Cystic acne is one of the most annoying skin conditions you can end up having to unexpectedly deal with. It’s like regular acne, except it leaves really bad scars and doesn’t go away easily. In fact, it often takes a lot of very careful treatment just to get it to stop spreading, so understanding how to prevent it and lessen its effects is really important if you’re hoping to treat it quickly, efficiently and reliably.

How Is Cystic Acne Caused?

In most cases, cystic acne has some relation to your hormone levels, although there are various other possible causes. It’s also often linked to the oil glands in your skin – these can sometimes be triggered by hormonal changes, as well as big changes to your diet. Sometimes it’s just a purely natural occurrence that doesn’t have anything to do with changes you’ve made, and it’s not always possible to pinpoint the cause directly.

You can try to figure out a possible cause by changing what you eat: in some cases, cutting out daily for a while can actually improve your complexion, since no more new cysts will develop. However, since you can’t really do the same for your skin oil, you’ll need a more active solution anyway.

What Not To Do

First things first, don’t just treat cystic acne like normal acne – this will often make it even more irritated, speeding up the spread and hurting you more than it heals the scars. This includes behaviour like putting generic creams and moisturisers on your face, especially if they’re thick, as well as using any kind of abrasive or dead-skin-clearing wipes or pads. The only thing worse than having cystic acne is making it worse by accident.

Make sure you get checked by a real dermatologist, doctor or skincare professional if you suspect you have acne – don’t assume it’s just clogged pores or dry skin. If it is cystic acne, you’ll want to make sure you’re using the right treatments, and if it isn’t cystic acne then you may end up using treatments that aren’t helping you solve whatever the problem is.

Don’t randomly select a treatment, either: take time to go through all of the common home remedies and treatments, rather than just relying on something like a cortisone shot. They’re most expensive, more likely to harm your skin in the short-term due to the way they heal the acne, and are generally just a waste of time and money if something simpler would do the same thing.

Getting Rid of Cystic Acne

The most important rule of having cysts is to leave them alone. Unlike a pimple or zit, you can’t pop them or pick them to get rid of them faster in exchange for a little bit of pain, and it’ll actually make things much worse. Cysts directly damage the healthy skin tissue on your body, so trying to pop them will just spread them even further and increase the chance of them becoming scars. Keep in mind that some types of cystic acne actually form underneath the skin, too – these become much more difficult to treat directly.
If you’re dealing with below-the-skin cysts, use treatments that are specially designed for them. Surface-level treatments won’t penetrate your skin and do much to the cysts underneath, and might irritate healthy skin in areas where there isn’t actually any surface cysts. In the same way, if they’re all just on the surface, don’t use treatments that go beneath the skin unless you really need to.

Some people claim that you can use blue LED lights to kill bacteria beneath your skin, and there are special products (including entire face masks) designed around this concept. Since it’s a re-usable method, it’s quite a cheap way to future-proof for coping with cystic acne breakouts in the future. However, if that doesn’t work, you can just use anti-cyst treatments or lymphatic drainage massages to stop the growth of the cysts and balance out the level of liquid under your skin.

If problems still persist after you’ve tried all reasonable home remedies, go and see a doctor. There’s always a chance that the cystic acne can be a sign of something bigger, which may need more in-depth treatment to fix.