What Is Cystic Acne? Identification, Causes, Treatment and Precautions

Cystic acne is caused by majorly due to hormonal change in the body. Know all about this skincare concern in depth from an expert.

Puru Bansal
Written by: Puru BansalUpdated at: Mar 26, 2021 12:05 IST
What Is Cystic Acne? Identification, Causes, Treatment and Precautions

The face is the most expressive part of our body, and we always try to look our best. But there are several issues related to face problems which can be a barricade in reflecting your personality. One such barricade is acne. Acne, as we say, can happen anytime, and our not practically in our control. Majorly they are there on the skin of the face but can also be found on the neck, back, shoulder and chest.   

What is Cystic Acne?  

Cystic acne among them is one of the rare acnes which happen in people. But if they do, they are quite severe. In fact, Cystic acne are one of the most painful and severe acne among a huge variety. There are many assumptions made for cystic acne, but the main reason behind this is the hormonal changes that occur in the body. It is a type of skin infection that mostly happens in adolescents and is emotionally draining.   

What Causes Cystic Acne?  

These types of rare acnes occur due to hormonal changes in adolescents. Oily skin worsens the case of cystic acne and pollution can cause the acne to make more severe pus acne. It is a result of bacteria, oil, and dry skin cells which get trapped in a pore which gives cystic acne. Usually, Cystic acne can improve with age, but it is not necessary. Proper precautions need to be taken in the treatment to avoid exposure to severe problems. Even older people can have this acne due to hormonal changes.  

What Causes Cystic Acne

Identification Of Cystic Acne  

Dermatologist Dr K Swarup, MBBS, MD, Skin & VD shares his opinion with OnlyMyHealth to identify cystic acne. Cystic acne is quite rare, and hence identification is not that tough. They are like a boil, which turn the skin red and are quite painful. They normally start from the face or places like the corner of the nose or forehead where there is more oil and sweat accumulation. Bacteria develop there easily and give rise to this cystic acne.  

Also Read: Your Newborn Baby May Get Acne, Know All About Neonatal Acne or Baby Acne

Symptoms to Identify Cystic Acne

  • Large white bump(mostly containing puss)  
  • Redness in skin, back, neck etc   
  • Tender or painful to touch  
  • Large pus-filled cyst  
symptoms of Cystic Acne

Unfortunately, Cystic acne is stubborn painful bumps and go deep inside the skin. These acnes tend to be more on adolescents and women. A dermatologist is the best way to defend yourself from these acnes because even if they look similar to normal acne or boils, they can turn up severe very quickly.  

Does Cystic Acne Leave a Scar?  

Cystic acne, out of all the acne, is most likely to leave a scar even after the infection is finished. Also, because it goes deep into the skin, the hairs of that area may take time to come again. If you want to avoid scars of cystic acne, do not ever try to pick or pinch the cysts. This can also spread the infection to another area around the skin.  

The best thing is to prevent it in the best possible manner. But in case you have them, here are the treatments which can prove to be effective for cystic acne.  

Treatment of Cystic Acne

Only a specialised doctor who is a skin expert can help you cure Cystic acne. Some self-care measure would also be helpful, though. Mild or moderate cystic acne can be managed with the help of a doctor.   

Benzoyl Peroxide- This is the most common medicine which is given to people who are suffering from severe cystic acne. Benzoyl peroxide is available in most of pharmacies and with several formulations, be careful to choose the right one according to your skin. It breaks up blackheads and whiteheads.  

Also Read: How To Get Rid of Pimples Fast? Dermatologist Shares Tips

Water-based and alcohol-based is the two options which are there in benzoyl peroxide. Oily skin people should prefer alcohol-based as it keeps the skin dry. There are also cleansing soaps, creams and lotions, which can be used twice a day for better treatment.  

Possible side effects of the treatment include:

  • Abdominal pain  
  • Diarrhoea  
  • Nausea  
  • Sun sensitivity  
  • Vomiting  

Isotretinoin- This is a prescribed drug for the treatment of cystic acne. It also has significant side-effects and is dangerous to an unborn child, so pregnant women should not take this pill. Isotretinoin is taken 1mg according to every kg of body weight almost for 16-20 weeks.  

Treatment of Cystic Acne

However, in moderate acne, it is not considered until oral treatments prove ineffective, whereas in severe cystic acne, this becomes the first line of treatment. Isotretinoin can have these side effects-  

  • Eye and genital dryness  
  • Dry and chap lips  
  • Joint pain and back pain  
  • Mood disorders  
  • Headaches   
  • Bruising   
  • Blood in your urine  
  • Steroid Injections  

This treatment is only done where the cysts are very big and severe. Injecting this medication does directly affect your body but is a strong treating agent too. Drug called Triamcinolone is directly injected to the cyst to reduce the inflammation of the cyst and preventing the scar. This treatment should only be carried out by a dermatologist; otherwise it can worsen the scar and cause serious skin issues.  

Precautions For Cystic Acne  

  • Wash your face frequently with cleansing products that are not harsh to your skin.  
  • Avoid going to polluted places and remove excess dirt and oil as soon as you can to avoid bacterial infection.  
  • Avoid pinching your skin. It can spread the infection to other places of the skin and can leave a scar too.  
  • Select products which are labelled oil-free, so that it does not block your pores  
  • Never go to sleep while putting up some makeup or cream.   
  • Wear sunscreen cream whenever you go out to avoid the accumulation of dust and pollution on your face.  
  • Do not take too much stress as it is directly linked to acne breakouts.  
  • Avoid food items which have highly glycemic in nature, such as bread, pasta, rice and sugary substances.  

Cystic acne are a major problem in adolescents and can be emotionally draining. Treatment should be started as soon as cysts are identified. These appear like boils but are more painful and go deeper into the skin. There are treatments available to cystic acne and dermatologist should be consulted as soon as it is identified.   

With inputs from Dermatologist Dr K Swarup, MBBS, MD, Skin & VD  

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