Acne conglobata: causes and symptoms

Acne conglobata is a chronic variant of acne. It differs in that it presents comedones, cystic nodules, fistulas and abscesses, which give rise to disfiguring scars. It affects more predominantly men.

It usually occurs between 15 and 25 years of age. It may appear on its own, but it is usually associated with patients with acne vulgaris. The lesions are located mainly on the face, neck, chest and shoulders. In this article we explain what it consists of and its specific characteristics.

What is acne and acne conglobata?

Acne is an inflammatory disease of the skin. It is one of the most frequent pathologies of adolescents and young people. In fact, it's the most frequent cause of dermatological consultation.

Specifically, it is a pilosebaceous follicle disorder. Its etiology is multifactorial. It is believed that it is produced by a combination of factors, such as: increased production of sebum, secondary inflammation, increased sensitivity to androgens, among others.

Acne lesions are comedones. However, these can evolve and lead to papules and pustules. Even, nodules and cysts may form. Therefore, there are different ways to classify acne:

  • According to the age of presentation. It can be neonatal, infant, infant, preadolescent, adolescent and adult.
  • According to the injury that predominates. Here we find comedonic, papulo-pustular or nodule-cystic acne.
  • Mild, moderate or severe, according to the severity.
  • Special forms This is where we find the acne conglobata.

It is considered to be a special form because it is a more severe form. Acne conglobata it tends to leave more extensive scars. In addition, his injuries extend beyond typical acne locations. In fact, they can affect the buttocks, the abdomen, the armpits, and so on. In short, it is defined as one of the most serious and chronic variants of acne.

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Symptoms of acne conglobata

Mainly, The clinical picture is characterized by:

  • Comedones, papules and pustules.
  • Inflamed nodules and abscesses.
  • Pain in each injury. Most injuries are very inflamed. That's why they hurt so much.
  • Ulceration
  • Foul oozing.
  • Damage and deformation of the skin.
  • Irregular scars. They can become hypertrophic scars and keloids.

Sometimes acne conglobata is accompanied by blood disorders. For example, it can present with anemia and leukocytosis. The lesions may be sterile or infected by some microorganisms. The most frequent bacterium is Propionibacterium acnes.

The physical symptoms are obvious. However, we must highlight the psychological impact who has this pathology. Acne conglobata causes numerous self-esteem problems. In addition, the patient may feel weak and insecure.

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As we have already mentioned, the causes of acne conglobata are multiple. Contrary to what you think, it is not proven that diet directly influences its origin. Mainly, the triggers are:

  • An increase in sebum production. In the same way, it seems that its composition is also altered. The sebaceous glands also increase in size.
  • An alteration of keratinization occurs. Therefore, comedones are formed. This consists in that the sebum, altered, irritates the wall of the follicle. The keratinized cells are descaled and can not be eliminated. Thus, they accumulate. A conglomerate of cells and fat is formed, which is the comedo.
  • The presence of Propionibacterium acnes. It is a bacteria that feeds on sebum. That's why it proliferates more easily.
  • Finally, a inflammatory process. It is believed that it is due to both the erosion of the follicle and the bacteria.

Further, the appearance of acne conglobata is related to androgens. They are the hormones that cause an increase in sebum production. The relationship is associated with different processes. First, it is believed that there is a greater sensitivity of the follicles to androgens. It can also be due to an unusually high level of these.

Even, it has been observed that there factors that worsen the pathology. Sun exposure or stress are examples of this.

In conclusion

Acne conglobata is a complicated pathology. Causes injuries that are very painful and that affect the patient's life. Not only do they influence in a physical way, but they also compromise the person's self-esteem and stability.

Therefore, it is important to detect and treat it in time. In fact, in acne conglobata this is even more important. This will reduce the incidence of scars and their severity.