All of us have bacteria that lives on our skin called P.acnes. Inside the pore, the bacteria have a perfect environment for multiplying very quickly, especially if there is a lot of oil in the pores. Sometimes bacteria get trapped inside the pore, too, causing the area to become red and swollen. Cystic acne happens when this infection goes deep into your skin, creating a red, tender bump that's full of pus. It may hurt or itch. If a cyst bursts, the infection can spread, causing more breakouts.
Cystic acne presents itself as large, red, and painful breakouts deep in your skin. These breakouts can be treated. Don’t try to wait them out. Cystic acne can linger for years. It can affect large areas of your skin and leave permanent scars. A dermatologist can help you with a treatment plan.
Acne most often affects adolescents and young adults, with an estimated 80% of people between 11 and 30 years of age are affected at some point. The reason most women get cystic acne is a hormonal imbalance. So they’re likely to experience cystic acne around their menstrual cycles, and see it appear on the jawline, chin and lower portion of face. There’s nothing you can apply topically to fix it, you really need to seek the help of a dermatologist. It’s something happening internally, brought on by anything from genetics to stress to poor sleeping habits.
Treatment and prevention of cystic acne
Treatment of severe, cystic acne requires the help of a specialist doctor and some self-care measures. Drug treatment is effective at preventing cysts and scarring.
After diagnosis of severity of cystic acne is made oral medications such as Accutane may be prescribed. Alternative to oral medication may be an injection of corticosteroid directly into a cyst which will help reduce inflammation to prevent scarring. Both treatments are carried out by a dermatologist.
Dermatologists may also offer incision and drainage of certain large cysts, but it is strongly recommended that patients do not attempt this themselves as it will likely worsen the skin problem and could cause serious scarring and deeper infection.
We all know not to pop pimples, but never EVER try to pick or pop cystic acne. Ever.
Patient’s testimony about her experience with cystic acne: “I’ve done this before, and I ended up going to the dermatologist over three months later to get shots into my very infected chin and I still have a scar from this experience. While I was in the patient’s chair (almost in tears because my face hurt so badly), Dr. Avshalumova explained to me that since cystic acne is so deep, trying to extract the blemish can only push the bacteria further into the skin. It will become almost impossible to get rid of, and can lead to more cystic acne in the same area.”