Mild Cystic Acne

Updated Nov,2020
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Regular acne can be mild, moderate, or severe. However, cystic acne, which leads to the formation of large nodules on your skin, is never considered "mild." It poses a significant threat to your skin's health, and you need to seek professional treatment immediately to get it remedied.

Cystic acne is the most severe type of acne, there's no "mild"

Regular acne only affects the surface of your skin. In contrast, cystic acne results in large nodules that form deep within the skin. This happens when bacteria, skin cells, and oil become trapped in your pores. They become inflamed, which results in cysts.

Anyone can get cystic acne. But it's more likely to occur to you if you're going through immense hormonal fluctuations in your body. This happens during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause.

Like any other kind of acne, cystic acne can have various degrees. For example, some people may get cystic acne on several parts of their bodies at the same time. Other people may only develop a single nodule. But even just one instance of cystic acne is enough to be labeled "severe."

Why does it occur?

Dermatologists continue to study cystic acne to pinpoint a more definitive source. For the time being, these factors seem to be the best bets for why this acne develops.

  • Hormones - Fluctuations in your body's estrogen, progesterone, and androgen levels can impact your chances of getting cystic acne. All of these changes lead to alterations in your skin that make you more susceptible to a breakout.
  • Stress - Puberty and pregnancy can raise your hormones. But they also go up when you're stressed out. Stressful times often lead to acne breakouts, so do your best to relax.
  • Certain cosmetics - You want to make sure any makeup or cleanser you put on your skin is suitable for your skin type. One that's too oily or too drying can cause your skin to produce more sebum.

How to tell the difference between acne and cystic acne

Unlike cystic acne, it's possible for regular acne to be mild. Some people only develop a few pimples that are easy enough to hide. But before you try any treatment, you need to know what you're up against. A few common characteristics of regular acne include:

  • Small pimples
  • Whiteheads and/or blackheads
  • Can disappear quickly

Meanwhile, cystic acne is identified by the following.

  • Large nodules
  • Itchiness
  • Doesn't go away on its own

Why is cystic acne so painful?

A pimple is annoying, but it shouldn't hurt. When you develop cystic acne, you likely find that it's not only more noticeable but more painful.

Regular acne only affects the outermost portion of your skin. Cysts go further into the skin due to the inflammation. Since they're deeper, they're closer to your nerve endings. The inflammation can become incredibly painful, especially if the cyst is close to one of these nerves.

Tips to help prevent your cystic acne from worsening

When you get cystic acne, you want to seek professional treatment right away. But it can take some time for a prescription treatment to work. Until that happens, you can try the following to reduce your symptoms.

Apply ice

Ice is great for reducing redness, itchiness, and swelling. You should try rubbing an ice cube along your cystic acne for a few minutes. Repeat this three times a day to try to keep the redness down.

Avoid the sun

Prolonged exposure to sunlight can damage your skin further. If you have to go outside, you should apply sunscreen, especially over any areas with acne.

Wash your face daily

It's a good idea to wash your face once or twice a day. You also want to wash shortly after any exercise that had you sweating a lot. Sweat can clog your pores, so keeping your skin clean is essential.

Avoid picking any cysts

Cystic acne is itchy and painful. But you need to do your best to keep your hands away. Popping a cyst is even more painful, and it could lead to scarring.


Stress only makes acne worse. When you're feeling overwhelmed, try watching television, reading a book, or going for a walk.

3 home remedies to improve your acne

You need professional dermatological treatments to eliminate cystic acne. And you should be able to get some additional relief through these home remedies.

1. Use Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil contains anti-inflammatory properties. It can help limit the redness and severity of any cystic acne. You just need to dilute the oil in water and apply to the affected area.

2. Keep Hydrated, Drink Water!

Drinking water is great for your skin in general. It helps flush out toxins to keep your skin looking vibrant. This includes bacteria that may be contributing to the severity of your cystic acne.

3. Switch To A Low-Glycemic Diet

Every food has a glycemic level that shows how severely a certain food affects your blood sugar levels. High-glycemic foods raise your blood sugar a lot, which can throw your pores and skin oil levels off substantially, increasing the presence of cystic acne. A good rule of thumb is to avoid foods that contain high levels of sugar and carbohydrates.

Here's the best ways to treat your cystic acne

While cystic acne is the most severe type of acne you can have, the good news is that you won't have to live with it forever. There's a wide range of treatment options that (when combined with stronger oral antibiotics) have shown to combat those pesky red bumps for good.

  • Benzoyl Peroxide: Typically a main ingredient in many acne facial cleansers and lotions, benzoyl peroxide goes into your pores to lift and remove excess oil, dirt and debris (acne-causing agents).
  • Oral Contraceptives: For many women, cystic acne is linked to hormonal fluctuations. Using birth control pills has shown to help reduce acne.
  • Retinoids: One of the most successful acne treatments, retinoids expertly diminish sebum (excess oil), dirt, bacteria, and any other acne-causing agents on your skin's surface to prevent future breakouts. This powerful drug has also been proven to stop acne scars from forming, leaving behind only smooth, radiant skin.

Treat your acne fast! Get a prescription retinoid, today!

We understand how annoying and bothersome acne breakouts can be. Whether it's picture day at school, or you've got a job interview, acne is not a welcome friend. Fortunately, it's a treatable condition. Our licensed physicians make it easy and more comfortable to have a discussion about your skin and the best treatment options available for you.

Talk to one of our reputable online physicians to get your prescription Retinoid, today!

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