Vitamins Cystic Acne

Updated Sep,2020
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To fully get rid of cystic acne, you need professional treatment from a dermatologist. Medicines, like retinoids, help a great deal in improving the symptoms of cystic acne. However, some research has found that vitamins, particularly vitamins A, D, and E, can help greatly in reducing your acne symptoms.

Cystic acne—the most severe form of acne you can have

To understand cystic acne, you first need to understand regular acne. Pimples form when pores on your skin become clogged with bacteria and dead skin cells. This causes the affected area to become swollen and red.

With cystic acne, that infection goes far deeper into the skin than it should. It creates a large, red bump filled with pus. Unlike small pimples, these cysts can actually hurt or itch. And if the cyst bursts, then it could cause the infection to spread.

Hormonal changes play a big role in the development of cystic acne. That's why teenagers, pregnant women, and menopausal women are more susceptible to the condition than other demographics.

What causes cystic acne?

There's still a lot of debate surrounding what causes cystic acne. But many dermatologists believe the following play a role to a certain extent.

  • Certain cleansers - Certain greasy lotions and cosmetics can clog your pores. Make sure any cleansers you use are suitable for your skin type, whether that's dry or oily.
  • Increased sweating - Sweat is actually very good for your skin. But you should wash your face and body after an intense workout. Leaving sweat on your skin can clog up your pores, which results in acne.
  • Genetics - Some people are more prone to getting cystic acne because their parents had it. Be extra vigilant if you know for a fact one of your parents suffered from acne in their youth.

What does cystic acne look like?

It's easy to tell the difference between cystic and regular acne. You should know what a standard pimple looks like. So if you see something that's much larger than a pimple, then you likely have cystic acne. Some identifying characteristics include:

  • Redness
  • Itchiness
  • Large bump full of pus

Regular acne only results in pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads. Cystic acne is something much more severe that could severely impact your social life.

Research shows vitamins and minerals help with acne

You need professional treatment to get your cystic acne under control. However, certain vitamins and minerals have been found to help limit the spread of acne and make it appear less severe. Consider supplements or adding different foods to your diet, so you can receive more of the following:

Vitamin D

Vitamin D contains anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, it can help limit the inflammation and redness of any acne you have. Some foods that have high levels of vitamin D include:

  • Fatty fish, like tuna or salmon
  • Egg yolks
  • Cheese

Vitamin E

Vitamin E can be found in various topical creams. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, and it helps with cell regeneration and boosts your immune system. Here are some foods to add to your diet if you need more vitamin E.

  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Green, leafy vegetables, like broccoli and spinach

Vitamin A

You need to mindful of how you bring vitamin A into your body. Research has found topical vitamin A treatments are more effective at helping with acne compared to taking oral supplements. It helps your skin regenerate to look clearer sooner. The best sources of vitamin A include:

  • Eggs
  • Fortified skim milk
  • Yellow and orange fruits and vegetables


You only need a small amount of zinc to enjoy the benefits. Studies have found that zinc decreases your skin's oil production. This helps safeguard you against inflammation and bacterial infection. Good sources of zinc include:

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Lentils

Be cautious, too much Vitamin B could cause acne

Your body needs vitamins B and B12. But too much could worsen your acne. One study examined pimple-free individuals who then got a vitamin B12 injection. 1 out of the 10 participants of the study broke out in pimples following the injection.

When researchers conducted another experiment in lab dishes, they found that porphyrins were created when vitamin B12 was added to bacteria. This is a compound that aids in the development of acne.

While more research is necessary, these findings seem to suggest that too much vitamin B12 can actually worsen acne. It's still an essential nutrients that helps create DNA and maintain healthy blood cells. You still need it, but you should make sure you aren't going overboard with supplements. Common foods with vitamin B12 include:

  • Fish and shellfish
  • Fortified breakfast cereal
  • Low-fat cheese, yogurt, and milk

Other tips to prevent your cystic acne from worsening

In addition to watching your diet, there are other steps you can take to prevent cystic acne from getting more severe. You should still speak with a dermatologist for a more robust treatment, but the following can help in the short-term.

  • Limit your time in the sun - Too much sunlight can damage your skin further. Whenever you go outside, make sure you apply plenty of sunscreen and continue reapplying throughout the day.
  • Relax - Stress impacts your body physically. It makes your hormones act wildly, which can aid in the development of acne.
  • Don't pop any cysts - Cystic acne tends to get itchy. You need to keep your hands away from your acne at all costs. If a cyst were to pop, then it could lead to scarring or cause the infection to spread to other parts of the body.

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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