Can You Pop Cystic Acne

Updated Sep,2020

It's possible, but you should never pop your cystic acne. This is the most severe type of acne. If you pop your cysts, you're introducing dangerous toxins into your open wound and increasing your risk of infection and scarring.

Cystic acne—the most serious type 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.

Here's how to tell if it's regular 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 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-ups. Over time, these can block your pores and lead to massive breakouts.
  • Hormones. 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, due to the hormones produced during puberty.
  • 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.

Never pop a cyst—this causes more harm than good!

First of all, this does not accelerate the healing process. In fact, if you pop a cyst, it takes even longer to heal. Additionally, the formation exists as part of your body's protection against external hazards. Popping your cyst makes it vulnerable to toxins, increasing the chances of infection. It's also worth mentioning that if you're trying to get rid of the blemish, popping it creates a good chance of scarring that could be there for years to come.

Does cystic acne ever come to a head?

Not often. This is why it's so important to seek alternative remedies to reduce the number of formations on your skin. If you're having trouble with your cystic acne, the best thing you can do is reach out to a licensed physician—like us, for a treatment plan personalized to your skin.

Other things you should never do when you have acne

If you're looking to expedite the healing process, there are some things you should never do when you have a breakout.

  • Don't cover it up with makeup. This keeps the cyst from breathing and further clogs your pores.
  • Don't touch it. It's healing! And, of course, your hands are covered with bacteria and toxins that don't need to go anywhere near the sensitive skin on your face.
  • Don't over-wash your face. It might be tempting, but this strips your skin of the good bacteria charged with healing your cyst.
  • Don't forget to wash your pillowcase. This helps reduce the grime and bacteria that makes its way to your pores, and is often something people forget when considering methods of treating their acne!

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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