Nodular acne is one of the most severe forms of acne which can result in blind pimples that form deep in the skin. Although it may seem as big pimples on the skin, unlike other forms of acne which are on the surface level, nodular acne does not have a “head”. It can appear as small lumps under the skin as it forms between the layers of skin.
Here are some of the identifying features for nodular acne-
- Small bumps under the skin.
- May appear skin-coloured or red
- Bumps that are painful to touch.
- Firm or hard to touch unlike cystic acne which is often pus-filled.
Nodular acne commonly appears on the face, back and shoulders. It can appear in any part of the body with active sebaceous glands and hair follicles or pores that can be potentially clogged. It’s possible for people to have nodular acne that’s widespread and occurs in multiple areas while others may experience a few scattered pimples. Either way, it’s important to start treatment immediately to avoid aggravation of nodular acne.
Nodular acne is formed when a pore that’s clogged with sebum or dead skin cells gets infected with acne-causing bacteria. Since the blockage is in deeper layers of the skin, the pimple appears to be under the skin. This makes nodular acne more severe and difficult to treat as compared to other forms of acne which occur on the surface level. While nodular acne is primarily caused due to clogged pores and bacteria, certain factors put you at a risk of developing nodular acne-
- Age- Nodular acne is more prevalent in younger people, especially teenagers due to overactive sebaceous glands.
- Hormonal imbalance- Higher levels of certain hormones in the body can trigger excess sebum production. Hormonal imbalance can be caused due to various factors such as stress, menstruation, pregnancy and contraceptive pills.
- Genetics- If you have a family history of nodular acne, chances are that you’ll have it too. In such a case, it’s important to ensure that you follow prevention tips like the ones we’ve mentioned below to avoid suffering with nodular acne.
- Not exfoliating the skin properly- Not exfoliating or under-exfoliation can cause a build-up of dead skin cells which is basically an open invitation for clogged pores, and eventually different forms of acne.
Unfortunately, nodular acne is one of the forms of acne that’s likely to scar. As with other forms of acne, picking or popping nodular acne can lead to serious scarring, and not just as a dark spot, but the nasty kind with a scab on your face that can permanently scar your face. Nodular acne can also become worse if left untreated and the skin cells surrounding the acne could get damaged due to inflammation leading to dark spots or PIH. This kind of scarring is generally treatable but may take months, even years to get rid of.
- Antibiotics- Antibiotics are prescribed in case you suffer from cystic acne covering large areas. These work by getting rid of the bacteria which may be responsible for acne. A problem associated with antibiotics is bacterial resistance, so they can only be taken for a short period of time.
- Birth control pills- Oral contraceptives are used as a method to regulate hormone levels as a surge in levels of certain hormones could trigger excessive sebum production which increases the likelihood of clogged pores and ultimately acne.
- Isotretinoin- It’s a derivative of Vitamin A that’s taken as a tablet every day. It’s considered to be one of the most effective treatments for cystic acne with most people noticing an improvement in just about 4-6 months.
For more stubborn nodular acne, professional treatments such as the following may be required-
- Extraction and drainage- This is a professional procedure which involves draining the pimple and extracting it using a tool. Keep in mind that this is a professional cosmetic treatment that should only be done by a licensed professional to avoid complications. So don’t try to pop the pimple or squeeze it on your own in hopes that you might get rid of it faster, this could lead to aggravation of the nodular acne, serious infections and permanent scarring.
- Steroids- In severe cases, a corticosteroid is injected into the affected area which works by reducing inflammation and reducing the appearance of nodular acne.
- Laser therapy- Laser therapy works by reducing the production of oil and killing acne causing bacteria on the skin using small but powerful beams of laser. Laser can also be used as a treatment against acne scars.
- Chemical peels- Chemical peels work by dissolving the bonds between skin cells and gently sloughing away dead skin. These can help deeply unclog the pores and resurface newer skin cells which can prevent clogged pores and formation of nodular acne.
Alternatively, you may be prescribed at-home topical treatments for nodular acne such as-
- Benzoyl Peroxide- Benzoyl Peroxide helps get rid of acne by reducing the number of acne-causing bacteria (C. acnes) and breaking down keratin which causes the shedding of dead skin cells. It also unclogs the pores, releasing the trapped sebum, skin cells and bacteria which could trigger acne.
- Salicylic Acid– Salicylic Acid is an oil-soluble BHA that works by penetrating deep into the pores and clearing out any sebum, dead skin cells or bacteria clogging the pores. It can also help control excess oiliness.
- Retinoids- These are also derivatives of Vitamin A which work by unclogging the pores when applied to the affected area. It also helps increase the rate of cell turnover which can help prevent clogged pores.
- The easiest way you can prevent nodular acne, or in fact any kind of acne is by keeping your face clean. Clogged pores are the major culprit behind most forms of acne. So it’s important to use a good cleanser with anti-acne ingredients such as the Deconstruct Salicylic Acid Oil Control Face wash to keep your face clean and oil-free.
- Avoid using heavy creams or moisturisers, instead use lightweight and oil-free moisturisers which are catered for oily-skin. The fact that some moisturisers may be too heavy or suffocating for oily or acne-prone skin doesn’t mean you skip moisturiser altogether. This could lead to a surge in sebum production as your skin’s natural way to overcompensate for the dryness.
- An intense and sweaty workout can do wonders for your body as well as your skin, but it’s important to remember to cleanse your skin to get rid of all the sweat and dirt to avoid clogged pores.
- Exfoliation is essential for having good skin. Not only can it prevent the occurrence of many types of acne, it can also help treat multiple skin conditions like hyperpigmentation, dullness and uneven skin tone and texture. Use a serum or a toner to gently exfoliate your skin. Our range of products for gentle exfoliation are formulated to combine multiple potent ingredients for optimum results, you could use the Deconstruct Beginner’s exfoliating serum and the Deconstruct Pore Control Serum if you’re a beginner or you could go for the Deconstruct Exfoliating Serum if your skin is accustomed to higher concentrations of AHAs and BHAs. For more intense exfoliation, you could opt for an at-home chemical peel.
- Do wash your face- It’s important to keep your face clean and wash your face twice a day as part of an anti-acne treatment. You can even look for face washes with ingredients like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide which can not only help get rid of excess oil, but also remove acne-causing bacteria and prevent the clogging of pores.
- Don’t touch your face unnecessarily– Even though you may not realise but your hands are covered with germs and dirt accumulated through various surfaces throughout the day. Touching your face frequently can result in unnecessary transfer of bacteria onto your face. This bacteria could cause an infection in clogged pores resulting in nodular or cystic acne. So avoid touching your face unnecessarily and make sure to wash your hands frequently, especially before touching your face.
- Do make masks a part of your skincare routine- Masks are an easy and effective way to get rid of any sebum, bacteria or dead skin cells which may be on your skin just waiting to clog your pores and create a ruckus. If you have acne prone skin, look for ingredients like clay and sulfur which can soothe the inflammation and cleanse your skin out. While these ingredients may not help get rid of existing nodular acne, they can help prevent clogging of the pores and the formation of new blind pimples on nose.
- Don’t try to pop the pimple- You might be tempted to do it, but don’t! Popping or picking on nodular acne could result in serious scarring that may even be permanent. The best thing you could do is stick to your treatment and let the acne heal. Nobody likes walking around with pimples, but it’s better to have acne that can be treated as opposed to permanent scars.
- Do use non-comedogenic and gentle products- Using oil-based or comedogenic products can increase your likelihood of developing nodular acne, especially if you have oily skin. Use non-comedogenic makeup and skincare to avoid clogging your pores and making your skin suffer for no reason.
- Don’t forget to remove your makeup- Sleep is essential for your body and skin to heal which is why it’s important to provide your skin with the care it needs to replenish properly. Hence, it’s important to remove any makeup from the day to let your skin “breathe” and avoid clogged pores.
Although nodular acne is considered to be one of the severe forms of acne, it can be treated with a combination of dermatologist prescribed oral and topical treatments. Don’t wait it out before seeking help from a medical professional as nodular acne often does not go away on its own and can become worse if left untreated. Also once you’ve managed to get rid of nodular acne stick with the prevention tips and adopt a good skincare routine to avoid welcoming nodular acne again.
- Can nodular acne occur as blind pimples on nose?
Yes, it’s possible for bacteria to infect clogged pores in the deeper layers of the skin on the nose resulting in nodular acne or blind pimples on nose.
- How to get rid of blind pimples on nose?
A combination of topical and oral treatments may be effective in getting rid of nodular acne or blind pimples on nose. It’s best to seek consultation from a dermatologist to get the perfect treatment for your skin type and severity of acne. Meanwhile, you can try using formulations containing ingredients like Salicylic Acid, Retinol and Benzoyl Peroxide.
- Can nodular acne be caused by dietary habits?
Although certain foods that are high in glycemic index and dairy can trigger excessive oiliness which can be a contributing factor to nodular acne, it’s unlikely for regular diet alone to cause nodular acne. So don’t worry about eating your favourite foods as they probably aren’t a culprit behind the occurrence of nodular acne.