Cystic Acne: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment & Prevention

Cystic acne can be caused by various reasons and it leaves behind stubborn scars.

2 min read
Hindi Female

Cystic acne is a type of acne caused due to inflammation and is quite painful. It might get filled with pus and may be deep within the skin. Most types of acne are caused due to excess oil and dead skin which clogs the pores and thus results in acne. Cystic acne is also caused due to the same reason.

In cases of cystic acne, bacteria gets into the pores resulting in inflammation and swelling which can often leave scars on the skin. To know more about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cystic acne, keep reading.


Cystic Acne: Symptoms 

According to the Cleveland Clinic, the common symptoms of cystic acne are:

  • Acne cysts appear like boils, papules, and pustules.

  • Small, deep pits, referred to as "ice-pick scars”.

  • Larger pits.

  • Shallow depressions in the skin.

  • Red lumps under the skin.

  • Painful or tender to touch.

  • Oozing pus from a whitish-yellow head.

  • Cysts may be crusty.

Cystic Acne: Causes 

Acne is caused when the pores in the skin get clogged due to excess oil and dead skin cells. Bacteria enter the skin pores and get trapped with the oil and dead skin cells thus resulting in deep swelling in the middle layer of the skin.

Other causes of cystic acne include:

  • Teenage years

  • Family history of cystic acne.

  • Hormonal changes during menopause

  • Stress

  • Hormonal changes during menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and hormone therapy

  • Use of greasy cosmetics, cleansers, lotions, and clothing

  • Humid weather and sweating

  • Certain drugs and chemicals

Cystic Acne: Treatment 

It is very difficult to treat cystic acne since they increase the risk of scarring. According to Mayo Clinic, it is better to consult a dermatologist instead of trying Over-the-Counter medicines. Treatment may also involve oral antibiotics, topical gels, and creams. Other options are:

  • Azelaic acid or salicylic acid for killing bacteria and getting rid of excess dead skin cells.

  • Benzoyl peroxide reduces the bacteria on the skin.

  • Retinoids to clear dead skin cells.


Cystic Acne: Prevention Tips

  • Use a mild foaming facial cleanser and lukewarm water to wash your face in the morning and at night before going to bed.

  • Wash your face with a cleanser after excessive sweating or after intense workouts.

  • Use oil-free moisturizer.

  • Use water-based makeup instead of oil-based.

  • Remove makeup before going to bed.

  • Avoid touching your face with dirty hands.

  • Avoid picking or popping pimples.

  • Wash your hair regularly to keep away the oil and bacteria from your face.

  • Avoid eating fast food

  • Avoid sugary drinks and snacks as well.

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Topics:  skin health 

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