Acne conglobata is considered the most severe form of acne vulgaris and is more common in males. Acne conglobata is a highly inflammatory form of acne. It is a form of nodulocystic acne in which there are interconnecting abscesses and sinuses, which result in unsightly hypertrophic (thick) and atrophic (thin) scars. There are groups of large “macrocomedones” and cysts that are filled with smelly pus. It can cause severe, irrevocable damage to the skin, and disfiguring scarring. Deep, inflammatory nodules that track under the skin to other nodules characterize acne conglobata. Acne conglobata can cause deep scarring and is difficult to treat. It is occurs on the face, chest, back, buttocks, upper arms, and thighs. The average age for onset for acne conglobata is usually between 18 and 30 years, and the condition can stay active for many years.
The primary cause of acne conglobata is unknown although some things have been identified as possible triggers:
1) Toxic gases like dioxins or halogens
2) Anabolic steroids can induce severe acne in susceptible individuals.
3) Stopping a course of testosterone.
4) It can develop as a result of the deterioration of existing pustular acne
5) It may arise from previous acne that has lain dormant for many years.