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Combating Cystic Acne: The Overall Facts

Combating-Cystic-AcneAcne is one of the most common skin problems happening to around 90% of the population in the world – only the 10% is lucky enough to be free from this issue. It can happen to anyone, and it is pretty common to happen during adolescence. However, when the acne is swollen and become reddish, and also accompanied by pain, big chance that you are suffering from cystic acne.

Yes, it is still acne, but never underestimate it as it can lead to discomfort and pain; not to mention that it can leave unattractive scars – you certainly don’t want that on your face. If you suspect any cystic acne happening to the facial area, around the neck, or even on your back and the upper side of your arms, consult doctors immediately. Don’t wait until it bursts because it can take a long time. Cystic acne is known to linger for quite some time, resulting in pain and discomfort.

Understanding Cystic Acne
Acne or pimples happen when your skin pores are clogged. There are a lot of things that can cause the clogging. When you are often exposed to dust and dirt, they are responsible for the clogging. Not to mention if you live in tropical area, making your oil glands stay productive to hydrate yourself. However, excessive sweating can cause acne too. Sweat, dead skin cells, dirt, and dust combined together will get stuck inside the pores, causing swollen. And that’s when acne happens.

When the swollen is accompanied by bacterial infestation, it will be infected. Not only swollen, the acne will be reddish, grow big, and cause pain and discomfort. When it happens deep under the skin and it becomes very red, it is likely that it becomes cystic acne. Be aware when you see any reddish and tender bump on your skin, especially when the bump has pus inside it, causing itchiness and pain. You should consult a dermatologist soon; don’t wait until it burst. When it bursts without proper treatment, the infection can spread to the surrounding area, creating more acne and breakouts.

There are a lot of reasons why you suffer from cystic acne. As it was mentioned before, exposure to dirty surrounding may lead to the acne formation, and it will get worse if you have poor hygiene. It is also believed that androgen hormone is also responsible for this acne. When the androgen increases, your skin can change, and it can result in clogged pores. Other hormones (especially for women) are also responsible for this issue. When you are pregnant, having PMS, having menopause, or suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome, big chances that you suffer from cystic acne. Genetic is also responsible. If one of your parents have this condition, it is possible that you will get this issue too.

Treating the Issue
So, is the issue treatable? Yes, there is always hope for fighting off cystic acne. Unfortunately, regular over-the-counter acne solutions, creams, or medicines won’t work on cystic acne. You need to see a dermatologist find the best cure. Often times, your dermatologist will prescribe something special that can remove the acne and deliver the best treatment.

So, what are the solutions? It is most likely that your dermatologist will suggest the following things:
Antibiotics, which generally comes in oral form. The antibiotics are believed to control inflammation and bacteria. However, antibiotics don’t always work well on these kinds of acnes, especially in severe cases.
Birth control pills, which are said to help women control or regulate their hormones. However, this kind of treatment doesn’t always work well on all women. Some women may show a positive response while some don’t.
Prescribed medicines in the form of gels, creams, or lotions. These medicines usually contain a retinoid, which is believed to boost antibiotics’ performance as well as clearing off the pores. Retinoid is a form of the vitamin A.
Accutane, or now known as isotretinoin, which is believed to remove all the possible acne causes. You need to take the pill once (or twice, depending on your doctor’s advice) a day for around 5 months. After 5 months, all your skin problems will generally go away. But keep in mind, this is not always happening to everyone, although most people having this treatment mostly show positive result. And pregnant women should avoid taking this medicine.
Spironolactone, which is a hormone blocker. If your acne is mostly caused by hormone imbalance, then this treatment should work just fine. However, if the issue is caused by combinations of several causes, you and your dermatologist need to work together to find the best solution.

Touching your acne has never been a wise decision. Not only you will push the infection further and deeper, it is also possible that your action will only make the infection spread wider. It is a big no-no to touch, pick, pinch, or try to burst the acne on your own.

It is also a good advice to try to relax. Stress will make your hormones become more active, which will only aggravate the issue. Not to mention that it is possible you have to deal with other medical conditions if you are stressed out.

If you have poor or bad habits and lifestyle, it is a good time to change. Being free from stress, getting enough sleep and rest, exercising, and eating more healthily are just steps of turning your life into a healthier state. It doesn’t hurt to include low glycemic diet (limiting your sugar intake), which is claimed to help to relieve the symptoms.

Other Possible Treatments
Health experts also say that the habits you develop at night can contribute to the problem – whether you make it worse or better. These are the things you can do at night before you go to bed. This is better done at night because it doesn’t require you to apply makeup, so it will work more effectively and efficiently. But keep in mind, though, to always consult your dermatologist whether this treatment is safe for you or not – you don’t want to take risks and chances, do you?

You can apply salicylic acid that will exfoliate your skin gently. Remember that cystic acne can’t be treated with regular medications. There are a lot of products containing salicylic acid that are safe for your skin. These products can help removing the excess oil and exfoliating the skin. However, if you have dry skin, it is better to only apply the product on the affected area only, while still using your normal and regular products on other areas.

If your acne is swollen, you want to reduce the swelling first. You can use ice cubes to do so. Wrap the ice cubes inside a paper towel (be sure to use the soft one) and apply to the swollen bumps. Not only it will soothe the itchiness or pain, it will also reduce the swelling as well as the redness. Here is a handy tip: do this method after washing your face. When you do this BEFORE the washing (especially when your skin is still warm), it may not work very effectively to reduce the swelling.

If your acne is infested with bacteria, you certainly want to kill them first. Use products containing benzoyl peroxide, which is very effective in killing off bacteria responsible for the inflammation. However, you need to apply light moisturizer first on the affected area to prepare your skin, and then apply the benzoyl peroxide. You don’t need to apply a large amount of it; a very thin layer of the product will be just fine. Be aware of burning or tingling sensation after the application because it means that the product is too strong for you. Wash it off right away if you suffer from this sensation.

Besides using ice cubes, you can also use hydrocortisone creams containing steroids (in very low dose) to deal with the redness and large acne. The cream can help the acne shrink in size and provide a soothing sensation. If you are going to use the cream with benzoyl peroxide, however, be sure that it dries up first before applying the hydrocortisone cream.

Home Remedies
In case chemical medicines are too strong for you or you don’t want to have any treatments or care by using chemical products, you can always try various cystic acne home remedy tips and methods. You may have to apply the remedy regularly and on a longer period of time, but home remedies are usually safer and gentler because they use natural ingredients.

Baking Soda
Thanks to its natural anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, baking soda helps to balance pH level and to remove cystic acne without fuss. It also helps to exfoliate the skin as well as absorbing excessive oil. You can use baking soda in various ways:
Mix it with water into a paste and then apply it to the acne. Leave it for 20 minutes before cleaning it off with warm water. You can repeat this application twice a day and see how it works for you.
Mix it with sea salt until it forms a paste, and then apply it to the acne. Leave it for only 5 minutes and cleanse it off with water. Do this twice a day.

ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar)
It helps outbreaks as well as balancing the pH level. Remember not to use it too much because of the high acid level. Simply use a cotton ball to dab this ACV into the acne. Do this before you go to bed. Cleanse it off the next day. Repeat the process regularly and see the amazing result.

There are endless options when it comes to home remedy treatments. Here are some other ingredients you can try:
Tea tree oil. Thanks to its natural antibacterial trait, this oil can remove the clogging, dry the blemishes, and disinfect the pores. You can use a cotton ball to apply it to the acne before you go to bed. Leave it overnight and use warm water the next day to cleanse it off. Do this regularly. You can also mix it with water and then apply it to the acne. Leave it for only 5 minutes before cleaning it off with water.
Egg whites. Since it contains riboflavin and proteins, it makes your skin smooth and it will also clear your skin from acne. Apply it to the acne and leave it for around 10 minutes. Wash it off with warm water and see the result yourself.
Coconut oil. Coconut oil is packed with vitamins and mineral. Not to mention that it has natural anti-bacterial. It is also good for hydrating your skin. Apply 10 drops of coconut oil to the acne before going to bed. Wash it off with water the next day. Be sure to use unrefined coconut oil.
Clay mask. Clay helps to exfoliate and to clean the skin while getting rid of dead skin cells and removing excessive oil at the same time. Clay can also help preventing scar formation and making the healing process go faster. Make a paste of it and then apply it to the acne. Wait until it dries off and then cleanse it off with water. Do this around 2 times a day.
Aloe vera. It has been known for its natural soothing agent and anti-inflammatory trait since ancient times. Use aloe vera juice or gel, apply it to the acne, and then massage it gently for around 3 minutes. Leave it be for around 5 minutes before cleaning it off with water. Not only it will help removing the acne, it will also make your skin soft, supple, and healthy.
Potato. Potatoes have a high level of vitamins that can reduce inflammation and redness. Peel the potatoes and extra the juice. Apply the juice on the acne and leave it for 15 minutes before cleaning it off with water.
Steaming. Not only it will open pores, it will also provide deep cleaning, so any dirt underneath the skin will be removed. You need to use a bowl of hot water and a towel. Cover your head with the towel while your face is hovering above the bowl. You will feel the hot steam on your face; that’s fine. Leave it for 10 minutes.