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Acne, close-up of cysts on the back

Acne, close-up of cysts on the back


Cystic acne, or nodulocystic acne, is the most severe form of acne. Both pustules and hard red bumps are present in the skin. This form of acne is more difficult to treat and often requires taking an oral vitamin A derivative.

Review Date 8/29/2015

Updated by: Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.