Cystic acne is the worst. Not only are the cysts and nodules quite large but they are incredibly painful as well. You don’t want to leave the house, you feel like no one else understands what you’re going through, and it’s embarrassing. Before we delve into why cystic acne occurs and how to treat it, we at Acne Skin Site want to make this very clear: YOU ARE AMAZING. Your acne does not define you. You are beautiful inside and out. This is a temporary problem that can be resolved.
Acne vulgaris is what forms when oil glands become clogged and inflamed. Though most common in teenagers and young adults, anyone can develop acne and in more severe cases result in nodules and/or cysts that are 5mm or more in diameter. Nodules are deep, hard, painful lumps that form on the face, chest, and back and can last for months. The infection below the skin is so concentrated and hard that it is impossible to pop a nodule and it’s never recommended to attempt to pop or puncture them. A cyst is almost identical to a nodule except a cyst is puss-filled. Attempting to puncture a cyst will only cause a more severe infection and can spread to other areas of your face or breakout area.
It’s very important to see a dermatologist to help treat cystic acne. He or she may try a number of things until they find what works best for you and your skin. One possibility is prescribing a topical treatment or combination of topical treatments to use morning and night. Please note that your acne will more than likely get worse before it gets better with the use of antibiotics. This is because the medicine pulls all infection to the surface so don’t despair if your results are not immediate. It can take up to a month and a half to see positive results but it’s worth it.
In some cases, your dermatologist may administer a cortisone shot if prescriptive medicine does not work or if you have a big event coming up and need a “quick fix” to try to decrease swelling and infection. The goal of receiving a cortisone shot is not only to rid your skin of cysts, but to also reduce scarring. Cortisone is a natural chemical created in our bodies and reduces inflammation which is why it can be so effective when injected right in the infection. Though it may work rather quickly at healing the area, it can leave the area looking sunken in due to the fatty tissue that forms around the cortisone. It’s a temporary side effect but can last up to a few months.
Make sure not to over cleanse your face, 2-3 times a day at most. Use a gentle cleanser and oil-free and fragrance-free moisturizer after every cleansing. Exfoliate gently 2-3 times a week to remove cellular build-up and to allow renewed skin to surface. Make your dermatologist your best friend and make sure to communicate your fears and such with him or her. If you feel like you don’t mesh well with your doctor then find another! And remember, there is light at the end of this tunnel!