What Is Cystic Acne

Updated Sep,2020

Cystic acne is characterized by large, red breakouts deep within the skin. This creates a bump filled with pus that often itches or hurts. It's the most severe type of acne, requiring prescription drugs as treatment.

Cystic acne—the most serious type of acne

Cystic acne occurs when inflammation happens deep within the skin. Ordinarily, acne is a surface-level problem. Pores become clogged, resulting in pimples and redness. Since cystic acne goes deeper in the skin, it becomes more painful.

Cystic acne generally occurs around the mouth and chin. However, it can also occur on the back, shoulders, upper arms, and chest. Although anyone can suffer from cystic acne, people going through hormonal fluctuations as well as individuals with a family history of cystic acne are more likely to develop it.

Dermatologists do not advise people to try to pop these cysts. The only way to properly treat this condition is with prescription medication.

Here's how to tell if it's regular acne or cystic acne

When you schedule your appointment with a dermatologist, you should have a good idea of what you have. There are some telltale signs indicating whether you have regular or cystic acne.

Regular Acne

  • Small pimples filled with pus
  • Tiny, red bumps

Cystic Acne

  • Bigger, red bumps
  • Itchiness and pain around the cyst site

What causes cystic acne?

Dermatologists still aren't entirely sure what causes cystic acne. But there are some underlying factors that could contribute to its formation.

  • Family history - Cystic acne usually runs in families. If your parents had this condition, then you probably have a greater likelihood of getting it, too.
  • Hormonal fluctuations - Puberty causes the body to go through intense hormonal changes. This is why teenagers typically develop acne. However, becoming pregnant and taking certain medications can also alter the body's hormones.
  • Skincare products - Acne of any kind occurs when pores become clogged. Make sure whatever moisturizer or exfoliator you use is recommended for your skin type, whether that's dry or oily.

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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