We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How do I Treat Nodular Acne?

By Felicia Dye
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Nodular acne is a skin condition that can be severe, distressing, and unsightly. The condition derives its name from the fact that lesions in the form of nodules or cysts appear as a result of blocked oil glands. Fortunately, it is treatable but you cannot eliminate this problem by popping the lesions, and you should not try. Get professional help and strictly adhere to any prescribed regimen.

There are two approaches to nodular acne treatment that you should avoid. First, do not ignore the problem. Second, do not try to resolve the condition without the help of a professional. This is a serious skin problem and if you do not treat it, you may suffer severe skin infections, tissue destruction, and scarring.

It is best to see a dermatologist for this condition, but if that is not an option, a general practitioner may suffice. There are several possible treatments and you may find that you have to try more than one. The first treatment attempt that your doctor may make is to put you on medication such as isotretinoin.

If this is the case, you should expect to take this medication once or twice per day for several months. The exact regimen will be determined by the doctor after he assesses the severity of your condition. If you start taking it, do so as instructed for the full period the doctor prescribed. Before you begin taking this medication, however, you should be aware that there are several side effects that you should seriously consider. These include depression, suicidal thoughts, and photosensitivity.

Your doctor may suggest corticosteroid therapy. This is a procedure conducted in a medical facility, and it involves the use of needles, which will be used to inject cortisone solution into your lesions. If this is something that you can bear and you are interested in, note that you will likely need to have this done several times and if it is not covered by insurance it can be expensive.

Laser therapy may be another treatment option for nodular acne. This procedure is also likely to be the option that produces the quickest results since several things are accomplished at once. Nodular acne is caused by the buildup of oil, and with this procedure, the laser is used to reduce oil production, which occurs deep in the skin. At the same time, the laser can kill the infection and eliminate some of your scars.

In addition to these treatments, you may be advised to use certain skincare products. Make sure to follow the regimen as it is outlined by your doctor. Also, remember that the lesions associated with nodular acne are not like regular whiteheads or blackheads. If you do not resist the urge to pick at them or squeeze them, you will make your condition worse.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By ZipLine — On Feb 24, 2014

There are actually lots of treatment options for nodular acne. There are topical and oral medications, exfoliating products, hormonal treatments and dermatology procedures such as skin peels and laser therapy. There are also home remedies for nodular acne with the use of natural ingredients like grapeseed oil, sandalwood, calendula and tea tree oil.

Finding the best treatment means finding the cause of the acne. For example, if the cause is a hormonal imbalance, then the best treatment is medications or supplements to rebalance hormones. Sometimes, combining several treatments works best.

I have mild nodular acne and right now I'm using oral medications, topical medications as well as supplements. My skin is not perfect but it's doing better.

By ddljohn — On Feb 23, 2014

@turquoise-- What treatments are you using exactly?

It can take some time to see results with acne treatments but it depends on the treatment and type of acne. Cystic nodular acne is difficult to treat. I've also tried many different topical treatments without success. What is finally working for me is antibiotics. There are antibiotic creams that you can use as well, but I'm taking antibiotics orally. I started seeing results about three weeks after starting them and my skin is improving by every week.

Go back to your doctor and tell him that the treatments aren't working and that you want to try something else. Unfortunately, for most acne sufferers, it's a process of trying and failing to find a treatment that works.

By turquoise — On Feb 22, 2014

I did go to a dermatologist for my cystic and nodular acne and he prescribed several topical treatments for me to use. I have been using them as instructed but there is no difference whatsoever. I don't know if it takes time to see results or if I should see a different doctor.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.