Everything you should know about Cystic Acne


My brother would often complain about painful boils on his skin, which somehow did not seem like acne to most of us. We only came to know that my br9ther was suffering from severe cystic acne when we consulted one of the best dermatologists in Pakistan. Strangely, very few people knew about cystic acne and had no idea how to deal with painful acne outbreaks on their sensitive face skin. As always curiosity struck me again and here am I trying to know better about cystic acne

What is Cystic Acne?

Cystic acne happens to be the most stubborn and serious type of acne with painful pus boil on major parts of your facial skin. Cystic Acne is more prevalent in teenagers, women or adults going through a little bit of more hormonal imbalance influx. The difference between other normal acne and cystic acne is how cystic acne requires immediate attention and would not go on its own. Natural remedies do little help and therefore a full-fledged prescription needs to be followed.

Identify if you have Cystic Acne

The most common identification for cystic acne is that they will be usually larger in size as compared to other pimples you have ever had. Cystic acne is sought as more stubborn than the rest of the acne types more so because it goes deep into the epidermis of skin and that’s why it requires more medical attention. Here is how cystic acne can be identified

  • Random Big boils on skin
  • Large pus-filled pimples
  • Painful to touch
  • Makes skin more tender and sensitive
  • Redness

While often cystic acne is found on facial skin, people also develop cystic acne on their chest, ears, back, thighs and arms. The second most common place for cystic acne is a person’s back.

Treatment for Cystic Acne

As mentioned earlier natural remedies are not recommended for cystic acne as it may just spark the sensitivity of your skin. Based on individual cystic acne cases you are likely to be prescribed top counter medications. The best way to find out about what works for your cystic acne is staying in consultation with your doctor. Usually a set of combined therapies helps cystic acne

Here are some common formulas you might want to check for your acne problems

  • Isotretinoin

This is a powerful refined formula of Vitamin A taken in tablet form on a daily basis. Till now it has been seen as the most effective of treatments. Almost 85% of people who took the supplement showed improved skin results within four to six months. However, isotretinoin comes with some serious side-effects

  • – Mood swings
  • – Inflammation
  • – Bruising
  • – Headaches and nosebleeds
  • – Inflammatory bowel disease


  • Antibiotics (Oral)

One of the common reasons for inflammation of cystic acne is the bacteria that accumulates in skin pores. Therefore, often antibiotics are prescribed and they may be effective against fighting the residing bacteria. Antibiotics are not recommended for longer periods of time as it can build antibacterial resistance in the body. There are possible side effects to taking anti-bacteria

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Sensitivity to sun exposure
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting


  • Mild Topical Retinoid


Retinoids are another derivative of Vitamin A. They are quite effective however not as effective as isotretinoin. How they work is by unplugging hair follicles for removal acne which may form because of the skin blockage. For better targeted treatment, they are often used along with the antibacterial prescription. You will often find different Vitamin A dosage of prescriptions with strength formulas.


  • Oral Contraceptive

Oral contraceptives are usually for women who go through cystic acne because of hormonal fluctuations during their menstrual cycle. However oral contraceptives do not work for every woman. You should not be taking any such pills if you have blood clotting issues or are trying to conceive.

Cystic Acne leaves behind Scars

There is a huge chance cystic acne will develop and is most likely to leave scars on your skin. If you do not want the scars to develop, the first thing you have to contain yourself from is pricking your pimples and touching your pimples again and again. There are other number of measure you can do to help with skin scarring

Chemical peels- they are quite effective given how the first dermis is completely removed. Over time regular chemical peels can strike a visible difference in your overall skin texture.

Dermabrasion- This is a new technique to help with improving the texture. Your dermatologist should help you with this procedure.

Laser- Another skin removal method for rejuvenating fresh new skin.


General Tips for Cystic Acne

–          Watch your diet. At times the easiest way to get rid of your acne is not to go under painful needle procedures but simply watch your diet and how your skin reacts to it. Some people find their inflammation spike whenever they consume caffeine.

–          Make sure to keep your skin clean of any kind of oil, sebum buildup and dust particles.

–          Read out the labels of your daily skin products regularly. This is important as you might not know which ingredient may trigger more inflammation and sensitivity of the skin.

See Your Dermatologist

You will be needing a good dermatologist to begin with your treatment journey especially if you have active cystic acne. Be mindful that skin the treatment can take up to months at time. Therefore, make sure you choose a good experienced dermatologist and then gradually work along with him to completely get rid of your cystic acne.

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Andrew Milberg is a Senior Editor and Writer at Seneca Globe News, covering consumer goods, finance and the energy sector. Prior to this role, Mr. Milberg covered politics, technology, services and industrial goods. Email: andrew.milberg@senecaglobe.com


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