Pyoderma faciale

Author: Reviewed and updated by Dr Amanda Oakley Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand; Vanessa Ngan, Staff Writer; and Clare Morrison Copy Editor, June 2014.


What is pyoderma faciale?

Pyoderma faciale is an unusual skin condition occurring in young adult women. It is also called 'rosacea fulminans'. It can resemble severe acne or rosacea.

Unlike acne, pyoderma faciale:

  • Starts abruptly
  • Rarely persists more than a year or so
  • Is not associated with oily skin
  • Does not arise from comedones
  • Is confined to the face
  • Does not affect males

Compared with rosacea, pyoderma faciale:

  • Affects younger women
  • Is not associated with flushing
  • Does not affect eyes

Pyoderma faciale presents as unsightly and painful large red bumps (nodules), pustules and sores on very red areas of the cheeks, chin and/or forehead. The lesions may leave scars.

Despite the severity of the inflammation, there are no internal symptoms. No infective organisms are found in bacterial cultures of the affected skin.

Pyoderma faciale

What is the treatment for pyoderma faciale?

As this condition is rare, it is not certain which is the best medication to use. The following oral medications may help:

Most cases can be expected to clear up with a combination of these medications taken for 3 to 6 months. 

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