Nodules are severe acne lesions, according to the Acne.org information website. They are larger than regular pimples like blackheads, whiteheads and pustules and go deep below the skin's surface. They are hard and painful and can persist for many months, especially if you pick or squeeze them. They often require medical treatment because they resist typical over-the-counter treatment products. Fortunately you can prevent acne nodules if you take steps to keep your outbreaks under control.
Wash your face and other problem areas twice a day with mild soap and water. The Mayo Clinic explains that this removes excess oil and old skin cells so they do not block your pores. Blockages cause acne and can worsen into nodules. Do not wash more than twice daily or you can irritate existing pimples and make nodule formation more likely.
Apply an acne control product after washing. The Mayo Clinic recommends gels or creams containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. These active ingredients fight excess oil. They usually won't get rid of nodules that have already formed, but they help prevent regular pimples from worsening into deep lesions.
Wear clothing that fits loosely, especially in hot weather. Tight clothing rubs against your skin and traps sweat. This may cause or worsen acne on your shoulders, back, chest and neck. Continued irritation can lead to nodules. Don't wear tight hats or headbands because they can trigger facial outbreaks.
Shower whenever you get sweaty. The Mayo Clinic advises that sweat can trap acne-causing bacteria. The bacteria then mixes with skin cells and oil and causes severe inflammation. This can lead to nodules. Showering rinses away the bacteria, but do not scrub your skin roughly or you may irritate it.
Buy and use cosmetics labeled as water-based, oil-free or non-comedogenic. Many acne sufferers use makeup to cover breakouts. Oily products mix with skin oil and make it more likely to clog your pores. This makes you more vulnerable to severe lesions like nodules. The Acne.com information website explains that oil-free or non-comedogenic products let you look good without worsening your problem. Remove your makeup completely every night before bed.
The American Academy of Dermatology advises that moderately severe acne lesions like nodules should be treated promptly so they don't develop into cysts or cause permanent scars. Dermatologists can prescribe strong topical treatments and oral antibiotics or inject cortisone into existing nodules to make them smaller and prevent scarring.