• Friday July 10,2020

Acne aestivalis

Acne aestivalis is a special form of light dermatosis. It is also known as summer acne or Mallorca acne.

What is Acne aestivalis?

Acne aestivalis is a special form of polymorphic dermatosis (sun allergy).

The acne aestivalis is a special form of polymorphic dermatosis (sun allergy) dar. It also bears the names of Mallorca acne or summer acne. This refers to a disease of the skin's sebaceous gland follicles. In this genetically predisposed acneiform condition, pustules and nodules form on skin sites exposed to solar radiation.

The name acne aestivalis is attributed to the Danish dermatologist Nils Hjorth, of whom the disease was first described in 1972. Particularly affected by the acne of Mallorca, which has nothing to do with acne or with the island of Majorca, are holiday travelers who expose themselves after prolonged abstinence from the sun again UV radiation.

This happened initially mainly in Mallorca, as it became more important as a holiday destination for German tourists, which created the term "Mallorca Acne". Basically, Acne aestivalis can occur in any sunny place in the world. The skin problem is especially common in younger women.


The acne aestivalis is a special form of sun allergy, which is referred to by physicians as polymorphic dermatosis. It manifests itself in people who are predisposed to bad or oily skin or acne. The acne aestivalis is caused by an excess of skin moisture, which causes clogging of the pores.

Dermatologists suggest that cosmetics containing emulsifiers and fats play a special role. These substances are also found in products that protect against the sun. Keeping people exposed to the sun for extended periods of time, such as sunbathing, using sunscreen products or cosmetics that are rich in fats leads to the development of Acne aestivalis.

From the UV rays so-called free radicals are formed. These substances enter into compounds with other substances. If they hit the skin on cosmetic ingredients such as fatty acids, they form substances that damage the tissue. If the person is appropriately predisposed, the hair follicles will develop inflammation, which is manifested by symptoms typical of acne aestivalis.

Occasionally, the harmful substances also form from the body's own tallow greases due to a reaction with solar radiation. People at risk of acne or acne prone are considered to be at particular risk. Thus, they often show a deteriorated skin and it develops a Mallorca acne.

Symptoms, complaints & signs

The acne aestivalis is characterized by typical symptoms that occur after intense sun exposure. These are the appearance of small papules and pustules the size of a pinhead, nodules with a reddened halo, and pronounced itching.

Particularly affected skin areas are the outside of the upper arms and the neckline. In addition, face and breast are often affected. In contrast, acne aestivalis is rare in the abdominal region and lower legs. In contrast to the classic acne, no blackheads show up in Mallorca acne.

Diagnosis & History

The diagnosis acne aestivalis can usually be made by an experienced dermatologist based on the characteristic symptoms. When summing up the medical history, the doctor asks the patient about his stays in the sun and about the use of cosmetic products containing fat components.

To confirm the diagnosis, it is possible to irradiate a specific area of ​​the skin with UV-A light. This method is called photoprovocation in medicine and triggers the typical skin reactions of Mallorca acne. In addition, lack of acne aestivalis, the blackheads, which is considered another indication of skin disease.

The course of Acne aestivalis is usually harmless. If the patient consistently avoids the sun, the annoying symptoms return after a few days by itself. In addition, the person concerned by getting used to the sun and increasing skin tan itself for an improvement of the skin problem.


Acne aestivalis, also known as Mallorca acne, spring acne or summer acne usually heals in healthy adults after a few days. Scarring or other complications are extremely rare. The disease most commonly affects adolescents and young adults with fat, oily skin and a tendency to acne vulgaris.

The reason for this is the fact that the Acne aestivalis not only results from a combination of UV radiation and fatty sunscreen. In addition, a reaction between UV radiation and the body's own sebum in the uppermost skin layers is possible. If acne vulgaris is accompanied by a severe itching summer acne, complications can occur.

The Acne aestivalis itself causes the formation of mostly itchy pustules and nodules on skin areas that are exposed to the sun. The intense itching causes the patients to scratch the affected skin areas. Constant contact with microbially contaminated fingers can make existing acne vulgaris even worse.

In particular, when purulent acne pustules are scratched and the contaminated content comes into contact with other skin areas. If superinfections are formed, they usually have to be treated with antibiotics. In addition, scratching the pustules can cause them not to heal without leaving a trace, but to form scars.

When should you go to the doctor?

In many cases Acne aestivalis does not require direct medical treatment. The symptoms usually disappear again when the affected person shortens the light exposure or completely stops it and there are no further complications.

In general, the use of sunscreen helps to directly prevent and avoid the symptoms of acne aestivalis. An examination and treatment by the doctor should be carried out if the symptoms do not disappear on their own or last for a very long time. Most patients also suffer from severe itching or pustules and papules.

If these symptoms occur, you should consult a doctor. The treatment itself is relatively easy with the help of creams and ointments and quickly leads to a positive disease course. However, the person affected should pay attention to his skin and not expose it to a long and strong sunlight. This can be used to prevent burns and other skin diseases. The treatment of acne aestivalis takes place at a dermatologist.

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Treatment & Therapy

Acne aestivalis does not always require medical treatment. In mild cases, avoiding the sun for several days is considered the best option against skin problems. It is also important not to apply greasy sunscreens, creams and after-sun lotions on the skin and to use products that are free of fat.

If the patient suffers from itching, envelopes are recommended for cooling. If you have severe symptoms, there is a possibility that the doctor may prescribe a cortisone cream or an antihistamine. However, antihistamines are only useful if there is an allergic reaction of the organism to substances that appear in the presence of sunlight.

In particularly pronounced cases promises the implementation of a special light therapy remedy. With an artificial light irradiation, a stronger pigmentation can be achieved. The drugs areotretinoin and tretinone may be used to treat clogged hair follicles and sebaceous glands. These have an opening effect and relieve skin inflammation.

Outlook & Forecast

Acne aestivalis causes discomfort, especially when the person is exposed to direct sunlight. In this case, it comes to a strong reddening of the skin and the appearance of papules. These can lead to feelings of shame and inferiority complexes, causing the patient to retreat.

The quality of life is usually reduced by the acne aestivalis by the subjective feeling. Not infrequently, the skin complaints are also associated with a strong and unpleasant itching, which can also lead to sleep problems. In severe cases, scars and wounds can also develop.

Impurities or poor hygiene can also cause infection and inflammation on the skin, which must later be treated with antibiotics.

In order to avoid the symptoms of Acne aestivalis the person concerned must avoid direct sunlight and is thereby restricted in his life. Acute seizures are treated with the help of creams and antihistamines. Furthermore, a light therapy can lead to an improvement of the disease. A change in life expectancy is usually not caused by acne aestivalis.


The best way to prevent acne aestivalis is to consistently avoid prolonged sunbathing. If you do not want to forego the sun, it is recommended that you get used to it slowly and start short sunbaths that last no longer than five to ten minutes and take place in the early morning or late afternoon.


With the Acne aestivalis usually no aftercare is necessary or possible. The affected person is dependent on a purely symptomatic treatment to relieve the symptoms of this disease. Self-healing usually does not occur. Patients are usually dependent on the use of medications or on the use of creams that relieve the symptoms of acne aestivalis.

When taking the medication should be taken to regular intake. Possible interactions with other medications should also be taken into account in order to avoid complications. When applying the creams, the skin should be washed before. Likewise, the use of greasy creams should be avoided if possible to protect the skin.

If the acne aestivalis is caused by an allergic reaction, the triggering substance must be avoided. In some cases, light therapy may also be used to relieve the symptoms. As acne aestivalis is often associated with mental health problems or depressive moods, contact with other people can be helpful. Also help conversations with friends or with your own family to relieve mental discomfort.

You can do that yourself

Those who suffer from acne aestivalis, after intense sunbathing, usually struggle with unpleasant consequences in the form of a rash on the neck, upper arms and in the décolleté area. If the rash is inflamed or purulent, a doctor should be consulted. Milder shapes can be treated with a few simple measures.

In order to prevent acne aestivalis, hydrogel-based or aqueous-based sunscreens should always be used - avoid sunscreen products containing fat and emulsifiers. By taking beta-carotene, the natural sunscreen of the skin can be strengthened and the acne aestivalis can be prevented. Beta Carotene Capsules should be taken just a few weeks before the holidays. If the acne aestivalis occurs despite good precautions, this should be treated with calcium tablets, for example in the form of effervescent tablets, and antiallergic agents.

Of course, the most reliable protection against acne aestivalis is to avoid exposure to UVA radiation by not exposing the sun to the sun or clothing to protect it from sunlight. Another effective precautionary measure against the acne aestivalis is the taking of echinacea drops already a few days before the trip. Many sufferers take this preparation in combination with calcium supplements as protection against Acne aestivalis.

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