Last Updated on July 13, 2021 by Dr Sanusi Umar MD

Acne keloidalis Nuchae (AKN)  starts as pimple-like bumps on the back of the head. Without treatment, they eventually merge into a large tumor. Sufferers typically undergo a common course of events. This usually starts with a haircut using a blade or tight clippers. Months later, there is the onset of pimply growths in the back of the head. Many individuals attempt to use over-the-counter treatments expecting their lesions to disappear, only to find that they persist and get larger over time.  Common searches on the internet to find a solution for this condition includes “how to get rid of bumps on the back of my head by laser” or even “bumps on the back of the head laser.” Common query results include many home remedy  DIY advice or the direct sale bump treatment creams and lotions. However, these purported solutions do not work to get rid of AKN. Some provide temporary relief, but the lesions never go away. One possibility for addressing these types of bumps is laser treatment.  If executed properly in the right situation, acne keloidalis nuchae laser treatment can offer an effective cure.

Several key caveats include:

  1. when the treatment is started
  2. the choice of laser used

AKN Laser Treatment for Bumps on the Back of the Head Should Begin Early

If you seek a cure for painful bumps on the back of the head,  AKN laser treatment options should be considered as a priority course of action once symptoms arise. Acne keloidalis nuchae start as discrete or isolated small bumps that can eventually fuse into a single large bump if the condition is not addressed. There are many ways individuals attempt to cure AKN, but every patient’s case is different and requires a particular treatment.

When it comes to lasers, treatment must begin in the early stages of the disease to be effective. So, laser treatment should begin when the lesions are small bumps and presented to a knowledgeable doctor in diagnosing and treating the condition. Lasers have the potential to work well when the bumps are still small and isolated in the papular stages. They are not as effective if the lesions have already coalesced into a flat plaque or mass. At an advanced stage, surgical excision of the AKN tissue is the only way to remove the tumor.

Dr U's acne keloidalis nuchae chart shows what bumps on back of head can receive laser treatment

Dr. U’s AKN classification chart illustrates different variations in bumps on the head’s back; not all can be treated with laser.

How Acne Keloidalis Nuchae Laser Treatment Works to Get Rid of Bumps on the Back of the Head

In many cases of AKN, the lesion is often caused by an ingrown hair that triggers the body’s immune system and causes inflammation of the surrounding tissues. The most effective laser treatment, in principle, works by targeting and releasing the hairs that exist inside the AKN bump, eliminating the aggravating factor, allowing the lesion to subside and flatten. This process is much like laser hair removal. Dr. U favors the ND: YAG laser for this purpose and has had routine success with this approach.

If the condition is past the papular stage,  the laser would be incapable of reaching and killing the hair at the root of the problem. It is also possible that simply eliminating the hair alone would not decrease the size of the AKN mass.

How to Get Rid of Small Bumps on the Back of the Head by Laser

First, Dr.U classifies each individual patient case to determine the best approach for effectively flattening the individualized AKN lesions [1]. He also considers the final hair aesthetics and works to produce the most natural-looking hair growth distribution, without empty areas of patchiness, an outcome that would be left behind after removing the hair associated with the individual papules.

Dr. U uses the ND: YAG as an acne keloidalis nuchae laser treatment to produce excellent outcomes for the right candidate during the disease’s initial signs. These long-pulse laser features allow it to deliver prolonged pulses of energy to allow the follicle to release the hair shaft permanently.

Another rationale for using the ND: YAG as the preferred choice of laser treatment is that it is safe for all skin types. This is important considering that the demographic of most AKN sufferers that present for laser treatment for their bump on the back of the neck and head are individuals with types 5-6 Fitzpatrick skin types (African, Hispanic and Asian descent).

In addition to Dr. U’s own experience using laser on AKN patients, research in the medical community has shown positive results for this approach when applied during Acne Keloidalis Nuchae’s early stages.  Recent studies on the use of the long pulse ND: YAG show that the laser is quite effective in treating papular and plaque stages of AKN. The success of the acne keloidalis nuchae laser treatment is evident in various dermatology case studies.

One study featured 16 patients individually treated in the papular stage in 5 sessions, spread in intervals of one month apart. The lesions flattened into remission in over 90% of the subjects after 5 five treatments. Also, this intervention showed 70% improvement with the flattening of the plaques.


Check our patient result page!


Hard Bump on the Back of the Head Removal by Laser: Dr. U’s AKN Laser Treatments Results

The following are photos of Dr. U’s patients treated using the long pulse ND: YAG laser, starting with pre-treatment images:


Pre-treatment with painful bumps on back of head laser cure

One patient before seeking a bump in the back of head treatment with laser.


Patient before undergoing bumps on back of head laser treatment for AKN or acne keloidalis nuchae laser treatment

Photo shows the papular stage before the patient’s acne keloidalis nuchae laser treatment.

Patient Examples Demonstrating When Painful Bumps on the Back of the Head Works With Laser Cure

Post painful bump on back of head laser treatment with Dr U

Here are a patient’s AKN laser treatment result images, 2 years after visiting Dr. U*


Patient before and after his AKN laser treatment

Patient before and after his AKN laser treatment*

VIDEO: Hard Bump on the Back of the Head Undergoes Removal By Laser

Learn more about this patient’s overall experience and his outcome using a laser to treat his Acne Keloidalis Nuchae condition.

Laser Treatment For AKN Red Bumps on Back of Head

To learn more about this case, visit: patie…

If you are interested in considering laser for resolving Acne Keloidalis Nuchae, sign up for a free online consultation using the button below.



  1. Umar S. Selection criteria and techniques for improved cosmesis and predictable outcomes in laser hair removal treatment of acne keloidalis nuchae. JAAD Case Rep 2019; 5: 529–34

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: Acne keloidalis Nuchae Laser Treatment

What type of AKN bump on the back of the head is best for treatment with laser? 

Lasers can offer a very effective form of treatment if the AKN bump is caused by a hair shaft grown into the skin, causing an inflammatory reaction. Energy from the laser would work to remove the hair, causing the inflammation and swelling to subside.

How much does acne keloidalis nuchae laser treatment cost?

The stage of the condition determines AKN laser treatment cost and the number of laser treatment sessions required. For more information regarding the cost of bumps on the back of the head laser treatment, you can do a consultation with Dr. U. You and Dr. U can discuss the optimal treatment choices for your AKN if a laser is the best treatment for you. At the consultation, he would determine the type of laser and the likely number of sessions required. These, in turn, would determine the total cost of the cost of treatment.

Are there any side effects of undergoing the ND: YAG laser cure for painful bumps on the back of the head?

Long pulse ND: YAG acne keloidalis nuchae laser treatment works similarly to laser hair removal. By targeting the hair follicles to eliminate the source of some AKN conditions and symptoms, ingrown hairs, and follicle inflammation, the follicle shaft is released and hair removed. Thus, a side effect of this treatment would include loss of hair in the treated areas. Most patients, however, would not mind this side effect because of the many failed treatment attempts using other methods; painful symptoms associated with AKN and other uncomfortable symptoms like a persistent itch, discharge and the unsightly appearance of the lesion as well as the depressing psychological trauma an individual must have already suffered.

What is the healing process after undergoing treatment with a laser for a bump on the back of the head?

After choosing and undergoing painful bumps on the back of the head laser cure or acne keloidalis nuchae laser treatment, the area should heal with ease. Hair loss in the treated area can occur, but patients do not need to be concerned about resuming their daily lives after the procedure.

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Further Reading

Read more about a patient who chose surgery to remove the AKN bumps on the back of his head

Learn more about the general condition of acne keloidalis nuchae or AKN

Please read about this patient’s case as he underwent laser treatment for clearing his AKN lesion bumps