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How to Treat Nodule Acne

By Brenda Barron ; Updated July 18, 2017

Acne is a common problem and for the most part is treatable by using over-the-counter products. However, nodular acne is very serious and requires much more in-depth treatment to eliminate it. Even more importantly, nodular acne left untreated can lead to disfiguring scars. The key to curing nodular acne is taking action as soon as you notice hard, red lumps beneath the skin.

  1. Apply topical creams to your nodules. Prescription strength benzoyl peroxide and topical retinoids like Retin-A are helpful in curing nodular acne. They work by killing acne bacteria and unclogging pores, respectively. With daily use, these treatments can prevent new blemishes from forming and unplug your pores so the material inside can dry up and the lesion can heal.

  2. Visit a dermatologist to have your nodules injected with corticosteroids. Each nodule will be injected with a diluted amount of corticosteroid, which will reduce inflammation and help heal the nodule from the inside out. It can also prevent rupture, which is a key to preventing scarring.

  3. Take isotretinoin (trade name Accutane) to treat your nodular acne. This prescription medication is taken orally and works by making your oil glands smaller, thereby decreasing oil production and instances of outbreaks. That being said, Accutane carries numerous serious side effects like depression, suicidal thoughts and birth defects. If you're a woman, oral birth control must be taken in conjunction with the drug to guarantee you will not become pregnant.

  4. Undergo light therapy to cure your acne. Phototherapy can kill the bacteria at the base of hair follicles that cause acne. Though several sessions are usually required to completely eliminate your blemishes, phototherapy can get rid of your nodules for at least a few years.

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