Acne Excoriée: Everything You Need To Know About This Skin Disorder

Acne Excoriée: Causes, Symptoms, and Available Treatment

Acne Excoriée: Everything You Need To Know About This Skin Disorder

Apr 27, 2023

Acne excoriee, also called picker's acne, is a skin disorder in which a person continually picks or scratches acne, which results in scarring, hyperpigmentation, and even infection. The prevalence of this disorder is higher in women than in males, and it is frequently accompanied by underlying emotional or psychological problems such as anxiety, sadness, and low self-esteem. 

According to the American Academy Of Dermatology Association, acne is the most common skin condition that affects 50 million people in the USA every year. Around 15% of women experience the condition of Acne excoriee in their adulthood. If not treated on time, it can turn into a serious skin infection. In this blog, we will discuss the acne excoriée common causes, symptoms, and possible treatments.

What Is Acne Excoriée?

Acne excoriée is brought on by excessively squeezing or scratching acne lesions, which leaves scars on the affected area. The desire to pull out the acne causes this ailment and it is also known as picker's acne. It is widely seen in adolescents and is frequently accompanied by sadness and anxiety. 

Acne Excoriée

Numerous variables that contribute to acne ultimately lead to the skin producing too much sebum under the influence of hormones. In Addition, an increase in skin bacteria leads to a lack of exfoliation of dead skin cells that clogs skin pores and causes inflammation. When there is more acne on the skin, people try to scratch it with their nails which causes the risk of developing acne excoriée.

People frequently develop the habit of picking at their acne lesions to remove them, but doing so leaves scars or scabs and can also infect the acne, resulting in inflammation and further breakouts. Acne excoriée is the collective term for all of these inflamed lesions that were squeezed or plucked at.

Other Names For This Skin Condition 

Acne excoriée is also known by different names which are as follows:

  • Recurrent Skin Picking Disorder of Acne
  • Excruciating Acne
  • Chooser's Acne

People with this illness are more likely to exhibit various behavioral problems, including:

  • Body-focused anxiety, also known as body dysmorphic disorder
  • Disorder of compulsive behavior
  • Anxiety conditions
  • those who have a propensity of picking at their skin.

Main Causes Of Acne Excoriée 

  • Though the actual cause of acne excoriée is unknown, it is thought to be a psychiatric disorder that is frequently linked to underlying emotional or psychological problems like anxiety, sadness, and low self-esteem. To deal with these problems, people who have this illness frequently pick or scratch their pimples.
  • Anyone who has acne can potentially benefit from treatment for excoriated acne because excoriated acne is brought on by repeatedly picking at acne spots. Women tend to experience it more frequently than males do. Frequent picking and squeezing of acne lead to pus seeping, bleeding, and the potential for leaving deep scars on the skin.
  • Some persons who struggle with emotional or psychological problems, such as OCD and anxiety disorders, develop the habit of repeatedly inflicting physical harm on their acne-prone skin by compulsively picking at it with pins, tweezers, or fingernails (even on little lesions). The picking typically worsens the acne excoriée and leads to acne because of the itching that acne produces, or maybe even because of how it looks.


Acne excoriée prevalence is unknown. However, about 1.5% of all dermatology consultations are related to the prevalence of excoriation disorders. Acne excoriée is more prevalent in women than men, having a female-to-male ratio of about 3:1. The age of onset ranges from 15 to 45 years, with the highest incidence occurring in the early 20s. 

Because of emotions of humiliation or ignorance, people with excoriation disorder frequently do not seek treatment frequently. As per the study by the National Library of Medicine, only 19% of people with this illness receive dermatological therapy, and only 30–45% seek it.

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Common Symptoms Of Acne Excoriée

Different types of acne, including mild, moderate, and severe typically affect the face, neck, back, and arms. Picking acne lesions persistently can result in deep scars, scabs, or shallow sores. In most cases, these take the shape of hyperpigmentation or depression in the skin. A few symptoms that can serve as markers of acne are the ones listed below:

  • Acne-related skin lesions that are bleeding or have pustules.
  • Expansion of secondary bacterial infections or fungal infections.
  • Acne-related deformities can range in severity from mild to severe.
  • Pitting of the skin and deep & permanent scars.
  • Mental and emotional illnesses that are underlying.
  • Excoriation of scar tissues that aren't caused by underlying acne.
  • Suffering in the mental and emotional aspects.

What Are The Possible Treatment For Acne Excoriée? 

Excoriated acne is more of a behavioral issue, thus the treatment must include both behavioral counselings and aesthetic methods to reduce acne. Along with dermatological procedures to clear up skin acne, doctors may prescribe antidepressants and medications that reduce anxiety. 

Depending on how severe the acne condition is, many treatments are available for acne. The remedies that will aid you in treating your illness are as follows:

  • Counseling to address your underlying psychological and emotional problems and making sure you take the prescription medicine as directed.
  • Using prescription-based skin creams, lotions, and gels that are antibiotic, antibacterial, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory. The most often used medication for treating mild acne is benzoyl peroxide. Additionally, topical retinoids are employed to control the hair follicles and guarantee that they are unblocked.
  • Sometimes, dermatologists recommend using drugs like retinoids, oral contraceptives, and antibiotics.

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Dermatologists Recommended Procedure To Treat Acne Excoriée

At the time of severe infection, it is advised to get professional treatment for treating the condition of acne excoriée. Some of the dermatologist-recommended procedures are shown below:

Chemical-Based Exfoliants  

For most cases of acne, it is the initial line of treatment. Here, a controlled exfoliation based on plant extracts is carried out at the skin clinic. Typically, it is advised to use chemicals like TCA, salicylic acid, or phenol to resurface the upper layers of distorted skin and draw the younger skin cells from below. This aids in removing acne and acne scars from view.

Pixel Laser Resurfacing 

The top layer of skin can be removed utilizing the advanced fractionated, ablative, or non-ablative laser resurfacing technology known as "pixel laser resurfacing." Consequently, collagen production is increased, which aids in replacing the skin's surface layers that have distorted with new skin cells from underneath.

Dermal Fillers 

This is a short procedure that flattens and efficiently conceals scars by injecting natural substances like hyaluronic acid. Dermal fillers are often used to treat acne excoriée worldwide.

Injections Administered Intralesional 

These injections are utilized on scars that stick out from the skin. Intralesional aid in lowering the size and flattening the scars and eventually in fading the acne. However, it is recommended to undergo this procedure under the supervision of a dermatologist.


It is a surgical and invasive procedure that helps to lighten dark areas on the face and flatten lumpy acne scars. The acne excoriée is surgically removed from the skin using a roller device. This operation requires a local anesthetic and is performed under the supervision of a certified dermatologist.

Before beginning treatment for acne excoriée, it is crucial to check out any underlying psychiatric conditions that might be causing the patient's skin picking. Because serotonin-mediated brain pathways are linked to obsessive-compulsive disorders, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) may be beneficial for both individuals with excoriation disorder and OCD.

 Skin picking has also been shown to decrease in cases of series while using cognitive behavioral therapy, habit reversal therapy, and acceptance-improved behavior. In a recent randomized controlled study of adults with excoriation disease, 1200–3000 mg/day of N-acetylcysteine was found to be more effective than a placebo. This finding was made by researchers at the University of Chicago. Depending on the type and severity of the patient's acne, further treatments for it should be started in addition to these therapies.

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What Can Be Done To Prevent Acne Excoriée?

Acne excoriée is primarily caused by psychological issues that also cause acne to leave scars and scabs on the skin. Among the strategies to stop excoriated acne are: topical medications, such as benzoyl peroxide, which should only be used after contacting a dermatologist.

  • Include meditation in your practice that can reduce your stress.
  • Keep up the practice of exfoliating your skin 2-3 times a week.
  • Keeping one's skin clean by utilizing cleansers to clear skin pores.

You should also take care of your mental health by adhering to the doctor's prescribed therapies. Anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and dysmorphic disorders are a few of the psychological diseases that can cause acne excoriée. Continue with appropriate counseling sessions to stop the situation from getting worse.


Acne excoriée can be caused by a variety of factors, some of which cannot be prevented. Picking at acne blemishes, however, is a practice that makes the condition worse. Scratching the infected region leads to skin scarring, a worsening of the acne, and further breakouts.

 Your mental health is one of the most important factors that contribute to you picking at your acne. And a lot of us frequently disregard this. As a result, it is crucial to take care of both your physical and emotional health. To learn the causes and cures for your disease, seek the advice of an expert. Try the procedure mentioned above to prevent your skin from serious infection caused by excoriée. Get access to exclusive content on skincare, weight loss, sexual health, and more by subscribing to our newsletter.



What Is The Difference Between Acne And Acne Excoriée?

When pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads appear on the skin, it is said that acne is present. Picking or scratching acne results in scarring and discoloration, which is known as acne excoriée.

Who Is More Likely To Develop Acne Excoriée?

The prevalence of acne excoriée is higher in women than in males, and it is frequently linked to underlying emotional or psychological problems like anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.

Is There A Remedy For Excoriated Acne?

Acne excoriée has no known treatment. However, it can be treated with medication and therapy. Its symptoms might be diminished or completely cured with the right care.

How Can I Avoid Getting Acne Scars?

Avoid picking or scratching at your acne if you want to avoid acne excoriée. Even though learning healthy coping strategies that don't entail picking or scratching can be challenging, therapy and counseling can be of assistance.

When Should I Get Medical Help While Treating Acne?

When your acne problem does not get better after some time, it is crucial to get help. Additionally, you need to understand that mental health is just as essential as physical health and that you should carefully consider counseling or therapy if you feel depressed or anxious and suspect these conditions.

Is Excoriated Acne Contagious?

Acne excoriée cannot spread to other people. It is a skin disorder that is not contagious and is brought on by a person's actions.

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