Prevalence of acne keloidalis nuchae in football players

J Am Acad Dermatol. 1997 Oct;37(4):570-4. doi: 10.1016/s0190-9622(97)70173-7.


Background: Acne mechanica (AM) is common in football players. Severe cases of nuchal AM may precede acne keloidalis nuchae (AKN). Factors that may be associated with the progression of nuchal AM to AKN are unknown. The prevalence of AKN in football players has not been reported.

Objective: We investigated the frequency of nuchal AM and AKN within a susceptible population and attempted to identify factors that may be associated with AKN.

Methods: Four hundred fifty-three high school, collegiate, and professional football players were examined for the presence of nuchal AM or AKN. Those with positive findings completed a questionnaire regarding their disease.

Results: Nuchal AM was more prevalent in high school players (15.5%) than older players (1.2%). AKN was more frequent in players beyond the high school level and was found exclusively in blacks. AKN was not associated with a positive family history of AKN nor a positive personal or family history of keloid formation.

Conclusion: AKN occurs almost exclusively in blacks. The level of football play may be associated with the development of AKN. Positive family history of AKN and positive family or personal history of keloids is not associated with AKN development.

MeSH terms

  • Acne Keloid / epidemiology*
  • Acne Keloid / genetics
  • Acne Vulgaris / epidemiology
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Blacks
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Disease Progression
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Football / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Indiana / epidemiology
  • Keloid / epidemiology
  • Keloid / genetics
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Scalp Dermatoses / epidemiology*
  • Scalp Dermatoses / genetics
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Whites