While it is not uncommon for adolescents or even adults to get the occasional pimple, cystic acne is something else entirely. These types of cysts can be very painful and often form on the face, chest, back upper arms, and shoulders.
What is cystic acne?
Regular pimples typically form as the result of skin pores becoming clogged due to excess oil or sebum production. Bacteria can become trapped inside the pores, leading to infection in the form of a red, inflamed area of skin. Cystic acne occurs when this type of infection penetrates deeper into the skin, resulting in a red bump that is tender to the touch and filled with pus. These cysts are usually painful and sometimes itch. If one of these cysts bursts, the infection can spread, leading to even more breakouts.
Who gets cystic acne?
Teenagers as well as those who are in their early 20s are most likely to develop these pimples. This type of acne can affect young children as well as older people in their 40s or even 50s. Severe cystic acne tends to be seen more so in men than women, but it is possible for anyone to develop it at any time in their life.
Cystic acne causes
While no one really knows what exactly causes cystic acne, hormones as well as androgens play an important role in its development. Androgen levels increase significantly in teenagers, leading to an overproduction of skin cells that can clog the pores and lead to acne. Many women who get cystic acne initially develop it because of hormonal changes due to pregnancy, menopause, or menstrual cycles. There is also a genetic factor, making it more likely for people with parents who have had this type to develop it themselves.
Cystic acne treatment
Many people are looking for “how to get rid of cystic acne?”. While it is true that this type can be highly resistant to traditional forms of treatment, there are numerous options available for those with this skin condition. Oral antibiotics are often prescribed by a dermatologist to lower inflammation and minimize bacteria. Some people’s cystic acne does not respond to antibiotics, however, but there are other options.
Some women who develop cystic acne due to hormonal changes or fluctuations may find that birth control pills can be effective at treating it.
There are also prescription-strength creams, lotions, and gels with retinoid, that have worked very well for many people with this form. A retinoid is a form of vitamin A and can assist in unclogging the pores so the antibiotics can start working more effectively.
Isotretinoin, formerly known as Accutane, targets all of the different potential causes of acne. This medication comes in the form of a pill that is taken once or twice each day for a period of five months. A majority of people who take this medication find that their skin clears up permanently. If there is a recurrence, the treatment can be started over again.
Spironolactone for acne is another medication that eliminated unneeded water, but it is also an effective hormone blocker, which can help certain people who have this type of pimples.