Inflammatory Acne Vulgaris

What is Inflammatory Acne Vulgaris?

Inflammatory acne vulgaris is a common form of acne found in adolescence and young adulthood. It is characterized by persistent redness and inflammation. Small, firm, red bumps, nodules, and cysts can be seen on the face, back, chest, neck, and shoulders. It is caused by an excess of sebum, or oil, that collects in the pores and causes bacteria to multiply.

What Causes Inflammatory Acne Vulgaris?

The primary cause of inflammatory acne vulgaris is an excess production of sebum due to hormonal changes that occur during puberty. The sebum clogs the pores, trapping bacteria and other debris. This creates an ideal environment for bacteria to multiply, leading to an infection. Other factors such as diet, stress, genetics, certain medications, and cosmetics may also contribute to the condition.

Symptoms of Inflammatory Acne Vulgaris

The most common symptoms of inflammatory acne vulgaris are:

  • Small, hard pimples with variable redness
  • Nodules (lumps under the skin)
  • Cysts (painful pus-filled lumps)
  • Swelling
  • Redness

Treatment of Inflammatory Acne Vulgaris

Inflammatory acne vulgaris is typically treated by over-the-counter medications containing benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or a combination of both. Antibiotics may be recommended to reduce the bacteria population. A dermatologist may also recommend a topical retinoid to reduce inflammation. In more severe cases, a dermatologist may prescribe a combination of antibiotics, retinoid, and an oral medication.