Cystic acne is the worst type of acne to get, and can occur anywhere on the body.
Cystic acne, also called nodulocystic acne, is one of the many forms of acne vulgaris. It is known as the most severe, although rarest, form of acne. Many people use the term “cystic” to describe sever cases of acne, however, only those people who develop cysts have true cystic acne.
A person with cystic acne will develop deep, inflamed breakouts on the face or other areas of the body. Swollen pus filled red pustules become visible on the skin’s surface. These blemishes can become very large, in some cases even larger than an inch. Cysts are the most severe kind of acne blemish. Cysts feel like soft, fluid filled lumps under the skins surface. These cysts are usually quite painful.
There are some with cystic acne that develop nodules instead of cysts. These nodules are hard lumps under a person’s skin that are often painful. These nodules are much larger than papules that regular acne sufferers get, and they take a long time to heal. It is highly recommended to see a dermatologist if you have this type of acne. Cystic acne is most common in males, especially in teens and young men. Cystic acne also appears to be more hereditary than common acne.
Causes of cystic acne:
- Acne causing bacteria, or propionibacteria acnes
- Excess dead skin cells in the pores
- Oil glands that secrete excess sebum and builds up in the hair follicles
The breakout of acne is only a temporary phase and should not be disturbed. A person should never pick at the pus filled pustules during this phase. Permanent scarring can develop, and bleeding usually occurs.
The first step to curing cystic acne is prevention. There are a couple factors that can increase the likelihood of a person getting cystic acne that he or she cannot control:
- Genetics: A person is more likely to get cystic acne if any form of acne runs in the family. Not much a person can do here
- Hormones: A person going through adolescence produces androgens, which stimulate oil production, clogging pores. This can lead to acne. The menstrual cycle and birth control pills also cause hormonal changes, all which increase the likelihood of getting acne
Then there are some acne causing factors a person can control:
- Stress: Stress does not cause acne, but can definitely aggravate an existing condition.
- Washing to often: Too much washing of the skin can actually make acne worse by aggravating acne breakouts
- Washing too harshly: Just as washing too often, washing to hard can aggravate the skin
- Medications: Some medications have side effects which can cause acne or make an existing case worse
- Picking: As is the case for any form of acne, picking at acne cysts and nodules is a horrible idea. You are only introducing more bacteria onto the acne.
- Diet: It is a myth that greasy foods cause acne, however, some people are sensitive to certain types of food which can cause acne
- Greasy cosmetics: Oily cosmetic products can clog pores which directly lead to acne
Cures for Cystic Acne
Over the counter creams have little to no effect on cystic acne. Cosmetic surgery is usually considered in these cases. Isotretinoin has proven very affective treating cystic acne. This drug, taken in pill form, helps to treat the inflamed areas, clogged pores, and help control sebum production. Isotretinoin can lead to side effects. Please look into them before beginning treatment. Cosmetic surgery can be very costly. There is a step by step system, Acne no More, that has shown to help treat cystic acne.