Cystic Acne


What is cystic acne ?

Cystic acne can be considered as the harshest form of skin acne.

The condition is an infection of the skin which results in the development of large-sized pus filled bumps. Such bumps cause inflammation and pain.

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The skin infection invades deep into the inner layers of the skin. It mostly appears on face. But it can occur on any part of the body.  Cystic acne can take the form of swollen, red pustules and can thus appear like chickenpox.

Causes of cystic acne

The causes of cystic acne may be many, but it is normally caused due to secretion of excess sebum. The sebum or oil which is produced under the skin keeps the skin oily and prevents dryness. It becomes a problem when produced in excess and beyond limits. The excess sebum blocks skin pores which allow and facilitate bacteria to thrive and grow.

Bacterial attack causes the pus filled eruptions called cystic acne. Heavy use of cosmetics, stress and air pollution aggravate cystic acne.

Cystic Acne treatments

Severe cases of cystic acne cannot be treated only by topical medications. To reduce cystic acne, oral medicines are also prescribed. To manage the acne, one also needs to observe certain dietary restrictions.

The possible lists of remedies for cystic acne are discussed below:

  • Oral Antibiotics: Cystic acne responds well to oral antibiotics. It destroys bacteria that cause acne and helps to recover the skin condition. Minocycline, tetracycline, doxycycline and erythromycin are the antibiotics prescribed to reduce inflammation.
  • Antibacterial creams: After a checkup, the doctor may prescribe a particular antibacterial cream for applying on the affected skin. Antibacterial creams help in restricting the growth of bacteria which causes the cystic acne. The topical creams which destroy the bacteria contain azelaic acid, or sodium sulfacetamide and benzoyl peroxide.
  • Topical Retinoids: Topical retinoids are used to open up pores blocked by sebum. Retinoids are chemical compounds obtained from vitamin A. Topical application of retinoids speed up healing and assist in skin rejuvenation and improvement. Tazarotene, adapalene and tretinoin are some of the better topical retinoids that help to cure cystic acne.
  • Avoid squeezing: Squeezing of the puffy pimples to drain out pus is not the remedy to get relief from cystic acne. Squeezing causes skin damage, worsens the infection and helps it to penetrate deeper into the skin.
  • Surgery: If cystic acne does not respond to traditional medications, surgery is performed by making a small incision into the skin to remove the pus.
  • The safety in using accutane: It is an anti-inflammatory medicine which is used when other conventional medicines fail. Side effects are inflammatory bowel syndrome, stomach cramps, Crohn’s disease, constipation and even birth defects. Hence one should consult a dermatologist before taking accutane.
  • The diet: Drinking sufficient quantity of water is essential. Otherwise it can worsen cystic acne and prolong the recovery period. Consume plenty of vegetables in diet and take protein and fiber rich food. Protein foods like fish can help to reduce the production of sebum. Patients of cystic acne should avoid consuming chocolates, fried stuffs, dairy products and junk foods which aggravate the acne. Also, reduce the intake of poultry products, beef and pork. One should also avoid/abstain from the habit of drinking coffee or tea in the morning. Instead, patients of cystic acne can go for orange and cucumber juice.

Home remedies for cystic acne

Besides the medicine prescribed for cystic acne, following home remedies can help to keep cystic acne in control.

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  • Aloe vera: The cream products of aloe vera can do wonders to improve the skin appearance.
  • Mango paste: Applications of mango paste unclog the pores and reduce inflammation. A positive change can be noticed in skin within few days.
  • Baking soda: Baking soda works as the best anti-bacterial cleanser and promotes exfoliation. Little salt can also be added in paste of baking soda. Apply this paste on affected area twice a week. Rinse after 20 minutes and follow this process till the cystic acne clears off.
  • Lemon juice: Regular application of lemon juice can effectively calm down the acne.
  • Oatmeal mask: Applying oatmeal paste on affected area for 15-20 minutes and washing it which works to reduce the cystic acne.
  • Tooth paste: The formulations present to clean up teeth, assist in clearing acne. Triclosan ingredient found in fluoride tooth paste is anti-bacterial. This helps in killing bacteria clogged in pores and heal acne. As the direct application of tooth paste may give irritation, add some water and dilute the paste and apply on affected area, once in a week. Wash it off after 10-15 minutes. This will keep the skin dry and the pimples will subside.
  • Tea tree oil: It is well known for antibacterial properties and can be used for cystic acne. Make a solution of 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil with 9 teaspoons of water and apply on affected area by using a cotton ball.
  • Honey: To maintain the youthfulness of skin, dermatologists recommend honey, not only in diet but also for application on skin. The antibacterial nature of honey drives away bacteria and help to reduce skin inflammation. It is a natural cleanser and effective in treating skin disorders. Make a mixture of 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder with 3 teaspoons of honey and apply on the affected area before going to bed and rinse in morning. Continue this process for 14 days to get pronounced changes.

Even the severest forms of cystic acne can get relief from infection within a month by the adoption of a combination of the above treatment methods.

Cystic acne pictures

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