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Acne Mechanica

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Other Names


  • Formation of pustules or papules in an area of friction from equipment or padding
  • common in the area of the shoulders or chest of football players due to shoulder pads
  • can also be seen where chin straps and sport bras come into contact with skin


  • inflammatory condition
  • occurs from the moisture and repetitive friction under such equipment

Risk Factors

Differential Diagnosis

Clinical Features

  • Inflammatory pustules or papules are commonly seen
  • chronic cases may have scarring or cystic changes


  • Primarily a clinical diagnosis



  • Removal of the offending friction-causing agent
    • Often the condition will subside after a few days
  • If removal of the agent is not possible
    • Modifications to reduce moisture and friction should be encouraged
  • Patients who are perspire heavily should be encouraged to change their undergarments frequently
  • Moisture wicking clothing (including cotton) and powders can be helpful to reduce moisture
  • The area should be washed immediately after each workout
  • Common treatments for acne vulgaris can be tried
    • e.g. benzoyl peroxide, oral doxycycline

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See Also


Created by:
John Kiel on 23 June 2019 01:13:03
Last edited:
3 July 2019 15:57:46