What Is Acne Fulminans

(Last Updated On: June 8, 2015)

Acne Fulminans Treatment

One of the rarest but extremely severe forms of acne that typically affects young males

man with acne fulminansAcne fulminans is an extremely severe – thankfully uncommon, form of acne conglobata that almost always affects males, usually young but older people are affected too.

Its not usually seen in women.

It needs urgent treatment due to its severity, not just because it is highly unsightly but also due to the affects it can have on mental and physical health.

Acne Fulminans Symptoms

  • Inflamed and ulcerated acne nodules typically on chest and back
  • Bleeding crusts over acne nodules
  • Severe acne scarring
  • Fever/lethargy and feeling of being unwell
  • Painful joints that can include ankles, knee joints and shoulders
  • Weight loss
  • Lack of appetite
  • Enlarged spleen and liver

Sufferers are also often anaemic and have a raised white blood cell count.

Causes Of Acne Fulminans

It is believed that acne fulminans is caused through a combination of an abnormal increase of the male hormones androgens, genetics and autoimmune complex disease.

Other factors include:

  • Extreme hypersensitivity to p.acnes bacteria
  • Anabolic steroid use (typically used by bodybuilders) and testosterone therapy (prescribed and illegal)
  • Possible reaction to taking oral Isotretinoin 

prednisone acne fulminans treatmentCan Acne Fulminans Be Treated?

Acne fulminans is challenging to treat and will require lengthy and aggressive treatment for several months under the care of a dermatologist.

Treatment typically will consist of:

  • Corticosteroids (Prednisone) 
  • Very high doses of oral antibiotics
  • NSAID medications such as Aspirin 
  • Low doses of Isotretinoin after it has been brought under control with steroids
  • TNF-a inhibitors 

Topical acne medications will not help this kind of acne.

If treated correctly, the prognosis is good.

Although its likely you will never suffer from this kind of acne, any kind of acne can be distressing and debilitating.

If you’re tired of taking prescribed medications that cause unpleasant side effects and do little to help clear your skin, why not take a look at some of our recommended acne treatments in Ireland by clicking on the link below?

Best Acne Treatments Ireland


The information in this website is for advice and guidance only. It is based on my own intensive research and personal experiences, and is not intended in any way to replace professional medical advice, or to diagnose or treat any health conditions. All rights reserved.