In a nutshell, battling pimples is nothing short of frustrating. You’ve scrubbed, exfoliated and moisturized, but they just keep returning. Every now and then, you may even suffer from acne that is painful and buried deep beneath the skin in the form of nodules or cysts. This particular type is referred to as cystic acne and can require intense treatment from a licensed dermatologist.
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. When bacteria begins to build up in the pores and dead skin is shed, hair follicles can become easily irritated and infection begins to back up. When said infection takes place deep beneath the skin, you may find yourself with a painful case of nodular cystic acne.
Many women who get cystic acne initially develop it because of hormonal changes due to pregnancy, menopause, or menstrual cycles. Additionally, women are prone to developing cystic acne in the days before beginning a menstrual period. The fluctuation of hormones during this time of the month sets the perfect foundation for acne formation.
There is also a genetic factor, making it more likely for people with parents who have had this type to develop it themselves. Were your parents or grandparents prone to acne? If so, there is a increased risk of developing skin blemishes.
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.
Since nodular cystic acne blemishes may not respond very well to traditional over-the-counter treatments or most home remedies, it is important to take caution when seeking acne treatment. In many cases, seeking the care of a licensed dermatologist is the best way to find a solution to troublesome skin that actually works.
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.
Without proper treatment, this form can linger for weeks or even months after appearing. Paying a visit to the dermatologist’s office can provide a faster, more efficient way to treat your skin for troublesome blemishes and learn how you can reduce or even prevent future nodular outbreaks.