acne fulminans

Last reviewed 01/2018

This is a rare, very severe form of acne due to an immune complex reaction to Propionibacterium acnes.

It most commonly affects adolescent boys.


  • severe eruptive and ulcerative scarring lesions, fever, arthralgia, debilitation leucocytosis and a high ESR
  • osteolytic bone lesions can occur eg. in the clavicle


  • inpatient treatment with high dose systemic steroid
  • if patient is taking oral isotretinoin then temporary withdrawal of this treatment is usual

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