Nodular Acne

Updated Nov,2020
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Nodular acne occurs when the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes gets trapped in your skin's pores alongside dead skin cells and oil. Over time, it can harden and form into tough nodules. The primary symptom is hard nodules in the affected area that appear red and inflamed.

What is nodular acne?

All acne occurs due to clogged pores. When sebum, dead skin cells, and bacteria get trapped inside pores, it can result in pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. However, when the bacteria known as p. acnes develops, it can result in a more serious infection.

This infection spreads deep underneath the skin, causing pores to look swollen and red. Nodular acne is a much more serious form of inflammation, and it's one that requires prompt medical treatment.

What causes nodular acne?

Certain risk factors increase your likelihood of getting nodular acne. If you fall into any of the following categories, then you want to keep an eye out on your skin.


Studies have suggested a link between genetics and acne. Having a first-degree relative (like mom or dad) with the symptoms of nodular acne greatly increases your chances of getting it.

Hormonal changes

When your hormones fluctuate wildly, it results in an overproduction of sebum oil. Therefore, people going through puberty, pregnancy, or menopause have a greater likelihood of acquiring nodular acne.


Certain foods, such as dairy products and items high in sugar, increase your chances of getting acne. More research is necessary, and it appears that diet may not directly cause acne. But it can make symptoms worse if you already have a predisposition.

Here's how to tell if it's cystic acne or nodular acne

Nodular acne is severe. But it's not as dangerous as cystic acne, which is the most serious type of acne around. Before you see a dermatologist, you should be able to identify which one you have by looking at key characteristics.

Cystic Acne

  • Large cysts
  • Redness
  • Tenderness around the acne

Nodular Acne

  • Lesions
  • Feels like a hard knot under the skin
  • Leaves behind a scab

Risk factors of developing nodular acne

Certain conditions increase your chances of getting nodular acne. Some you can control, and some you can't. Either way, be vigilant if you fall into the following demographics:

  • Being female
  • Going through hormonal fluctuations
  • Having naturally oily skin

Tips to prevent your nodular acne from worsening

You require professional treatment from a dermatologist to get your nodular acne under control. It can take some time for treatments to work. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help you handle this acne for the time being.

  • Apply ice - In the event your nodular acne is painful or excessively red, then try applying an ice pack. You can do this several times daily to keep the swelling down.
  • Calm down - Stress only makes acne worse. Stress hormones can activate an acne breakout, so make sure to spend time in the day on your favorite activities.
  • Don't pop a pimple - Nodular acne results in huge blemishes. It may be tempting to pick at or pop them, but this only damages the skin more.

Here's the best ways to treat your nodular acne

While nodular acne is the most severe type of acne you can have, the good news is that you won't have to live with it forever. There's a wide range of treatment options that (when combined with stronger oral antibiotics) have shown to combat those pesky red bumps for good.

  • Benzoyl Peroxide: Typically a main ingredient in many acne facial cleansers and lotions, benzoyl peroxide goes into your pores to lift and remove excess oil, dirt and debris (acne-causing agents).
  • Oral Contraceptives: For many women, nodular acne is linked to hormonal fluctuations. Using birth control pills has shown to help reduce acne.
  • Retinoids: One of the most successful acne treatments, retinoids expertly diminish sebum (excess oil), dirt, bacteria, and any other acne-causing agents on your skin's surface to prevent future breakouts. This powerful drug has also been proven to stop acne scars from forming, leaving behind only smooth, radiant skin.

Treat your acne fast! Get a prescription retinoid, today!

We understand how annoying and bothersome acne breakouts can be. Whether it's picture day at school, or you've got a job interview, acne is not a welcome friend. Fortunately, it's a treatable condition. Our licensed physicians make it easy and more comfortable to have a discussion about your skin and the best treatment options available for you.

Talk to one of our reputable online physicians to get your prescription Retinoid, today!

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