What is Cystic Acne and How Do You Treat It?

What is Cystic Acne and How Do You Treat It?

One of the most difficult forms of acne that anyone could have is called cystic acne.  This type of acne is very severe, the roots are very deep, and it is usually the most unsightly of all types of breakouts.  What is cystic acne and how do you treat it?

All forms of acne are collections of dirt, oil and bacteria that get trapped in enlarged pores or hair follicles and which are not allowed to escape through regular rinsing or washing of the face because the skin forms a small barrier over these.  Everyone has dirt and oil on their face, but not everyone gets acne and certainly most don’t have cystic acne.  The problem with acne is not just that collection of dirt and oil but that barrier of skin cells as well, which shouldn’t form this way over that opening.  When that barrier forms that collection grows into a small bump that we call a pimple.

Address the dirt and oil is part of treating any case of acne, including cystic acne.  But how is this condition different than regular acne and what makes it so much worse?

Most who have acne have a very small collection of dirt and oil that gets trapped in that opening, but those with cystic acne have bacteria that go much deeper than that.  It’s not just in the pore or hair follicle but goes many layers under the skin and then continues to grow or “breed.”

Remember that bacteria feed on things and when they do they grow and grown until either their feeding source is stopped or something comes along to kill them.  With cystic acne these bacteria go so deep in the skin that they get nourishment constantly, like a plant with very deep roots that doesn’t die easily.  Cystic acne is much like that; because it goes so deep under the skin it continues to grow and breed.

Addressing cystic acne is usually a bit different than addressing other forms of acne.  With most forms of acne a simple topical ointment and good routine of cleaning can keep breakouts to a minimum.  With cystic acne you may need to see a doctor to get a prescription for antibiotics, which address the bacteria at their source.  With an oral antibiotic, you are killing bacteria from within and don’t need to try and fight it on the surface, which is usually ineffective with cystic acne.

A dermatologist can also do much to address the scars that are common with cystic acne.  Because these breakouts are so deep in the skin it’s not unusual for a sufferer to have scars that are very deep as well, but there are many options available today to correct these and most are relatively mild and painless and are done on an outpatient basis.  So while cystic acne may be difficult and even downright traumatizing to some people, it doesn’t really need to be.  It can be addressed and treated.

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