Cystic Acne

Cystic acne is the most severe and difficult form of acne to treat. Cystic acne affects deeper tissue of the skin than common acne. Cysts that occur are types of abscesses that occur when oil ducts become inflamed. Cystic acne occurs most frequently on the chin and around the mouth, but can occur anywhere on the body. One of the most common complaints of cystic acne is the pain that is associated with it. People who suffer from this severe form of acne will need to see a dermatologist for an effective method of acne treatment.

Cysts should never be popped. Scarring is much more common in cystic acne because of the collagen-damaging infection of deep tissue. Because the cysts form under the skin, trying to pop a cyst will damage multiple layers of skin – unlike common acne which is very superficial. For severe cysts that are painful and large, lancing can be performed at a dermatologist’s office. Lancing will help drain the cyst and release the infection from deep within the skin. This should not be done at home because improper lancing may result in scarring and infection.

Cystic acne is caused by the same factors as other forms of acne: overactive oil glands, excess dead skin cells, bacteria, and hormonal imbalances and spikes (e.g. pregnancy, puberty, and menstruation). Acne tends to run in families, and those with a family history of cystic acne are more likely to experience this same severe acne. For many, cystic acne is debilitating and causes a great deal of self-consciousness. Cystic acne does not heal as quickly as common acne, and people are often embarrassed by the ongoing appearance of their skin.

If you suffer from cystic acne call your dermatologist for a specified treatment plan. It is often necessary to take a more aggressive form of treatment in order to control cystic acne, and not everyone is a candidate for all treatment plans. Your doctor will be able to work with you and your stage of life to help clear up your skin so that you can feel confident again.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Jodi E. Ganz, Olansky Dermatology Associates


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