Cystic Acne Causes and Treatments

When it comes to acne, there are blemishes, and then there are blemishes. Cystic acne is acne that takes root deep below your skin's surface and causes larger, redder, and (usually) more painful blemishes than your run-of-the-mill blackheads or whiteheads. While cystic acne may make you want to stock up on concealer, cystic acne treatment is generally straightforward and easily tackled at home in your PJs! 

What Is Cystic Acne?

Well, cystic acne is essentially a super-zit. When your pores clog with sebum, or the oil naturally produced by your skin, it can create a pimple. If bacteria sneaks in there too, it can lead to a tender, pus-filled infection that delves deeper into your skin. That's cystic acne:

  • It's more common in men than in women.
  • It most frequently affects people in their teens and 20s.
  • It's not unheard of in men and women as old as 50, though.
  • It affects the same areas as regular blemishes, including the face, back, shoulders, chest, and upper arms.
  • If one or both of your parents dealt with cystic acne, your odds of going toe-to-toe with it are higher. Thanks, genetics.


Can You Prevent Cystic Acne?

Knowing how to prevent cystic acne comes down to playing smart defense AKA keep your face clean. Wash your face twice a day (once in the morning, once before bed) with a gentle, organic face wash. Follow that up with an oil-free facial moisturizer!

Be careful not to over do it, though. Scrubbing your face with harsh cleansers or washing it several times a day can dry out your skin. Ironically, when your acne-prone skin thinks it's too dry, it'll kick its oil production into overdrive leading to — that's right — clogged pores and even more acne.

How Do You Get Rid of Cystic Acne?

Hormones play a huge role in the development of acne, which means there's only so much you can do to prevent it. Sometimes, no matter how well you take care of your skin, you're going to break out. Here's how to get rid of cystic acne faster:

  1.  Ice it! Since cystic acne springs up from deep beneath the surface level, you can usually feel it coming. As soon as you sense that dull throb, apply an ice cube to the affected area. The cold will cause the blood vessels supplying the cyst itself to shrink, which can reduce swelling, redness, and the overall size of the encroaching blemish.
  2.  DON’T. POP. IT. It's tempting, we get it, but popping cystic acne — or any pimple, for that matter — will only make things worse. It can cause the burst blemish to worsen, increase its healing time, and lead to additional breakouts in the surrounding skin.
  3. Add a targeted blemish treatment to your skincare regimen. After completing your usual, twice-daily skin cleansing routine, top things off with an all natural blemish treatment. Clean, plant-derived elements such as blue tansy, tamanu, and lavender will gently soothe the affected area while zapping your zit all-together. 

Knowing how to treat cystic acne can make managing it easier and a lot less painful — literally. Act quickly and confidently to minimize redness, irritation, and healing time!