Introduction to 4 Types of Severe Acne

Posted by Suzanne Grier on July 2, 2014 in Uncategorized |

Acne is something that scares many people including me. During my teens, I had a few classmates who already started developing acne and it has affected them in some ways. That is when I started becoming more conscious about taking care of my skin to prevent acne.

Many of you parents may already have children in their puberty or teen stage. This is the time when a lot of changes may happen and also the time when acne may start showing up. Acne may develop in several parts of the body, but the most common are face acne, scalp acne and back acne. Severe cases of acne normally leave blemishes on the skin, causing a person to become socially unconfident especially if the acne grows in conspicuous areas like the face. As parents, you can better help your children deal with this problem if you have some background knowledge about the different types of severe acne and their treatment options.

Acne Conglobata

This type of acne is considered to be a more severe and chronic form of acne vulgaris. It is characterized by having deep abscesses on the skin, accompanied by inflammation, scarring and severe damage. Blackheads are also obvious and often occur on the face, trunk, upper arms and neck. The inflammatory nodules of acne conglobate normally develop around blackheads and they gradually increase in size, discharging pus when they break. After breaking in, deep ulcers may occur under the nodules, which later on may form into deeply ulcerated nodules and the formation of keloid-type scars.

Acne conglobata is more common among males than females and it normally starts appearing by age 18 to 30 or older.


The usual treatment for acne conglobate is isotretinoin. Your doctor may also recommend taking antibiotics to prevent infection. The treatment process for this condition is normally divided into several courses over several years. Because of its tendency to recur, patients are advised to have regular checkups with their dermatologists.

Acne Fulminans

Acne fulminans are highly destructive inflammatory acne, which normally come with fever and aching joints when they develop. They could form after a patient had an unsuccessful treatment for other severe types of acne such as acne conglobata.


NSAIDs and corticosteroids are normally given to acne fulminans sufferers to reduce the inflammation. However, as this type of acne has the tendency to recur, a long-term treatment involving the use of isotretinoin may be required for some patients.

Nodulocystic Acne

Also known as nodular acne, nodulocystic acne comes with painful cysts that may occur singly or in a group over the face, scalp, neck, chest, back and shoulders. These cysts are not really true cysts; instead, they are abnormal dilatation of the skin structure due to the inflammation, giving them their cyst-like appearance. If the cysts are filled with thick and yellow fluid, it can be a sign of inflammation and infection. In such case, do not attempt to drain the cyst as it should be done by a professional under sterile conditions.


Nodulocystic can be treated by a regimen of aggressive treatment involving the use of antibiotics, isotretinoin or intralesional corticosteroids to melt the cysts. For bigger cysts that do not respond to the usual treatment, surgical excision may be needed.

Gram-negative folliculitis

This type of acne involves an inflammation of the follicles due to bacterial infection. It normally develops among patients who receive antibiotics as treatment for other types of acne.


Antibiotics and isotretinoin are normally used to treat this condition.

It is important to note that severe types of acne may be face-disfiguring if not given enough attention as early as possible. They may also require years of treatment before any improvement can be seen. To avoid developing severe types of acne, it would be best to see your dermatologist for any case of acne.

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