Acne Fulminans: A Severe Form of Acne Mostly Seen in Male Teens

Simply put, acne fulminans is a severe form of acne. It’s so severe that it can also affect other parts of the body. For instance, someone who suffers from it may have malaise, fever, loss of appetite, joint pain, muscle weakness and even enlargement of the spleen and liver!

Malignant acne is the other term for acne fulminans, which makes it obvious that it is a serious skin condition. Sometimes a skin expert may also refer to this form of acne as acne maligna or acute febrile ulcerative acne.

If you like to know some really important matters about acne fulminans, keep on reading this article. Don’t forget to share this article on your various social media sites especially if you have family members or friends who are males aged anywhere from 15 to 25, and suffer from what’s known as acne conglobata.


Acne is a common skin condition. Sometimes it is very mild, while other times it’s so severe. One of the most severe forms of acne is what’s referred to as acne fulminans. Somebody who has acne fulminans does not only experience skin symptoms but also systemic ones, which means that other parts of the body may also exhibit symptoms.

Skin care experts say that acne fulminans is actually a very rare form of acne. It tends to be seen almost exclusively among male adolescents and young adults, between 15 and 25 years of age. Acne fulminans may also affect females, but that rarely happens.

Health authorities believe that acne fulminans is the result of the exaggerated response of the individual’s immune system to bacteria that causes acne.

In most cases, acne fulminans happens when another form of acne called acne conglobata suddenly worsens due to all kinds of factors, most especially when it’s not properly treated. Acne conglobata happens when acne nodules and cysts grow together deep beneath the skin.

There are some studies suggesting that acne fulminans can also be due to certain hormones or medications.


Just like what’s mentioned earlier, acne fulminans is something that causes both skin and systemic symptoms. That is why aside from having characteristics acne skin lesions, someone who suffers from it may also experience other symptoms, too, many of which are commonly not associated with acne.

According to skin specialists, acne fulminans may affect the face although it usually appears on the back and chest. As expected, it causes the appearance of inflamed lesions that appear red. It’s not unlikely for the said lesions to bleed and ulcerate, and also ooze with pus.

There are many different systemic symptoms associated with acne fulminans. Some of them include:

Loss of appetite

Unintended weight loss 



Swollen lymph nodes 

Pain and inflammation of the shoulder, knee and ankle joints 

Muscular weakness and atrophy (muscle wasting) 

Enlarged spleen and liver


It’s important for acne fulminans to be diagnosed properly in order for it to be treated accordingly. Physical examination, blood culture, and skin biopsy may be conducted by a doctor. Other tests may be warranted in order to rule out other skin conditions with similar symptoms.

For dealing with the lesions, antibiotics may be administered to deal with the inflammation. A cosmetic procedure called dermabrasion may be performed in order to manage raised skin tissues as well as scars. Other types of procedures may be carried out as well, such as something that uses laser.

Dealing with the systemic symptoms usually involves the administration of painkilling medications as well as systemic steroid therapy. Since an overactive immune system is said to be the one to blame for acne fulminans, its action can be altered with the use of certain medications.

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