Can acne keloidalis nuchae occur in women?

Dr Jeff Donovan

Acne keloidalis is a type of scarring hair loss condition that occurs mostly in men – especially black and Hispanic men. Affected patients develop bumps on the back of the neck. Because of the predominance in men, it has been proposed that male type hormones or work related activities, sports or shaving habits are somehow involved in the development of this condition.

There are very few reports of acne keloidalis nuchae occurring in women. A new study published in the International Journal of Dermatology described four women with what appears to be acne keloidalis nuchae. In the article, the authors propose that elevated BMI (obesity) and insulin resistance played a role in the development of the condition in these women.

More studies are needed to determine the frequency of this condition in women and to determine if the condition that the authors proposed to be acne keloidalis is indeed the same condition as occurs in men.


Loayza E et al. Acne keloidalis nuchae in Latin American women. Int J Dermatol. 2015 Jan 20. doi: 10.1111/ijd.12092. [Epub ahead of print]

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