. This acne type is affecting mainly men between the ages of 18-30. It can develop both from an uncontrolled or controlled acne. The specific cause for the appearance of acne conglobata is not known, however considering that it is present mostly in men, the higher levels of testosterone can be one real cause. In support of that theory are the facts that commonly men who have abused with steroids or just stopped their testosterone therapies have reported the appearance of acne conglobata.

Other groups of people having higher risks of developing acne conglobata include women with polycystic ovarian syndromes, the presence of tumors releasing androgens, people suffering from Cushing’s syndrome,  people that are in remission from autoimmune diseases, or those regularly exposed to hydrocarbons and halogens. Acne conglobata could also be hereditary disease passed on from one generation to another.

How acne conglobate progresses

Typically acne conglobata first appears on the face in the form of blackheads (in clusters). Then the disease spreads out quickly to the upper arms, neck, chest, thighs, back, and buttocks. The blackheads are type of comedones leaving darker skin spots, which are formed from blocked skin pores, shed skin cells and acne bacteria. They are called black because when the melanin leaks (the skin pigment), it oxidizes when in contact with air, and then turns black.

Once blackheads develop, the next phase of acne conglobata is the appearance of pimples nearby the blackheads. They fill with white puss, and get bigger. Later they get big enough and rupture on their own, further spreading the bacteria. Once ruptured, the pimples get filled with puss again and become even larger. Eventually those pimples become acne nodules or even cysts covering much larger area of the skin. After a slow a painful process the body will eventually heal those acne wounds, but the skin damage is typically extensive – in the form of permanent acne scars.

Acne Conglobata Treatment

One option for treating acne conglobata is with Isotretinoin, or a combination with Isotretinoin and Prednisone – oral steroids.

Because Isotretinoin has an extensive list of side effects, and can’t be prescribed to everybody (especially pregnant women), other antibiotics such as minocycline, tetracycline, doxycycline and, erythromycin are also commonly prescribed. If the patient has developed resistance to the above antibiotics, dapsone is the next alternative.

If the results from the oral treatment of acne conglobate are poor, topical treatments are used instead.

Successful treatments include the carbon dioxide laser therapy in combination with topical tretinoin, or external beam radiation.

If none of the topical and oral methods work, surgical intervention can be performed. It consists of removing large hemorrhagic nodules with suction techniques. All of the interconnected nodules are also removed to prevent them from spreading further. In addition the surgeon may inject triamcinolone straight to the lesion to prevent the development and progression of the disease.


In case of uncertainty, please consult with your doctor, whether you can use the natural remedies posted on this blog. Homeremediesforacne.ca does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of the natural remedies listed. All posts published on this blog are not indented to provide medical advice on diagnosing, treating, curing, or preventing acne. You can choose to use the information, assuming full responsibility.