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Acne Keloidalis Nuchae (AKN)

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Acne keloidalis nuchae (AKN) is a chronic skin condition characterized by the development of firm, raised scars (keloids) on the back of the neck, often as a result of folliculitis (inflammation of hair follicles) and/or scarring from recurrent ingrown hairs. Acne keloidalis (AK) is a chronic skin condition characterized by the development of the firm, raised scars (keloids) on the back of the scalp, nape of the neck, and occipital area. It is a condition that typically affects men with tightly curled hair, although anyone can develop it.

The main cause of AKN is not entirely understood, but it is believed to be related to a combination of factors such as:

  • Friction: The constant rubbing of clothes against the skin can irritate hair follicles and lead to inflammation.
  • Irritation: The use of certain hair products or hairstyles that put pressure on the hair follicles can also lead to irritation.
  • Infection: Bacteria can infect the hair follicles, leading to inflammation and scarring.
  • Hormonal imbalances: Hormonal fluctuations can increase the production of sebum, which can contribute to the development of AKN.
  • Genetics: Some people may be more susceptible to AKN due to genetic factors.

Symptoms of AKN include:

  • Small, red, firm bumps on the back of the neck
  • Itchy or painful bumps
  • Inflamed, swollen bumps
  • Scabs or crusts on the bumps
  • Keloid-like scars that are firm, raised, and discolored
  • Itching or pain in the affected area
  • Swelling or redness in the affected area

It’s important to note that AKN can be persistent and can be difficult to treat. It is also important to see a dermatologist for proper diagnosis and treatment as some treatments may be more effective than others, depending on the individual case, and some may require multiple treatments.

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Diagnosis of AK is typically made by a physical examination of the affected area. The doctor may also take a biopsy of the affected skin to rule out other conditions.

Treatment of AK typically involves a combination of approaches, including:

  • Topical medications: Topical retinoids, corticosteroids, and antibiotics may be used to reduce inflammation and prevent infection.
  • Oral medications: Oral antibiotics may be prescribed to reduce the growth of bacteria and reduce inflammation.
  • Cryotherapy: The use of liquid nitrogen to freeze and destroy the affected skin,
  • Surgery: Surgical removal of the keloids may be recommended in some cases, but it is important to note that there is a high risk of recurrence.
  • Scar management: Silicone gel sheeting or silicone gel can be applied to the scar to improve the appearance.
  • Preventive measures: Avoiding tight hairstyles, such as cornrows or braids, and avoiding friction and irritation on the scalp and nape of the neck.

It is important to see a dermatologist for proper diagnosis and treatment as AK can be persistent and can be difficult to treat. It is also important to note that some treatments may be more effective than others, depending on the individual case, and some may require multiple treatments.

It is also important to note that AK is a chronic condition and it may take multiple treatments to achieve good results, and even with successful treatment, the condition can recur.

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