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Cystic Acne

Acne is a common skin problem and one that can be disfiguring. It’s most common in adolescents and teens, but adults can get it too. In some cases, the bumps and papules that are so common with this skin problem become inflamed, leading to a diagnosis of cystic acne, the most serious form of the disease and the one that’s most likely to lead to scarring.

What Causes It?

As the name implies, people with cystic acne don’t just have blackheads and red bumps. They also develop cysts that can become quite large and painful and be felt as tender, swollen nodules on the surface of the skin. Needless to say, these tender inflamed nodules that fill with puss are uncomfortable and embarrassing from a cosmetic standpoint.

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Like non-cystic acne, acne with cysts begins within the hair follicle. Skin cells inside the follicle are constantly being shed. Alongside the hair follicle is a sebaceous gland that produces an oily substance called sebum. People with acne produce too much sticky sebum. This causes the skin cells being continuously shed to clump together and block the opening of the hair follicle called the pore. Bacteria feed on the sebum and dead skin cell. This leads to an inflammatory response as they body tries to destroy the bacteria. In people with cystic acne, the inflammatory response is so great that it breaks the wall of the pore and a membrane forms around it leading to a cyst. Multiple cysts can form, and cysts can fuse together to form larger cysts that are filled with pus and bacteria.

It’s not clear why some people develop cystic acne, while others don’t, but those who do are at greater risk for scarring since the cysts damage healthy skin tissue. Scarring is more likely to happen to people who pop the cysts or pick at them.

Treatment

Never try to open up the cysts since this increases the risk of scarring. Twice-daily cleansing with an oil-free cleanser helps to remove excess oil and bacteria that clog pores and make the problem worse. Choose a product that is oil-free and contains salicylic acid, an ingredient that helps to slough off dead skin cells and clean up clogged pores. After cleansing, follow up by applying a treatment containing benzoyl peroxide. This is an ingredient proven to fight bacteria that contribute to cystic acne. Used daily, it helps to prevent new acne lesions and cysts from forming.

Dermatologists sometimes prescribe antibiotics for people with severe cases of cystic acne. Antibiotics are effective for killing bacteria and controlling inflammation, but they have side effects. In many cases, the symptoms can be controlled without using them. There’s also the risk that the bacteria will become resistant to the antibiotic. Another medication that doctors sometimes prescribe for women with cystic forms of acne is an oral contraceptive. Sebum production is driven by hormones and regulating hormone levels with these pills helps to reduce acne outbreaks.

In many cases, dermatologists recommend retinoids found in products like Retin-A to treat cystic forms of acne. They work well, but the majority of people experience significant redness, flaking and skin irritation with these products. In the most severe cases, doctors prescribe an oral form of retinoid called Accutane. This treatment is effective but carries with it the risk of serious side effects including liver injury and an elevation in cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Women who take it must have a negative pregnancy test and agree to use birth control since Accutane causes birth defects. That’s why it should be an option only when other treatments have failed. Fortunately, most people can treat acne without using this medication.

The Bottom Line?

Cystic acne is one of the most disfiguring forms of acne and can lead to permanent scarring. That’s why it’s important to treat the problem as early as possible. Fortunately, there are treatments to help control the cysts and inflammation and prevent scarring.

  

Cystic Acne Products

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Regimen of anti-aging solutions uniquely formulated for oily and acne-prone skin.
$49.00 $88.00 value
EX128
In Stock
 
Absorbs impurities, tightens the appearance of pores and reduces breakouts.
$39.00
2.5 oz | CP175
In Stock
 
An on-the-go clinical strength, oil-free spot treatment.
REG $29.00  NOW $27.55
0.06 oz | VB026
In Stock
 
Adult Anti-Acne System is a clinically proven three-step regimen to reduce sebum and improve fine lines.
$130.00 $164.00 value
SK103
Out of Stock
A fast-acting, medical grade and dermatologist recommended 3-in-1 Benzoyl Peroxide 5% acne treatment.
$19.95
2 oz | KW001
In Stock
 
Clear acne blemishes, reduce inflammation and prevent reoccurrence of acne imperfections.
$64.50 $67.95 value
LPPK08
In Stock
 
An acne treatment that helps to reduce blemishes and inflammation.
$70.00 $73.90 value
2.7 oz | LPPK07
In Stock
 
This duo helps improve the appearance and condition of oily, acneic skin.
$38.95 $41.00 value
TPPK02
In Stock
A pure facial wash that leaves skin clear and refined, without over-drying.
$42.00 $44.00 value
13 oz | BCPK05
In Stock
 
Skin Accumax® is a scientifically advanced nutritional supplement.
$65.80
60 ct | JI583
In Stock
 
Skin Accumax® is a scientifically advanced nutritional supplement.
$115.00
120 ct | JI582
In Stock
 
Concealing powder that soothes, calms and clears with bamboo, minerals and organic fruit extracts.
$29.00
0.1 oz | JB127
In Stock
Four replacement brush heads for acne-prone skin.
$88.00 $108.00 value
4 ct | CSPK70
In Stock
 
A powerful gel cleanser that combats acne and skin breakouts.
$35.00 $46.00 value
12oz | MR214
In Stock
 
Smooth wrinkles and fight breakouts with this dual action anti-aging regimen.
$95.00 $104.00 value
PN066
In Stock
 
Helps to quickly clear breakouts and instantly creates a shine-free matte finish.
$65.00 $91.00 value
MR213
In Stock
Reduces surface shine while helping control bacteria that can lead to breakouts.
$29.00
4oz | ED005
In Stock
 
Clears pores and diminishes imperfections associated with acne and more oily skin types.
$56.00
1.7oz | ED009
In Stock
 
Gel-cream mask helps unclog pores and reduce acne blemishes without over drying.
$54.00
2 oz | KS082
In Stock
 
Cleans and exfoliates dirt, pollution and excess oil, minimizing breakouts.
$24.00
4.2 oz | LS050
In Stock
Rapidly clear and soothe the discomfort of bothersome blemishes.
$19.00
0.5oz | PY1243
In Stock
 
Exfoliate, detoxify, and gently remove impurities for softer, smoother skin.
$70.00
1.7oz | LX008
In Stock
 
Oil-free, fragrance-free deep pore clearing gel.
$54.00
3.4 oz | PT251
In Stock
 
A brilliant sunscreen for sensitized and acne-prone skin.
$51.50
2 oz | DQ063
In Stock
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