Tropical Acne

Tropical acne also known as Mallorca acne or Acne tropica, is a type of acne vulgaris that is commonly found in tropical and subtropical climates that is most commonly found in individuals living in tropical or subtropical regions with high humidity and temperatures. It is characterized by the appearance of inflamed, red, and painful pimples or cysts in areas like the neck, chest, back, and arms. This type of acne is often caused by a combination of factors such as high humidity, high temperatures, skin irritation due to sweat and tight clothing, and an increase in sebum production. It is more common in people who have oily skin and who do not follow a proper skincare routine. Treatment options for tropical acne include topical medications, oral antibiotics, and lifestyle changes like wearing loose clothing, keeping skin clean and dry, and reducing stress levels.


Tropical acne is a type of acne that is caused by a combination of factors specific to tropical climates. The main causes of tropical acne include:

  1. Humidity: Humidity in tropical climates can create a breeding ground for bacteria and increase the production of sebum, leading to clogged pores and acne breakouts.
  2. Sweat: The high levels of heat and humidity can result in excessive sweating, which can trap bacteria and oil on the skin, leading to acne.
  3. Heat: The increased temperature in tropical climates can cause the skin to produce more oil, leading to clogged pores and acne.
  4. Sun Exposure: Prolonged sun exposure in tropical climates can increase the production of melanin and cause hyperpigmentation, which can trigger acne.
  5. Cosmetics: The use of heavy, oil-based cosmetics can clog pores and trigger acne breakouts in tropical climates.
  6. Diet: A diet high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and processed foods can increase the production of insulin, leading to hormonal imbalances that can cause acne.
  7. Hormonal Changes: Hormonal changes due to stress, menstrual cycles, or pregnancy can increase the production of oil in the skin and trigger acne breakouts.

It is important to take precautions and maintain good skin hygiene to prevent tropical acne from developing. This includes using oil-free cosmetics, regularly washing the skin with a gentle cleanser, and avoiding long periods of sun exposure.


Tropical acne is a type of acne that occurs in warm and humid climates. The main symptoms of tropical acne include:

  1. Pimples and papules: These are small, red, raised bumps that appear on the skin.
  2. Pustules: These are pimples filled with pus and are more severe than papules.
  3. Cysts: These are large, painful lumps that occur deep beneath the skin and can cause scarring.
  4. Nodules: These are large, solid lumps that occur deep beneath the skin and can cause scarring.
  5. Blackheads and whiteheads: These are clogged pores that appear as small, black or white bumps on the skin.
  6. Inflammation: Tropical acne often causes redness and swelling around the affected areas.
  7. Itching and discomfort: Tropical acne can cause itching and discomfort, especially if it becomes infected.

These symptoms may occur on any part of the body, but are most commonly found on the face, neck, back, and chest. It is important to seek treatment from a dermatologist to effectively manage tropical acne.



  • A clinical examination by a dermatologist is typically the first step in diagnosing tropical acne. The dermatologist will inspect the skin for signs of inflammation, papules, pustules, and nodules.
  • A medical history will also be taken to determine if the patient has any underlying health conditions that may contribute to tropical acne.


  • Skin scrapings: A skin scraping test can be performed to identify the presence of bacteria, such as Propionibacterium acnes, that contribute to acne.
  • Blood tests: Blood tests can be performed to check for hormonal imbalances that may contribute to acne.
  • Skin biopsy: In some cases, a skin biopsy may be performed to confirm the diagnosis of tropical acne and to rule out other skin conditions.

It is important to seek professional medical help if you suspect you have tropical acne, as prompt treatment can prevent long-term skin damage and scarring.


The main treatment for tropical acne involves a combination of topical and oral medications, lifestyle changes, and skin care routine. Some of the common treatments include:

  1. Topical medications: Topical medications such as benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, and salicylic acid can help to unclog the pores and reduce inflammation.
  2. Antibiotics: Oral antibiotics such as tetracycline, doxycycline, and minocycline can help to reduce bacteria and inflammation.
  3. Hormonal therapy: Hormonal therapy is recommended for women with hormonal imbalances. This includes birth control pills and anti-androgens.
  4. Isotretinoin: Isotretinoin is a powerful oral medication that is used for severe and persistent acne. It works by reducing the production of sebum, a natural oil that contributes to acne.
  5. Lifestyle changes: A healthy diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can help to improve the overall health of the skin. It is important to avoid dairy products, sugar, and processed foods that can trigger acne.
  6. Skin care routine: A gentle skin care routine that involves cleansing, moisturizing, and sun protection can help to improve the appearance of the skin.

It is important to seek medical advice from a dermatologist before starting any treatment. The treatment plan may need to be adjusted depending on the severity and type of acne.