Cystic acne: Overview

Cystic acne is the most serious type of acne which can result from a combination of bacteria, oil, and dry skin cells that get trapped in your pores.

Updated: January 13, 2018

Cystic acne is the most serious type of acne which can result from a combination of bacteria, oil, and dry skin cells that get trapped in your pores. When pores become blocked by excess sebum, skin cells, and bacteria, an infection can rise up in the pore. Cystic acne is a result of the most severe types of pore blockages. A large, inflamed acne lesions form deep within the skin and result in painful, large bumps visible from the surface.
Although anyone can develop acne, cystic acne mostly occur in people with oily skin. It is also more common in teens, women, and older adults with hormonal imbalances. During the onset of puberty, severe cystic acne causes are triggered by hormonal changes. Sebum is an oily substance that comes out of the pores to help protect and lubricate the skin, keeping it soft. The level of androgen hormones increases during puberty.
The oil glands of the skin produces an excess of sebum when a higher amount of androgens are produced. This leads to an excess of sebum and an increase of skin cell proliferation which results in clogging the pores and developing cystic acne.
It is common to experience cystic acne around their menstrual cycles for adult women. This occurs especially on the the jawline and chin, which are the common areas for hormonally motivated breakouts.
Usually, cystic acne get clear with age. If it doesn't get clear with time on their own, you need to consult dermatologist who can prescribe the medication necessary to help clear your skin.
An acne cyst contains a hollow cavity or sac area in which fluid and liquid builds up. Cystic acne lesions are most often felt beneath the skin before they are seen and are generally softer than nodules. As acne cysts are deep within the skin. Therefore squeezing or attempting to self-extract these lesions can actually worsen the condition, slow down the healing process, and may develop permanent and deep scarring.
The symptoms may include large, red and painful breakouts on the face, chest, back, upper arms, shoulders and thighs which are painful to the touch or even when not touched.
Corticosteroids, lithium, phenytoin, isoniazid are some of the drugs, which may worsen or cause eruptions that are similar to acne.
Cystic acne is easy to diagnose to by a dermatologist and does not require any special tests. Over-the-counter (OTC) treatments for acne are not strong enough if cystic acne is more severe. You may need to see a dermatologist for prescription medications. These include Isotretinoin, Topical Retinoids, Oral antibiotics, Spironolactone and Oral contraceptives.
Cystic acne can develop into a scar and skin blemishes, including ice pick scars, larger pits in the skin, shallow depressions, and red, raised scars without proper treatment.
Cystic acne can be really challenging to manage, especially when it starts to effect your mood and self-esteem. It may take time to get rid of cystic acne and the scars, but you can do it by a natural and holistic approach.
Once you have resolved your cystic acne problem , it is essential to stick with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Drink plenty of water, and keep up a simple, natural skin care routine. Clear, healthy skin is a reflection of good inner health. So if you continue to make healthy choices on a daily basis, then you will not find it difficult to keep cystic acne away for sure.

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