Nodular Acne : Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and Risk Factors

Nodular Acne

If you have experienced the pain and embarrassment of acne breakouts, you are unfortunately not alone. Acne is one of the most common skin conditions in the world, affecting nearly everyone at some point in their lives. 

While there are many different types of acne, one of the most severe and difficult to treat is nodular acne. 

This article will look closely at nodular acne, its causes, symptoms and treatment options, and associated risk factors. We hope this information will help you better understand this condition and gain control over your skin health.

What is Nodular Acne?

If you've ever had a big, red, painful pimple, then you're probably no stranger to nodular acne. This acne comes from the small, hard bumps under your skin. And while they may not be as conspicuous as your average zit, they can be just as pesky. So what exactly is nodular acne?

Nodular acne occurs when a bacteria Cutibacterium acnes (C. acnes) becomes trapped in your pores alongside sebum and dead skin cells. 

These bacteria can cause an infection that leads to inflammation and the formation of hard, raised bumps under your skin. While nodular acne is typically found on the face, it can also occur on other parts of the body, like the chest or back.

Who is Susceptible to Nodular Acne?

Anyone can get nodular acne, although it is most common in young adults. It can appear at any age but most likely affects teenagers and young adults. Men and women are both susceptible to nodular acne. 

Several factors can contribute to the development of nodular acne, including genetics, hormones, and underlying health conditions.

Causes of Nodular Acne

  • Excessive sweating:  If you sweat a lot, it can increase the amount of sebum produced by your skin. This can lead to clogged pores and the formation of nodules.
  • Hormonal changes:  Hormonal fluctuations can trigger the overproduction of sebum, leading to nodular acne. This is why nodular acne is common during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause.
  • Certain medications: Some medications, such as steroids and testosterone replacement therapy, can cause hormonal changes that trigger nodular acne.
  • Genetics: If your parents or grandparents had acne, you might be more likely to develop it yourself.
  • Health conditions: Some health conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and Cushing's syndrome, can cause hormonal changes leading to nodular acne.

Symptoms of Nodular Acne

Nodular acne is a type of severe acne that features large, hard lumps deeply rooted beneath the skin.

Nodules are larger and more painful than pimples and can last for weeks or even months. Cysts are the largest and most severe type of acne lesion and can cause permanent scarring.

Nodular acne is most likely to occur on the face, but it can also affect the chest, back, shoulders, and arms. Acne nodules, which you may feel under your skin, are the main sign of nodular acne. 

Nodules are usually red, but they may be the same color as your skin. Nodular acne is often painful or sensitive to touch. If you have nodular acne, you must see a dermatologist for treatment.

Treatment of Nodular Acne

A nodular acne is a severe form of acne that requires treatment by a dermatologist. Treatment options include

Topical Treatments

Topical treatments are one approach to managing nodular acne. Topically used medications include hypochlorous acid (HOCL), benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and prescription-strength retinoids. Out of these options, HOCL is particularly effective. 

This is likely because HOCL is produced naturally by our white blood cells to fight off infection, and this mechanism makes it so beneficial for the skin. 



Hypochlorous acid has been shown to help kill bacteria, reduce inflammation, and promote healing. PurClarity's Revitalizing Mist is one product proven effective in managing nodular acne. When used as directed, this mist can help improve the appearance of the skin and promote healing.

Oral medications

In some cases, oral medications may be necessary to manage nodular acne. Medications that may be used include antibiotics, birth control pills, isotretinoin, and spironolactone.

Antibiotics are often used to help reduce inflammation and kill bacteria. Birth control pills can help regulate hormones and reduce the amount of sebum produced by the skin. 

Isotretinoin is a powerful medication used as a last resort for treating nodular acne. This medication can have serious side effects, so it should only be used under the care of a dermatologist. Spironolactone is a medication that is sometimes used to treat hormonal acne.

Cortisone Injections

In some cases, cortisone injections may be used to reduce the size and pain of nodules immediately. Cortisone injections can also help prevent permanent scarring.

Surgical Options

For large or persistent nodules, a surgical option may be necessary. Surgical options include

  • Drainage: In this procedure, a sterile needle pierces the nodule and drains the pus.
  • Extraction: In this procedure, a small incision is made in the skin, and the nodule contents are manually extracted.
  • Laser therapy: Laser therapy can be used to destroy the bacteria that cause acne and promote healing.

Prevention of Nodular Acne

There are several things that you can do to help prevent nodular acne from developing, including

  • Washing your face twice a day with a mild cleanser
  • Avoiding touching your face
  • Shampooing regularly
  • Avoiding picking, squeezing, or popping pimples
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Reducing stress

Risk Factors

Several factors can increase your risk of developing nodular acne, including

  • Hormonal changes: Nodular acne is often aggravated by hormonal changes, such as during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause.
  • Family history: If you have a family history of nodular acne, you may be more likely to develop the condition.
  • Certain medications: Certain medications, such as corticosteroids and lithium, can increase the risk of nodular acne.
  • Greasy cosmetics: Greasy cosmetics can clog pores and lead to nodular acne.
  • Diet: A diet high in sugar and processed foods can contribute to nodular acne.
  • Stress: Stress can worsen acne by increasing hormone levels and inflammation.

Best Treatment for Nodular acne

If you are suffering from nodular acne, PurClarity has a product that can help. Nodular acne is one of the most severe forms of the condition and can be difficult to treat. However, PurClarity's Revitalizing Mist has been shown in studies to be an effective treatment for nodular acne. 

The mist contains HOCL, which helps to kill the bacteria that cause acne and clear up breakouts. It also contains antioxidants and vitamins that help to nourish the skin and promote healing. So if you are looking for an effective way to manage your nodular acne, try PurClarity's Revitalizing Mist today.