Sometimes your pores can be clogged by dirt, dead cells and excess sebum. When bacteria get inside those clogged pores, swollen pimples will appear. When the infection develops, it creates a blockage full of pus deep down into the skin, which can be itchy and even painful. This is call cystic acne.
Cystic acne is caused by hormone imbalance. The increase of hormones called androgens pushes the skin’s oil glands to over-produce sebum. When the amount of sebum produced becomes too much, the oil glands cannot handle it themselves and end up bursting underneath the skin. The result is swollen cysts. People usually encounter cystic acne in their puberty. In women, cystic acne tends to appear during menstrual cycles, pregnancy and menopause. A medical condition called polycystic ovary syndrome can also cause cystic acne.
Since cysts are located deeply under the skin, normal tropical treatments for acnes usually do not work. You need to visit a dermatologist to get the most accurate diagnosis. Possible treatments include:
- Oral antibiotics to ease the inflammation and prevent infections from spreading.
- Hormone treatments.
- A strong topical retinoid to clear the pores.
- Isotretinoin to control the oil glands, stoping it from producing oil. Though isotretinoin comes with serious side effects such as dry skin, hair loss, nose bleeds, liver function problems, and headaches, it still remains the most effective solution to treat cystic acne.
To aid the treatment, you should adjust your skincare routine to be as simple as possible so that your skin will not be overwhelmed with too many products. Wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser. Besides, stick to a light-weight and oil-free moisturizer.
Cystic acne can be very painful, both physical and psychological. However, you need to relax because stress will only mess up your hormone levels and make the situation worse. With proper medications, cystic acnes can be controlled.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnose or treatment.
Review Date: September 9, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017
Cystic Acne: What Is It and How Do You Treat It? http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/cystic-acne#2. Assessed August 28, 2016.
Cystic Acne Agony. http://www.paulaschoice.com/expert-advice/acne/_/cystic-acne-agony. Assessed August 28, 2016.