What Are The Causes Of Cystic Acne and How Is It Treated?
5 Min Read
Cystic acne is a challenging skin condition that goes beyond the typical pimples or blemishes. This severe form of acne is characterized by the development of deep, painful cysts beneath the skin’s surface. These cysts can be larger and more inflamed than regular acne lesions, causing significant discomfort and often leaving behind lasting scars.
In this context, exploring the symptoms of cystic acne, its potential triggers, and the available treatment options by a dermatologist becomes paramount. By delving into the details of this skin condition, individuals can better navigate the journey toward clearer, healthier skin and address the unique challenges that cystic acne presents.
What Is Cystic Acne?
Cystic acne is a severe form of acne that occurs when pores in the skin become blocked and infected, leading to the formation of large, painful, and deep-seated cysts or nodules. These cysts are filled with pus and can cause significant inflammation and damage to the skin tissue.
Unlike milder forms of acne, such as whiteheads or blackheads, cystic acne penetrates deep into the skin, often leaving behind scars. It is typically more resistant to over-the-counter treatments and may require medical intervention. Dermatologists often prescribe oral medications, such as antibiotics or isotretinoin, to help manage and control cystic acne.
What Are The Causes Of Cystic Acne?
1) Oily skin
Excess oil and dead skin cells can clog pores in the skin, resulting in pimples. Along with oil and skin cells, bacteria may enter skin pores and get trapped. Deep in the skin’s middle layer, the dermis, the skin reaction results in edema. An acne cyst is a bump that is red, bloated, and infectious.
Cystic acne is more common in teenagers. Teenagers often experience acne during puberty, and women may notice flare-ups around menstruation or hormonal changes.
There is evidence that genetics play a role in determining a person’s susceptibility to acne. If your parents or close relatives have a history of severe acne, you may be more prone to developing cystic acne.
4) Hormonal Fluctuations
What Does Cystic Acne Look Like?
Cystic acne not only has the highest severity but also the largest size. Additionally, it’s deeper under the skin. Boils on the skin are a common appearance of cystic acne. Other distinguishing features include:
- large pus-filled cyst
- big white pimple that is red and sensitive or hurts to the touch
- Acne cysts are more likely seen on the face. However, they are also common on the arms, back, neck, and chest. Even the shoulders and the area behind the ears may get cystic acne.
You can identify cystic acne by looking at the following cystic acne pictures.
Where Do Acne Cysts Develop?
A huge region of skin can be affected by a breakout of cystic acne. The face, which has many oil glands, is where cystic acne usually appears. However, acne cysts can also develop on your:
- Upper arms.
Difference Between Acne Cyst and Acne Nodule
There are many similarities between cystic and nodular acne. Under the skin, both produce large, painful lumps. Also, both may leave scars. However, there are some differences between cystic and nodular acne. They are:
- A fluid, Pus is found inside acne cysts.
- Due to their lack of fluid, acne nodules are firmer than acne cysts.
Read more about nodular acne.
How Is Cystic Acne Diagnosed and Treated?
1) Cystic Acne Treatment
Over-the-counter (OTC) treatments are insufficient due to the severity of cystic acne. This implies that if you need prescription drugs, you should visit a dermatologist. You might not notice complete benefits for up to eight weeks, depending on the type of treatment performed.
Consult your physician about these cystic acne treatment options. Certain circumstances call for a combination of treatments.
The most effective treatment for cystic acne is isotretinoin, sometimes known as Accutane, an effective prescription drug. It comes from an active type of vitamin A that is taken daily as a pill.
Within four to six months, around 85% of those who take it report improvements. Isotretinoin carries some very significant hazards in addition to its effectiveness.
If any of the following apply to you, consult your dermatologist:
- acute or escalating mental health issues
- inflammatory bowel issues
- nosebleeds or chronic headaches
- bleeding in your urine, and bruises, skin irritation, and joint and muscular pain
3) Oral antibiotics
If your cystic acne completely covers your skin, you may be able to treat it with oral antibiotics. These antibiotics reduce inflammation and germs that may be causing cystic acne. Dead skin cells and excess oil, however, are not treated by antibiotics.
Because bacterial resistance raises problems, antibiotics should only be taken temporarily. Your physician will probably advise you to begin taking isotretinoin if antibiotics are ineffective.
With oral antibiotics, the following side effects are possible:
- discomfort in the abdomen
- sick feeling
- sun sensitivity
4) Topical retinoids
Vitamin A is the source of topical retinoids. These, however, are not as effective as isotretinoin. These function to eliminate and prevent severe acne by unplugging hair follicles.
Topical antibiotics can sometimes be used more effectively by combining them with retinoid therapy. Topical retinoids are available in lotions, gels, and creams that can be applied regularly.
Applying topical retinoids can lead to skin peeling and redness. Typically, these adverse reactions subside as your skin adjusts to the medicine. Additionally, retinoid exposure can increase your risk of sunburn, so use sunscreen whenever possible.
For cystic acne, spironolactone (Aldactone) is an additional prescribed therapy option. This drug may help with acne by controlling high testosterone levels that may be causing inflammatory acne. Usually, it works best for ladies with acne on their lower face or jawline.
If you intend to become pregnant, you should avoid using spironolactone as it may result in birth abnormalities. Moreover, this medication should not be used by those who have kidney issues.
6) Oral Contraceptives
For certain women, oral contraceptives are a good option when treating cystic acne. If you frequently get acne cysts during hormone swings associated with your menstrual cycle, this approach works particularly well for you.
Estrogen is a component of birth control pills, which may help lower acne and balance hormone levels in general. However, not everyone should use oral contraceptives. If you smoke, have blood clots, or are attempting to conceive, these medications might not be suitable for you.
How Can Cystic Acne Be Prevented?
The following actions can reduce your chance of developing cystic acne:
- When washing your face in the morning, right before bed, after working out, or after sweating, use a gentle foamy cleanser, lukewarm water, and your fingers—not a washcloth or sponge.
- If it seems dry on you, use an oil-free moisturizer.
- Apply face and cosmetic products that are noncomedogenic (water-based).
- Never wear makeup to bed.
- During the day, avoid touching your face repeatedly.
- Leave pimples alone. Don’t pop them.
- Hair, which might be oily, should be kept away from the face and washed frequently.
MFine has newly launched Derma Essentials.Dermatologists developed these acne skincare products, which are customized for every customer and include a blend of natural and active ingredients. Here are some methods for obtaining the best acne treatment on the market. Take advantage of a free skin assessment or free derma consultation to obtain your personalized kit. Discover the world of MFine’s innovative skincare creations, where complex formulas and natural ingredients come together to yield amazing results.
If you are facing severe, persistent, or emotionally distressing cystic acne, seeking prompt medical attention from a dermatologist on MFine is crucial for an accurate diagnosis and effective acne treatment plan.
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