Acne conglobata

What is Acne Conglobata?

Acne conglobata is an inflammatory skin disease that causes severe, cystic acne lesions predominantly in young adult males. It usually involves the trunk, buttocks, and extremities, though it can occur anywhere on the body. This type of acne is characterized by interconnected abscesses, sinus tracts, boils, and cysts - all of which can be large and deep and be associated with thick, crusty layers of skin. It can cause permanent disfigurement and scarring.

Symptoms Of Acne Conglobata

The primary symptom of acne conglobata is the appearance of clustered lesions, typically around the back, buttocks, and thighs. These lesions can be red, inflamed, and painful to the touch. They may also eventually break open and form crusty abscesses, often accompanied by a foul smell. In addition, acne conglobata can cause other skin issues such as:

  • Papules
  • Pustules
  • Nodules
  • Abscesses
  • Folliculitis
  • Scarring and disfigurement

Causes of Acne Conglobata

Acne conglobata is thought to be caused by a combination of hormonal imbalances and infection. Most commonly, a buildup of testosterone in the body triggers the overproduction of sebum (oil) and skin cell production. This, in turn, causes blockages of the hair follicles and pores on the skin, allowing bacteria to grow, triggering inflammation. This type of acne is also associated with other health conditions, such as obesity and increased levels of insulin.

Treatment for Acne Conglobata

Treatment for acne conglobata typically involves a combination of medications and lifestyle changes. These treatments may include:

  • Topical medications such as antibiotics, retinoids, and steroids.
  • Oral antibiotics.
  • Hormonal treatments.
  • Laser treatments to reduce scarring.
  • Weight loss and diet changes.
  • Stress management.

While there is no cure for acne conglobata, with early diagnosis and effective treatment, it is possible to reduce symptoms and scarring.