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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.

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.

Solutions For Glowing Skin » Solutions For Glowing Skin »

Cystic Acne Products

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Innovative, clear acne patches help to eliminate blemishes as they contain the affected area to minimize the spread of bacteria.
$30.00
6 ct | PT269
In Stock ADD TO BAG
Use after cleansing to help clarify and deeply clean large pores to help reduce blemishes.
$29.00
50 ct | JB130
In Stock ADD TO BAG
A multi-functioning hydrator that regulates oil production while minimizing the appearance of pores.
$30.00
2 oz | FC042
In Stock ADD TO BAG
Regimen of anti-aging solutions uniquely formulated for oily and acne-prone skin.
$49.00 $88.00 value
EX128
In Stock ADD TO BAG
Adult Anti-Acne System is a clinically proven three-step regimen to reduce sebum and improve fine lines.
$130.00 $164.00 value
SK103
In Stock ADD TO BAG
Absorbs impurities, tightens the appearance of pores and reduces breakouts.
$39.00
2.5 oz | CP175
In Stock ADD TO BAG
An on-the-go clinical strength, oil-free spot treatment.
$27.55
0.06 oz | VB026
In Stock ADD TO BAG
Four replacement brush heads for acne-prone skin.
$88.00 $108.00 value
4 ct | CSPK70
In Stock ADD TO BAG
A pure facial wash that leaves skin clear and refined, without over-drying.
$42.00 $44.00 value
13 oz | BCPK05
In Stock ADD TO BAG
Skin Accumax® is a scientifically advanced nutritional supplement.
$115.00
120 ct | JI582
In Stock ADD TO BAG
A powerful gel cleanser that combats acne and skin breakouts.
$35.00 $46.00 value
12oz | MR214
In Stock ADD TO BAG
Clear acne blemishes, reduce inflammation and prevent reoccurrence of acne imperfections.
$64.50 $67.95 value
LPPK08
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Helps to quickly clear breakouts and instantly creates a shine-free matte finish.
$65.00 $91.00 value
MR213
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A fast-acting, medical grade and dermatologist recommended 3-in-1 Benzoyl Peroxide 5% acne treatment.
$19.95
2 oz | KW001
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An acne treatment that helps to reduce blemishes and inflammation.
$70.00 $73.90 value
2.7 oz | LPPK07
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A treatment mask formulated to combat and help prevent breakouts.
$45.00
1.69 oz | PQ019
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This blemish serum clears blemishes, normalizes oil production, shrinks pores, increases skin's immune support, hydrates, calms inflammation.
$54.00
1oz | OM017
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An on the spot concealing powder that soothes, calms and helps clear skin.
$29.00
3 g | JB127
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Smooth wrinkles and fight breakouts with this dual action anti-aging regimen.
$95.00 $104.00 value
PN066
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Skin Accumax® is a scientifically advanced nutritional supplement.
$65.80
60 ct | JI583
In Stock ADD TO BAG
Gel-cream mask helps unclog pores and reduce acne blemishes without over drying.
$54.00
2 oz | KS082
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Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser thoroughly cleanses skin, removing excess oil and impurities.
$15.00
6.76 oz | LP117
In Stock ADD TO BAG
An intensive anti-aging lotion that refines the skin.
$48.00
8oz | DV065
In Stock ADD TO BAG
Cleans and exfoliates dirt, pollution and excess oil, minimizing breakouts.
$26.00
4.2 oz | LS050
In Stock ADD TO BAG
This duo helps improve the appearance and condition of oily, acneic skin.
$38.95 $41.00 value
TPPK02
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Kate’s most sought-after Clinic treatment is now formulated to fight acne and help prevent new acne blemishes!
$58.00
1.5oz | KS079
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Effaclar Clarifying Solution gently exfoliates to clear clogged pores and smooth skin texture.
$15.00
6.76 oz | LP116
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Reduces surface shine while helping control bacteria that can lead to breakouts.
$29.00
4oz | ED005
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Clears pores and diminishes imperfections associated with acne and more oily skin types.
$56.00
1.7oz | ED009
In Stock ADD TO BAG
A purifying, antibacterial cleanser formulated to combat and help prevent breakouts and blemishes.
$32.00
5 oz | PQ017
In Stock ADD TO BAG
Helps to exfoliate dead skin cells and unclogs pores.
$24.00
4oz | DV054
In Stock ADD TO BAG
A lightweight lotion for smoothing the skin and boosting radiance.
$30.00
4 oz | DV061
No Longer Available
A soothing gel-cream formulated to leave blemish prone skin replenished, comfortable and calm.
$30.00
1.69 oz | PQ018
Out of Stock ADD TO BAG
Rapidly clear and soothe the discomfort of bothersome blemishes.
$19.00
0.5oz | PY1243
Out of Stock ADD TO BAG
This fast acting spot treatment with salicylic acid clears and prevents blemishes.
NOW $28.14 REG $42.00
0.5 oz | JU115
No Longer Available
Manage breakouts and put your best face forward.
$29.50 $39.00 value
BC052
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Deeply cleanse, exfoliate and renew pores in 1 easy step.
$15.00
30 ct | OL099
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A 3-step system inspired by dermatologists' treatment protocols.
$29.99 $48.00 value
LP110
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Apotent, non-irritating blemish fighter that rapidly clears breakouts on the spot.
$20.00
0.34 oz | OL098
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Reveal healthy skin and help create a flawless complexion.
$46.00
60 ct | AZ028
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Acne Clearing Solution treats and prevents breakouts, redness and restores skin clarity.
$42.00
1.7 oz | MR205
In Stock ADD TO BAG
Draws out impurities and addresses the signs of aging.
$54.00
6.76oz | AZ027
In Stock ADD TO BAG
A value priced acne clearing system with clinically proven results.
$34.00 $48.00 value
MR207
In Stock ADD TO BAG
A brilliant sunscreen for sensitized and acne-prone skin.
$51.50
2 oz | DQ063
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Moisturizer with sunscreen keeps excess oil in check while minimizing enlarged pores.
$29.00
2 oz | PN051
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A concentrated gel cleanser with 2% Salicylic Acid purifies and combats acne while helping to prevent future breakouts.
$28.50
5 oz | VB002
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An acne treatment gel that relieves redness and irritation while preventing scarring.
$72.00
1.9oz | TX011
In Stock ADD TO BAG
A fast acting spot treatment that reduces acne-causing bacteria and helps reduce pimple severity.
$18.00
0.5 oz | MR206
In Stock ADD TO BAG
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