Acne Conglobata : Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and More

Acne affects most people, let’s say that 90% of the population, the difference is that in some it manifests itself mildly and in others moderate to severe, there are those who only have acne breakouts at stressful times, such as those who have at all times.

So if you are one of the people who has a lot of acne and it really makes you feel bad, because the type of acne that you were diagnosed with is known as acne conglobata, try to take it easy and do not feel sad, it may affect your self-esteem a little. but I want you to know everything about this type of acne.

By knowing what acne conglobata is about, knowing how to treat it, be it with medications or natural medicine , learning some personal care tips so as not to worsen your condition, and following some special tips for this type of acne; By knowing this and other things, you will feel much better, because you are not alone, you are not the only person with acne conglobata.

What is acne conglobata?

Acne conglobata is an inflammatory severe skin disease that affects anyone generally over 18 and under 30 years , is a recurrence of acne that was controlled previously and presented with greater frequency in men and women with polycystic ovary syndrome .

It is also common in people whose family history has an outbreak of acne conglobata. Its lesions are nodule-cystic filled with pus and ducts that drain secretions, not being treated with the proper treatment will leave marks on the skin of the person for their entire life.

More data on this topic with  Cystic or Nodular Acne

Acne conglobata, how is it detected? How to combat it?

Acne conglobata presents at the beginning with open and closed comedones, so at this stage it is not possible to know if it is only comedonic acne, but when the outbreaks spread throughout the face, neck, chest, also by the back, shoulders, thighs even the buttocks, you will be in the presence of acne conglobata .

As each black and white point fills with pus, its spread is faster and more painful , they begin to swell and become very sensitive to the touch, they gradually develop into severe cystic acne and leave atrophic scars in the form of dimples.

The best way to combat acne conglobata is by preventing its appearance, you should do facial cleansing when you notice a few breakouts of comedonic acne, use products that are exclusive for your skin type, you should always try to stay hydrated.

Do not forget to go to the dermatologist if the pimples spread and hurt, since it is the specialist who will send you the ideal treatment, be it with antibiotics and oral and topical treatments that will attack the root of the problem.

Characteristics of acne conglobata

Acne conglobata is mainly characterized by the following:

  • The injuries are severe , deep and in quantity.
  • It begins as a grade one acne and evolves to grade five quickly, that is, it begins as pimples, then inflammatory lesions and points appear, little by little painful and deep lesions appear, they become red, inflamed and in greater quantity, for Last they present pus and disfigure the features of the face.
  • It is the most serious and chronic acne of all the types of acne that there is, including the cystic one that appears in less quantity and dispersed while the conglobata exceeds all in quantity.
  • Lesions usually appear on the face, chest, abdomen, thighs, and buttocks.
  • It leaves deep scars and can develop into aseptic arthritis.

See here Treatments with Hyaluronic Acid in Knees with Arthritis and Chondromalacia

Causes of acne conglobata

The causes of acne conglobata are not very defined yet, they could be due to factors that are known as triggers which are: toxic gases, and anabolic steroids that men take being biochemically susceptible.

Another cause of acne conglobata according to medical researchers can be a pustular acne that turns into acne conglobata over the years; it also usually appears in people with abnormal inheritance on chromosome 15 and the name for this is potato syndrome.

Symptoms of acne conglobata

The symptoms of acne conglobata are the strongest and the psychological impact is what affects people the most , since it is a chronic acne that occurs in various parts of the body: on the face, neck, arms, chest, the back, thighs and buttocks.

The symptoms are:

  • Swollen nodules with pus.
  • Comedones surrounded by papules and pustules all together.
  • Deep abscesses .
  • Pain in every injury.
  • Damage and deformation of the skin.
  • Scars that can turn into ulcers and keloid.
  • Fever and decay.

Pathologies of acne conglobata

Acne conglobata is a severe pathology that greatly affects young people, to the point that many fall into a deep depression and even suicidal thoughts because they think they are deformed and unsightly, this is why acne conglobata is more serious than it is. that is thought for the psychosocial impact.

Not only is it a skin disease that affects adolescents, it is also very common in adult men, and in women with polycystic ovary syndrome, generally in people with a history of acne vulgaris.

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Areas of the body where acne conglobata can appear

As I have mentioned before, acne conglobata is so severe that it appears in many parts of the body, mainly on the face and chest but also on the back, legs and buttocks, each lesion in each part of the body appears and spreads causing a lot of swelling and excruciating pain.

Can adult women suffer from acne conglobata?

Women in adulthood can suffer from acne due to the multiple hormonal changes they go through, especially in menopause, there are also other factors that cause acne in adult women, such as comedogenic products. However, acne conglobata appears in those women who suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome .

Women who have polycystic ovarian syndrome have a hormonal imbalance where androgens have greater weight than female hormones , and these stimulate the sebaceous glands that increase their sebum production uncontrollably causing the clogging of the pores.

Do contraceptives cause acne conglobata?

Oral contraceptives do not cause acne conglobata, in fact, they help fight it as they suppress the male hormone testosterone and this contributes to the decrease of sebum that blocks pores when it is produced in excess . In other words, the less sebum produced, the less oil your skin will have and therefore less acne .

Do adult men suffer from acne conglobata?

Men are the most affected by acne conglobata , this serious form of nodule-cystic acne occurs in them in large numbers and in various parts of the body, mainly the face, neck and shoulders. And it is in adulthood where men begin to suffer from the consequences of acne conglobata, the scars.

The reasons why adult men suffer from acne conglobata are because male hormones increase sebum production and this causes the hair follicles to become clogged with oil and swell.

Factors such as the use of anabolics, stress, shaving with inappropriate products, tobacco, caffeine and alcohol, also environmental factors and poor facial hygiene cause acne vulgaris and nodules that become acne conglobata over the years arise .

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In adolescents, is acne conglobata normal?

The hormonal change that adolescents undergo due to puberty causes all types of acne, mainly hormonal acne, also seborrheic acne and severe cystic acne, the latter is traumatic in these young people and their self-esteem completely lowers.

But when talking about acne conglobata, it is not exactly the normal type of acne that adolescents suffer or should suffer , unless they have a family history with this skin pathology, because although it is not very clear, it is considered that acne conglobata affects those who have a family member with a history of this type of acne.

During pregnancy you can have acne conglobata, why?

During pregnancy , many hormonal changes occur and this causes the appearance of acne from mild to severe in many women, but only those with a history of acne conglobata will suffer it in pregnancy .

It is possible that you have outbreaks of pustular acne or with nodules, however this will not be about acne conglobata but severe cystic acne, which will decrease as estrogen levels increase , and surely before you give birth. you will not have and will not have acne breakouts.

Babies have acne conglobata, why?

Babies usually have very mild acne when they are newborn or a few months old , this type of acne is known as miliary acne, caused by the stimulation of the sebaceous glands thanks to the maternal hormones that pass to the baby through the cord umbilical weeks before birth, these glands begin to produce a lot of sebum and this causes the little ones to have acne.

However acne conglobata is a disease that will not give your baby so do not worry, not even having hereditary factors because this disease flares in adolescence and adulthood, hardly a baby or a child will have acne conglobata.

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During and after breastfeeding you have acne conglobata, why?

Women who are breastfeeding their babies suffer from acne for multiple reasons, the main one is that the hormones are returning to normal after the birth of your baby and this has a direct effect on your skin , especially in the appearance of acne; also stress, and dehydration influence this during breastfeeding.

When a baby comes into your life, many things change and that is why you could suffer from stress , and as for dehydration , when you breastfeed you should drink a lot of water otherwise dehydration will contribute to the appearance of acne; However, these factors do not cause acne conglobata neither during nor after breastfeeding.

Levels of acne conglobata

Acne conglobata is chronic, the most severe part of all types of acne, and it comes in three different levels: mild, moderate, and severe.


Severe acne conglobata manifests itself on the skin of the person along with comedones and small papules, the amount of reddish and painful lesions are few , that is, there will be parts without acne conglobata, the treatment for this and the other levels will always be isotretinoin.


On the other hand, moderate acne conglobata elevations of the surface of the skin is a little more worrisome, because it tends to deform the areas where they appear together with large papules and the amount is higher than mild acne conglobata , this tends to also manifest the others parts of the body and can leave serious scars.


Severe acne conglobata is a skin condition that presents large nodules, cysts and abscesses, leaves deep and intense scar marks , inflames and deforms the skin, and causes fever and general malaise not to mention social isolation. It is the most serious acne and should be treated with the dermatologist.

For more information, see our article on  Severe Acne

Menopause and acne conglobata

In menopause, small hormonal alterations occur that cause acne in adult women when they already assumed that they would never appear again, these acne outbreaks at this stage are usually accompanied by other manifestations, but the skin is the one that warns of the changes hormonal when getting greasy.

During menopause other factors cause mild, moderate or severe acne, and these are: bad smoking habits, stress, poor diet, use of makeup and beauty products that increase oil and clog pores , there are several causes at this stage However, only one is the cause of acne conglobata: polycystic ovary syndrome.

Stress can cause acne conglobata. How? Why?

The stress hormone rises when you are in times of tension, nervousness, worry and this causes the sweat glands and sebaceous glands to secrete more sweat and sebum than normal to the point that it is produced in excess, which clogs the pores. The longer your stress lasts, the more acne you will develop to the point of making it severe.

It cannot be confirmed that stress is a trigger for acne conglobata but in men it tends to worsen the condition already mentioned, so it is best that you try to lead a stress-free life.

Menstruation and acne conglobata

Along with premenstrual symptoms such as mood swings, colic, and fluid retention are acne breakouts due to the hormonal imbalance that women experience these days, which stimulate the sebaceous glands, and cause comedonic acne, too. pustules or even nodules, but it rarely causes acne conglobata.

You can read more about the subject in  Menstrual Cycle: Risks, Types, Delays and Home Remedies

Hormonal acne vs acne conglobata

Hormonal acne is suffered by adolescents in puberty, women in various stages of their adult life (menstruation, pregnancy and menopause), and men at any time in their lives, this is because the increase in androgen hormones cause the sebaceous glands produce more sebum; these sex hormones cause a person to get acne every time they get out of balance

While acne conglobata does not have a clear cause, it is not known exactly what causes it but when the person suffers from it, the consequences go beyond large pustular and painful lesions, because they cause psychological and emotional damage that causes them to people don’t even want to socialize.

How does isotretinoin help against acne conglobata?

Isotretinoin is an oral retinoid treatment that is special for treating severe nodule-cystic acne and conglobata because its main function is to reduce the production of sebum and keratin, the main causes of pore clogging that cause acne breakouts. such as papules, pustules, nodules, and abscesses.

Cystic acne vs acne conglobata

Cystic acne is a severe type of acne that presents deep and painful lesions , usually leaves scars and is caused by multiple known and common factors: hormonal changes at puberty and continuing into adulthood in men and women, also stress , and environmental changes, including diet can trigger outbreaks of cystic acne.

On the other hand , acne conglobata is chronic, much more serious than cystic acne because it occurs in greater quantity and in various parts of the body, the causes are not very clear but one of them is that it appears after a nodule-cystic acne it has remained on the person’s skin for several years.

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Pustular acne or acne conglobata

Papulopustular acne is a moderate type of acne, it heals easily and causes pain, the lesions are inflammatory with pus, they form around the follicle and produce a lifting of the skin that turns red with this liquid inside in addition to dead cells and bacteria, its size is medium and it is usually cured with antibiotics.

E papulopustular acne and acne conglobata are very similar, with the difference that conglobata will be suffered by those with genetic predisposition and due to other factors that are not well defined , acne conglobata in degrees of severity is the most serious to the point that it deforms the facial features while the pustular papule is a little softer compared to this one.

Nodular acne or conglobate acne

Nodular acne and acne conglobata cause scars on the skin and in the spirit of people, both are serious, painful, and deep, in a person there can be both types of acne, under the skin they will be full of pus, bacteria and dead cells, the two types of acne both nodular and conglobata require strong treatments but although their similarities are more than differences, they are not the same type of acne.

Diet to follow if you have acne conglobata

If you suffer from acne conglobata, I inform you that food can help or worsen your condition, because if you eat fried foods, junk food, refined sugar, drink soft drinks, these bad foods will cause you a lot of damage , your sebaceous glands will produce much more fat and now there will be no pore to clog because acne conglobata appears in an exaggerated amount almost every hair follicle is affected and turned into an inflammatory lesion.

To avoid an outbreak of acne conglobata in excess, the fundamental thing is to keep your skin well hydrated, consume foods rich in vitamins A and antioxidants as well as vitamin E , you can eat tomato, avocado and watermelon, also foods rich in omega 3 such as blue fish , and do not forget to eat fruits rich in vitamins C such as oranges and lemons.

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Acne conglobata, does it have a cure? What is it?

Although acne conglobata seems impossible to cure if it can be cured, some skin marks may not disappear because the scars that this acne causes are very deep, however the outbreaks of pimples can be controlled by taking the following precautions:

  • Hygiene: this is the main key to prevent it from increasing, you must keep the affected areas free of dirt and grease, you can wash at least twice a day.
  • Food: As I mentioned in the previous title, a good diet will improve acne conglobata outbreaks and you will see how they diminish little by little.
  • Non-comedogenic products: if you want to hide your blemishes (although it is not recommended) try using products that do not contain oil so that you do not clog your pores externally.
  • Do not touch: Do not touch acne lesions for any reason as you can spread them and your hands generally contain dirt and bacteria even if you cannot see them.
  • Do not remove: This is something that you should not do for anything in the world, since on the outside there will be an explosion of pus, but what you cannot see is that on the inside too and that pus will want to come out somewhere so from what deep within the skin will build up.
  • Consult a specialist: The best thing really to cure acne conglobata is that the treatment is prescribed by the dermatologist.

Medical treatments for acne conglobata

The best thing you can do is go to the dermatologist because acne conglobata should be taken quite seriously, these specialists usually indicate medical treatments for both injuries and scars.

Combination treatments with isotretinoin, oral antibiotics such as erythromycin, and also laprednisolone are used. In addition, depending on the severity, acne conglobata is treated with a laser to eliminate scars.

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Homeopathic treatment

The homeopathic treatment to treat acne conglobata is very effective because the remedy is prepared according to the particular need of the patient, it considers the factors and the set of symptoms that the person particularly suffers as well as their physical and psychological state and their family and medical history.

To combat acne conglobata, the following homeopathic medicines are usually used: sulfuricum, thuya, natrum, sulfur, selenium and especially calcareous picrata, as well as derivatives of bromine, such as Kali Bromatum .

Natural treatment to relieve acne conglobata

Natural treatments to treat acne conglobata are not the most effective out there, however you can opt for some natural and home remedies that control it more will not cure it, although if you will see great improvement in terms of the lesions that appear with this type acne.

The best are: mint leaves, cider vinegar, honey and cinnamon mixture , those to mention a few but the truth is that there are many natural remedies that help you with acne conglobata, super cheap and healthy. Acupuncture and some lemon, aloe vera, oatmeal, and clay masks are also effective.

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Acupuncture controls all types of acne, unfortunately acne conglobata can be controlled with acupuncture as long as it is not so advanced, since this treatment is performed by punctures with one or more needles to regulate body heat, which according to Chinese belief is the cause of acne.


Natural masks are an excellent option, you can prepare one of the three weekly that I will present below:

  • Astringent lemon mask : this is based on the juice of a lemon together with a beaten egg, place it on your face and let it act for ten minutes then remove it; Lemon helps eliminate fat and fight germs and bacteria, plus the tightening effect of the egg makes it a very effective mask against acne conglobata.
  • Aloe Mask: mix in a container crystals of this aloe plus a tablespoon of wheat germ oil, and clay; moisten your skin, apply the mask for about ten minutes and rinse with cold water once it is dry. Aloe Vera has many properties that benefit your skin and even more so in acne conglobata because it is an excellent healer.
  • Oatmeal and yogurt mask : oatmeal flakes together with a tablespoon of yogurt and a little lemon are the perfect mix for a mask that will fight acne conglobata, apply it on your face and let it dry completely, you must remove it with cold water. These ingredients will help you fight bacteria, soften your skin, and nourish it effectively from the first application.

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Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.

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