Nodular acne: causes, symptoms and treatment

Acne is a very common skin condition that affects people of all ages. It is characterized by the appearance of pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, and other lesions. Nodular acne is a type of acne that is characterized by large, hard, and painful bumps. These bumps can occur on the face, chest, back, or other parts of the body. Nodular acne is a serious form of acne that can lead to permanent scars.

Nodular acne: causes, symptoms and treatment

What is nodular acne?

When it comes to the types of pimples, there are milder forms such as comedones or white pimples. But there are also severe forms, and among them are precisely nodular acne. These acnes appear on the face, neck and chest.

It is characteristic for them that they do not form a white tip, but are characterized by nodules located under the skin and redness.

Squeezing these pimples is mission impossible. If you try it, you will feel a strong pain. Because they are actually very painful to the touch, and besides, you will make the infection worse!

You yourself know that when a pimple appears on your face. It passes in a few days, but this is not the case with nodular acne.

They can last for weeks or even months!

The fact that it is a severe form of acne shows that if it is not approached in the right way and if it is not treated. It can leave behind serious scars.

Painful acne also plagued Maria. While the girls around her were glowing with self-confidence. She was insecure about herself and unhappy precisely because of her pimples. She tried various ways to get rid of them, but nothing gave long-term results, so she was increasingly desperate. However, there was a turning point when she came across an effective solution quite by accident! After that discovery, her face cleared up, and painful acne became a thing of the past. Now Maria is satisfied, her face is free of pimples and she can finally be happy. What helped her, can help you! Find out what it is about from her personal story at this link:

Yes, pimples can go away, but how long it takes depends on the type.

In the text in front of you, you will have the opportunity to become better acquainted with nodular acne. Through the causes of these pimples, all the way to their treatment.

Nodular acne symptoms

How to identify nodular pimples, you must be wondering?

Symptoms of this acne are lesions that appear on the face or some other part of the body.

They can be the same color as the skin, but they can also be red and inflamed. They appear as nodules under the skin and can often be very painful to the touch. Also, as we said, it takes weeks, sometimes even months to rehabilitate them.

You need to be patient, not to pick at them so as not to make an even worse infection and to go to the doctor immediately to get the right therapy.

Are nodular acne the same as cystic?

You must have heard of cystic acne, their name already suggests that you think of something serious that can happen to the face, but are they the same as nodular?

The answer is no.

What are their similarities and what are their differences?

Their common feature is that they are persistent and do not disappear overnight. They are a severe form of pimples and it takes months to see an improvement during their treatment.

Both forms of acne belong to inflammatory acne, which means that there is an infection in the pores and therefore they can be painful to the touch.

But what is the difference between them?

Namely, cystic acne is purulent acne with a white tip, while this is not the case with nodular acne. They are not filled with liquid and pus and therefore are harder and closer to the color of the skin.

Causes of nodular acne

Speaking in general about acne and the causes that lead to their appearance, one thing is certain and common. Pimples are caused by excessive secretion of sebum. Which accumulates in the pores together with impurities and the remains of dead skin. In this way, the pores become clogged and an ideal environment is formed for the bacteria that cause acne to live.

When it comes to nodular acne, it is caused by P. acnes.

These bacteria normally live on the skin, but if they remain trapped in clogged pores. They can cause an infection that leads to the appearance of subcutaneous and painful pimples, just like nodular ones!

These acnes do not have to appear individually, but can affect a large part of the face.

It is important to emphasize that genetics is also a key factor. So if one of your parents suffered from this type of pimples, there is a chance that you too have the same problem.

Hormonal imbalance, fast-paced and stressful lifestyle can also be the cause.

Also, in addition to the above causes, the appearance of nodular acne can be caused by the use of certain things. Such as steroids that promote the secretion of sebum. The use of drugs such as lithium can cause inflammation which also increases sebum secretion.

How to deal with this problem?

In the following text, we offer you the answer to this question!

Nodular acne treatment

Given that this is a severe form of acne, it is necessary to pay attention to this problem in detail.

First of all, you need to see a dermatologist because he will know best how to approach it in the best way.

You may need to do a skin swab to rule out other changes that look like acne, but aren’t.

Nodular acne is not a surface problem, but affects the deeper layers of the skin, so drugs such as antibiotics or contraceptive pills are used in therapy.

Oral antibiotics are used to reduce the number of bacteria, because as we know, antibiotics kill bacteria, and they are the ones that cause pimples. Their disadvantage is that they cannot be used for a long time, so the problem may return. They also increase the sensitivity of the skin to the sun.


– is a drug that is prescribed only for the most severe forms of acne and should be especially careful when using it. Namely, users of this medicine often experience side effects such as dryness of the skin, lips, eyes, nosebleeds, skin sensitivity to the sun, headaches or pain in some other part of the body. The most famous isotretinoin is rocutan.


– this drug prevents male hormones, i.e. androgens, from stimulating the sebaceous glands to secrete extra fat, and less sebum means less pimples!

Contraceptive pills

– due to hormonal imbalance in women, there may be an increased secretion of male androgen hormones and an increased secretion of sebum and thus the formation of nodular acne. In this case, the doctor can recommend the use of contraceptive pills as a therapy in order to regulate the hormone level, and thus the acne.

In addition to acne pills, in the treatment of nodular acne, preparations that are applied topically in the form of creams can also be used. These preparations have no effect if used alone in therapy against severe forms of acne, but they can be used in combination with oral therapy.

This group includes:

Antibiotic creams – kill bacteria and reduce inflammation;

Retinoids – they unclog pores, so they are a prevention against pimples;

Salicylic acid – removes dead cells from the face and cleans pores;

Benzoyl peroxide – has a soothing effect on inflammation, reduces the number of bacteria that cause nodular acne, and also cleans pores. It is a common ingredient in creams and similar products intended for the treatment of acne.

What is important to emphasize is that benzoyl peroxide increases the sensitivity of the skin to the sun, so when using products that contain it, it is necessary to avoid the sun when it is at its strongest.

Do not forget to apply a cream with a protective factor to prevent photoaging and hyperpigmentation on the face.

And can nodular acne be treated naturally?

Read on and you will find out.

Natural treatment of nodular acne

The treatment of nodular acne should be approached seriously as soon as the diagnosis is made, because it is not a problem that can be solved just like that and patience is required.

The dermatologist will certainly recommend oral therapy and it is an effective solution without which there is no improvement. Along with oral therapy, certain natural preparations can be used.

What all comes into play?

Apple cider vinegar – can be used as a skin cleanser, but can cause skin irritation, so be careful. It is rich in AHA acids and as such can serve as a chemical peel. Also, apple cider vinegar has an antibacterial and antifungal effect, so it can affect P.acnes bacteria. To use it, you can mix it with a little lukewarm water and apply it on your face.

Natural anti-pimple products – this refers to over-the-counter products made from natural ingredients that can really have fantastic properties.

Olive oil – can be used to clean the skin. It has antioxidant properties and prevents clogging of pores.

To relieve the pain of nodular acne, you can wrap an ice cube in a cloth and place it on your face. This will reduce pain and swelling.
Cosmetic treatments for nodular acne

In order not to strain yourself and make the nodules worse, find a certified beautician. There are certain treatments that a professional can work on acne.

Thus there are:

Chemical peeling – it is a treatment where certain acids are applied to the face, and the surface layer of the skin is removed and its renewal is encouraged. After the treatment, the skin may be red, but this does not last long.

Laser treatment and photodynamic therapy – these treatments are performed with special lasers and reduce the visibility of acne.

Drainage (extraction) – white pimples and blackheads often appear over nodular acne, so this treatment is extremely effective for their removal. It is a process where a sterile needle is penetrated through the acne to remove its contents. In this way, the healing of the pimple is accelerated and the likelihood of scars is reduced.

Corticosteroid injection – injecting corticosteroids directly into the inflamed area, i.e. nodular acne, can reduce inflammation and speed up healing. In this way, the risk of scarring is reduced.
What to do if the scars do occur?

Nodular acne scars

Imagine that you have solved your problem with nodular pimples, but now you have another one, which is the scars that remain.

Namely, these acnes occur in the same place in the skin where collagen and as such can affect its reduction. Therefore, when the infection passes and the pimple dries up, a scar will remain. There are ways to increase collagen in the skin, but first of all, it is important to find adequate therapy against nodular acne, in order to reduce the likelihood of scars.

There are some other ways to relieve and remove nodular acne scars:

Chemical peeling – besides being effective in therapy, it is also used to reduce scars.

Facial fillers – for scars, those with collagen are used to stimulate skin regeneration.

Dermabrasion – a treatment in which the surface layer of the skin is removed or scraped off with special instruments and a smooth appearance is obtained. This process stimulates the production of collagen. It is used in different cases: to reduce fine lines, to remove tattoos, to reduce skin damage caused by the sun, and one of the purposes is to reduce acne marks. Dermabrasion is not recommended for people with a dark complexion as it can lead to skin discoloration.

Now that you are familiar with nodular pimples and the seriousness of the conditions they cause, the question of how to prevent them must be running through your mind. You will find out about that below.

How to prevent nodular pimples?

When it comes to any form of pimples, even the most severe, one thing is common – regular facial hygiene is important! This means washing twice a day with a gentle washcloth.

Pimple lotion can be an ideal solution because it contains special ingredients that effectively clean the skin and soothe pimples. It is best to use something on a natural basis, because as such it will certainly not cause new pimples, and will dry out the existing ones. Regular use of such a preparation will reduce the probability of acne breakouts to a minimum.

A well-known rule applies to acne: “Prevention is better than cure!”, and what is regular hygiene if not prevention?

If you engage in physical activity, it goes without saying that you will also wash afterwards in order to remove sweat and dirt particles.

There are different products for oily facial skin, you just have to choose carefully.

When it comes to cosmetics, hair products and creams with a protective factor, always choose those that do not contain oils, but are water-based. It’s actually a non-comedogenic cosmetic and it won’t clog pores! It is best not to apply powders so that the skin can breathe and the acne condition does not get worse.

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Vogue Health Team

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