How To Get Rid Of Cystic Acne
Did you know that 80% of women will experience some type of acne during their lifetime? A lot of men & women suffer either from acne, pimples, blackheads, or whiteheads, and all of these can be annoying, painful, as well as hard to remove & get rid of. However, the worst kind (according to dermatologists) is the cystic acne! In this article we will help you understand why these occur, and how you can remove them on your own!
What Is Cystic Acne?
Cystic acne is when you have a large, painful and red (inflamed) breakout on top of your skin. These can be anywhere on your body, but usually, you can spot most of them over your face.
Any form of pimples will form once some dirt gets trapped in your pores. This will cause your pores to get clogged, which will lead to dead skin cells. Cystic acne, however, will feel painful and will irritate your skin a lot more than any other typical breakout, which makes it super easy to spot. Some women may experience more breakouts than others if they wear a lot of makeup, so re-think your makeup steps before you jump into the investigation on the appearance of your acne. However, if you are not a makeup wearer, the following paragraph may help you understand why you may be experiencing these breakouts.
What Causes Cystic Acne?
Even to this day, a lot of doctors aren’t sure what exactly causes cystic acne. However, they do know that hormones play a huge role in both men and women. Why & how? Well, for instance, during your teenage years, your androgen levels tend to go up, which often leads to pimples & ”teenage” acne, as well as redness & regular breakouts. On the other hand, if you are an adult and you’ve just experienced cystic acne, chances are this may be because of:
- Your current (or even irregular) menstrual cycle
- You may be pregnant
- You are going through a menopause
- You have the polycystic ovary syndrome
- You are a smoker
- You are using the wrong set of skincare products for your skin type
- You are not washing your face often enough
- You are eating super sugary or spicy foods
- You are sleeping with your makeup
Although these are not all the reasons why you might be experiencing cystic acne, they are still the most common ones for women.
How Likely Are You To Get Cystic Acne?
Believe it or not, you have the highest chance (and even up to 80%) to get cystic acne by the age of 20! If one of your parents has them, or if they have had cystic acne in their teen years, you could get it from them since it is a hereditary thing. However, severe cystic acne is more common and found in men, believe it or not. Women, on the other hand, often get cystic acne only on the lower parts of their faces, which is a bit easier to cover up and treat than some other skin or body parts. For instance, cystic acne that is on your back can be the hardest to treat and get rid of.
Should You Use Acne Treatments Or Medications?
Acne medication and pills are usually prescribed by doctors and skin care specialists. You should never purchase these on your own since you can’t know what your skin needs, or what it may be going through. If you’ve already visited your dermatologist, you’ve probably ended up with one of the following over-the-counter medications:
- Antibiotics – these will lower the inflammation and are an oral-medication that you should take for an entire week.
- Birth control pills – these are great for regulating your hormones. Women also love to double-task with them and use them as a form of contraception. However, these should be prescribed and approved by your dermatologist & your gynaecologist.
- Benzoyl peroxide – it is a powerful solution that kills bacteria and fights inflammation, it is usually applied on top of the treated pimple or acne.
- Retinoid – the most common one is found in cleansing foams and skincare gels. These will unplug and unclog your pores, remove all the dirt, and get the job done over time. These are a bit more time-consuming than some other treatments or solutions.
- Spironolactone – reduces excess oils and is a heavy-duty ingredient.
- Steroids – this is the most extreme solution which is usually used as the last resort at a doctor’s office.
How To Get Rid Of Cystic Acne – Our Top 13 Methods
1. Clean Your Skin, Always
The most important step is that you are very serious & smart about your everyday skincare routine. In fact, make sure that you wash your face at least once a day. You can also clean it/ wash it twice a day, but only if you are using a gentle exfoliator that won’t strip away your natural oils. The most important step & part? Always remove your makeup! Never go to bed while wearing a full-face of makeup, and make sure that you double-cleanse after wearing heavy-duty makeup items, such as foundations, powders, and waterproof mascaras.
2. Apply Sunscreen On A Daily Basis
Sunscreen is a crucial step for people who have acne-prone or sensitive skin. Dark and pink spots, as well as blemishes, are super sensitive on their own, and they will take a lot of time to heal. Use an oil-free and non-comedogenic moisturizer that has an SPF 30 (at least) every day. This will protect your skin from further breakouts, as well as any redness, and it will keep your breakouts inactive as well as calmed down.
3. Watch Your Diet & Think Twice Before You Eat
If you are a teenager, this part will be the most important one for you! Make sure that you have a well-balanced diet plan, and that you are very picky with your food items. Stay away from greasy foods since these will show on top of your skin in the form of heavy oils! Also, some dermatologists believe that you should stay away from milk & dairy products. Aim for some home-made & cooked meals, and see how a 2-week diet change can have an impact on your skin. You should invest a lot of time & care in meal-preps, and aim for fruits, vegetables, as well as protein foods! Maybe try juicing leafy greens.
4. Never Pop Your Acne
Always resist the urge to touch, play, or pop any skin condition! Leave your acne alone since playing with it will only make things worse. Cyst-like breakouts actually damage healthy tissue, and your skin will look a lot worse after you poke it (this is the case with over 90% skin conditions). You will spread the infection to the surrounding areas of the skin, and you might even end up with an unwanted scar! Only dermatologists and certified skincare specialists should do this for you, and you should never poke your skin on your own.
5. Get A Soothing Facial Treatment
You should pamper yourself every here and there with the right kind of facial. Cystic acne appears because of blocked and clogged pores, which can be open-back up with high steam and the right skincare tools. After that, all of the dirt and debris that are in your pores will come out to the surface. Ask your dermatologist for the right skincare treatment, since each face will demand a different approach. Some dermatologists may recommend a classical facial, while others will tell you that you need microdermabrasion (which we will talk about later in the article). In most cases, you should book your facial at least once a month.
6. Reduce Your Stress Levels With The Right Activity
If you’re under a lot of stress your skin can break out because of it. Acne flare-ups are linked to stress, as well as lack of sleep. Are you getting your much-needed 8-hours, or are you struggling and stressing out at work? If any of these two statements do apply to you, make sure you incorporate a stress-free activity into your lifestyle. Think about going for a run, a walk, start drawing something, or take a cooking class! Meditate, do yoga, and take your mind off things with the right activity – it will help your overall body & mind state, and definitely your skin. Just make sure you find an activity that suits your lifestyle and your everyday habits.
7. Add Ice On Top Of It
Although it may sound a bit basic, simple and plain, putting ice on top of your skin or your cystic acne can make a change! Cystic acne will form because of heavy swelling as well as redness that is inside the tissue. Once you put an ice cube on top of it, the swelling will go down a bit, and it will constrict your blood vessels. You should place an ice cube in a towel (or a napkin) and place it over your zit for 2 minutes. You can do this step every day until you notice a change in your skin’s texture as well as the inflammation level.
8. Get A Cortisone Injection
Cortisone injections are performed at a dermatologist’s office, or even in some esthetician studios. Cortisone is a steroid that you can inject directly into the acne for it to calm down and for the inflammation to go away. These injections are not too painful, and they will minimize the risk of scarring while getting rid of the unwanted bump that is on your skin. In fact, the cyst should shrink 70 to 90 percent and become a lot less painful within 24 to 48 hours! The injections are not too expensive, and you should see a drastic change after one shot only!
9. The Right Therapy
Have you ever heard of the photodynamic therapy? This therapy controls cystic acne via a specific light-sensitizing liquid treatment that targets and destroys acne. This procedure is done once a month (at least) and there is the one-week downtime after the treatment. After just two treatments, you should notice up to 85% reduction in your acne. There are some downsides to it, such as dry & flaky skin, but all of these will go away after seven days.
10. Book Yourself A Microdermabrasion Treatment
As we previously mentioned, we will explain what microdermabrasion is. This treatment is done at the esthetician’s office or with your dermatologist. Microdermabrasion will help with acne scars as well as any other marks that have punctured your skin. Regular treatments will remove any excess sebum, and will also break down cystic acne while calming down the inflammation. Usually, women need around 5-12 sessions for ideal and optimal results. However, be aware that this procedure can be pricey, and that one session can range from $80-200 (depends on your place of living and your country’s standards). The procedure is done with a diamond-tip wand and it usually takes 30 minutes to do. It is a painful treatment, but it gives phenomenal results after 2-3 treatments!
11. At-Home Aspirin Mask
If you want to DIY your own solution, go for this blend! Make sure that you use a crushed aspirin tablet and some water. Crush up the tablet with a spoon and add it to a cup which you will fill up with lukewarm water. Aspirin is the next best thing next to salicylic acid which is well-known for reducing inflammations. Leave this mixture on top of your skin overnight and redo the process the next day. Keep on doing it until your acne goes away.
12. Make A Turmeric Mask
A turmeric mask is easy to make on your own, and it is a well-known solution for inflammations. Turmeric contains curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory power. You can prepare this mask by adding a bit of water to one teaspoon of turmeric powder. Mix these two ingredients with a spoon till you end up with a thick paste. Apply the mixture over your acne and leave it on top for 30-35 minutes. Later on, rinse it off with lukewarm water and apply your favorite moisturizer on top. Redo the process every other day.
13. Add Tee Tree Oil
Another at-home remedy that you can do on your own is the tee tree oil mixture. You should combine 1-2 drops of this oil with 12 drops of carrier oil. Make sure that you’ve washed your face with lukewarm water before you add this oil to your spot. Gently apply diluted tea tree oil by dabbing it on your blemishes with a cotton round or pad. Leave it on top and let it dry down. Repeat this step every morning and night for 7 days straight. You should spot a difference after one week.
Ready To Say Goodbye To Cystic Acne?
And there you have it! Our top 13 helpful tips and tricks on how to get rid of cystic acne. Which of these steps is going to be the first one on your go-to list? Any of these will calm your skin, and you should be able to spot significant results after one week (max)! Let us know your favorite hack, and let us know if there are some other remedies that you swear by!