acne keloidalis nuchae

Understanding Acne Keloidalis Nuchae

Acne Keloidalis Nuchae (AKN) is a common skin condition which occurs most often in people of African descent. It is characterized by bumps and scars that form around the neck, usually following an infection or trauma to the area. It can be painful, itchy and embarrassing, but it is not contagious and generally does not pose a serious health threat.

What Causes Acne Keloidalis Nuchae?

The exact cause of AKN is unknown but it is thought to be related to inflammation, an overgrowth of tissues, or an immune system response. It is more common in people with naturally curly hair, who have recently had a haircut or had the hair shaved very close or worn a tightly fitted hairstyle such as a ponytail or cornrows. It is also more common in men than women, and in people with darker skin.

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How to Treat Acne Keloidalis Nuchae

As AKN can be an ongoing issue, treatment usually involves a combination of methods. These include:

  • Medicines (topical steroids, antibiotics, antifungals, retinoids, and oral steroids)
  • Laser removal of lesions
  • Surgery (electrosurgery, cryosurgery, shave excision) to remove scar tissue
  • Cortisone injections directly into lesions
  • Changing hairstyle habits

It is important to note that acne keloidalis nuchae does not have a “cure” as such and treatment usually needs to be repeated regularly in order to keep the symptoms under control.

Preventing Acne Keloidalis Nuchae

The best way to prevent AKN is to identify and avoid triggers. These can include:

  • Using a tight hairstyle or wearing wigs
  • Shaving the hair too close to the skin
  • Having had previous trauma to the area or an infection

It’s also important to avoid high humidity and hot weather conditions, as this can make symptoms worse. Keeping the skin clean is also beneficial, so showering and washing the affected area daily with a gentle cleanser is recommended.

If you think you may be suffering from Acne Keloidalis Nuchae, it is important to seek medical advice as soon as possible in order to identify the most appropriate course of action.

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