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What is an Acne Nodule?

What is an Acne Nodule?

A very large pimple can also be called as an acne nodule if it is set deeper into the skin and is not mouthed at the surface layer of the skin. Like a pimple or acne, the acne nodule grows due to bacteria growing on the lump of oil and dead skin cells. In case of acne nodule, the oily lump is formed within the pores and not on the surface. The bacteria enter through these pores and start to thrive and multiply. This spreads the infection. An acne nodule can grow up to the size of a coin. The tissues around the pores swell up and turn red which makes the acne nodule very painful.

What is an Acne Nodule?

How does Acne Nodule Grow on Skin?

Usually the acne nodule appears to be a large swelling developing from under the surface layer of the skin. But always a swelling does not confirm that it is a nodule. The large pimple could also be a cyst. Sometimes nodules develop on the top of the acne cyst that is deep seated within the skin pores. Even after healing such a nodule, the acne cyst remains which can give rise to pain and infection again. The remaining cysts can proliferate or act the home environment for the bacteria causing acne to thrive again giving rise to development of more cyst or acne nodules.

Cystic acne may or may not have a nodular growth on it or the nodule over the cystic acne may not be active. Usually people confuse the growth of the cystic acne with acne nodule. A nodule may develop without a cyst. Among the seven different types of acne, it is not the severe most type is acne nodule but not rare.

Is Acne Nodule Severe?

Among the kinds to acne that usually attack the skin like pustules, papules and cystic acne, acne nodule is the most difficult kind because it often leads to scaring of the skin permanently. It is usually inflammatory and the infection spreads soon. The clogging of the pores due to more release of sebum does not allow the dead skin cells to shed and therefore the skin gets deprived of oxygen such an atmosphere is the best for the bacteria causing acne to thrive and reproduce. The infection soon starts to spread from a single nodule giving rise to more nodules. Even when the nodules dry up and get removed, the skin is scarred if not treated properly.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Acne Nodule

Usually acne develops on the areas of the skin where there are more sebaceous glands like on the face, neck and even on the chest. Any acne does not specify as acne nodule. If a nodular growth is diagnosed, the condition is referred to as acne nodule. The acne nodules are not only very painful but causes irritation if touched therefore they should be treated soon. Another reason for treating acne nodule at the earliest stage possible is to avoid the permanent damage it can cause to the skin.

Acne nodule tends to last long like for months. Even though the treatment for acne nodule is same as any other mild acne, as it is relatively severe, certain home remedies should be adopted. One must always use medications prescribed by a dermatologist. Acne nodule is treatable like any other mild acne. You must wash the affected area at least twice and also if you are sweating to avoid perspiration to get in touch with the nodule. Also never scrub your skin or the affected area. If the normal treatments are ineffective, dermatologists may use injections to shrink the nodule and bring down the inflammation. The most commonly used chemical for acne nodule to clean skin is benzoyl peroxide and the best antibiotic is Isotretinoin (not good for pregnant women).


  1. American Academy of Dermatology Association. (2021). Acne. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne/
  2. Mayo Clinic. (2021). Acne. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/acne/
  3. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. (2020). Acne. https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/acne

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 16, 2023

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