What Causes Cystic Acne

Updated Nov,2020
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Though there is no single cause for cystic acne, things such as hygiene, hormones, and environment are attributed to the development of cysts. These can often be resolved through personal care and medical intervention in the form of prescription drugs.

Cystic acne—the most serious form of acne

Cystic acne is the most serious type of acne. It occurs when cysts form deep beneath your skin, resulting in inflammation. These formations are characterized by their red coloration, extreme tenderness, and the presence of pus. Though the exact cause is unknown, this type of acne is most common in those with excessively oily skin. Additionally, dead skin cells and bacteria are often associated with this condition.

How do I tell if it's acne or cystic acne?

The good news about cystic acne is that it's easy to differentiate from regular acne. For example, here are some key differences:

Regular Acne

  • Smaller pimples
  • Appear and disappear relatively quickly, usually within a week
  • Form blackheads, whiteheads, and papules

Cystic Acne

  • Larger pimples. Severe cases can create dime-sized formations
  • Typically red in color
  • Tender, swollen, and painful even without touching
  • Pus-filled cysts or pus leakage

What causes cystic acne?

There's no single cause of cystic acne. However, several factors such as hormones, hygiene, and products are risk factors in developing the cysts which leads to this type of acne. Some examples include:

  • Hygiene. It's super important to wash your face every night. Oils, skin cells, bacteria, and grime cause build-up which over time can block your pores and lead to massive breakouts.
  • Hormones. You could have a genetic predisposition for this condition. This comes down to how much oil your skin naturally produces, your health, and your stage of life. Teenagers are particularly prone to hormonal influence in their skin's appearance.
  • Product. Wipe your make-up off before bed! Products that linger on your skin and prevent your pores from oxygenating and contribute to build-up. You should also double check products you use for exfoliation and cleaning, as some of these are actually really bad for you. Consult your dermatologist, if necessary.
  • Environment. If you live in a hot, humid environment, (example: Florida!) chances are this doesn't help your condition. Typically, a drier, more temperate climate helps keep your skin blemishes to a minimum.

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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