Acne is a common condition that isn’t unique to just teenagers. In fact, these common skin blemishes can affect anyone of any age and up to 50% of adults are affected by acne well into their 30s and 40s. However, when it comes to cystic acne, things can take an incredibly unpleasant, painful and confidence shattering turn. If you are someone who is struggling with stubborn breakouts on your chin and jaw area, there is a high likelihood that you are suffering from cystic acne. Thankfully, this is not something that you have to suffer in silence.
Today, we explore everything you need to know about cystic acne – what it is, how to prevent it and what you can do to treat an active flare up. Read on to find out more.
What Is Cystic Acne?
Cystic acne (sometimes called nodulocystic acne) is the most severe form of acne vulgaris. This type of acne is inflammatory in nature and causes painful, pus-filled pimples to form deep under the skin. Like pimples, cystic acne can be caused by clogged pores that are filled with dead skin cells, excess oil and bacteria. This causes the skin’s dermis to swell up, which leads to an infected lump on the skin’s surface.
People with cystic acne develop acne nodules as well as acne cysts. Acne nodules are hard, painful lumps under the surface of the skin. Much larger than acne papules, nodules form deep within the skin and take a very long time to heal.
Acne Nodules: Acne nodules are hard to the touch and are very sensitive and painful.
Acne Cysts: Cysts consist of deep, pus-filled lesions that look similar to boils.
Cysts and nodules can occur on their own or together, but they are often caused by different circumstances.
Where Do Acne Cysts Develop?
A cystic acne breakout may cover a large area of skin. In most cases, cystic acne tends to appear on the face, which has a lot of oil glands. However, you can also get acne cysts on your:
- Chest and Back
- Upper arms
Who Is At Risk Of Cystic Acne?
Cystic acne can affect anyone of any age, but is more commonly seen in adolescents and teenagers who are going through puberty. There can be different causes for cystic acne, including hormone changes, oily skin, and genetics.
Hormonal cystic acne is also more prevalent in women undergoing pregnancy and menopause, or before the start of a period due to dropping oestrogen and progesterone levels that trigger sebaceous glands to secrete more sebum.
How Can I Prevent Cystic Acne?
Contrary to popular belief, there is no concrete evidence to confirm that eating oily foods or sweets cause cystic acne. That being said, diet should not be overlooked as a potential acne trigger.
Additionally, there are a number of preventative steps you can take to reduce the chances of a cystic acne breakout including:
- Frequently washing your face with a mild foaming facial cleanser;
- Reducing stress and anxiety levels;
- Applying oil-free moisturiser;
- Using non comedogenic makeup and facial products.
- Keeping your hands and hair away from your face during the day;
- Reducing the amount of high GI, simple sugars and dairy from your diet.
Treating Cystic Acne
Treating active cystic acne involves a combination of skincare and treatment to control oil, remove clogging debris and fight acne bacteria. Treatment often involves taking oral antibiotics and applying prescription-strength topical gels or creams to the skin.
Cystic acne treatments include:
- Azelaic acid or salicylic acid to kill bacteria and get rid of excess dead skin cells.
- Antibiotic creams, gels solutions and lotions to kill bacteria and decrease inflammation.
- Benzoyl peroxide to reduce the number of bacteria on the skin.
- Retinoids and other Vitamin A derivatives that help slough dead skin cells.
- Incisions and drainage of cysts by a licensed dermatologist.
- Corticosteroid injections administered by a licensed dermatologist.
How Victorian Dermal Clinics Can Help You Treat Your Cystic Acne
Thankfully, the professional team at VC Dermal Clinics can effectively treat your cystic acne. Regardless of the severity of your inflammation, we have an effective solution that is medically sound and provides visible results.
Lira Clinical Peels: Lira Clinical peels are a safe, yet extremely effective treatment for cystic acne. Because Chemical Peels use an enzymatic form of exfoliation, rather than scrubbing or granules, it is able to digest and remove the lesion without spreading acne bacteria. Lira Clinical peels contain alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), perfect for decongesting pores, clearing blemishes and resurfacing the skin’s texture.
Laser Correction Facial: Our Laser Correction Facial Treatment utilises Q-switch laser technology and is especially effective for black head removal/expulsion, elimination of oil, while also tightening and reducing pore size. This treatment can also be combined with Microdermabrasion as an Advanced Laser Correction Facial for maximum results.
Low Intensity Laser Therapy: Low Intensity Laser Therapy (LILT) utilises 3B cold laser technology, which, in cases of cystic acne, effectively reaches under the skin’s surface and targets the inflammation, promoting your own body’s natural healing and restoring a healthy balance of bacteria and oils.
Omnilux LED Light Therapy: LED light therapy is an ideal treatment for cystic acne, with an optimal treatment plan including a synergistic combination of blue light and red light therapy. Blue light works to stimulate porphyrins (compounds found in acne-causing bacteria) which then generates a controlled amount of free radicals which work to destroy acne bacteria. Red light triggers an immune response in the skin that helps to regenerate cells and help with skin healing.
See the results yourself by heading to our Before & After page.
If you are suffering from cystic acne, the good news is that there are a wide variety of treatment options available to clear your skin up and eliminate the appearance of acne-related scarring, pigmentation and lesions. To find out more about how Victorian Cosmetic Dermal Clinics Melbourne can help you say goodbye to cystic acne and achieve your skin goals, do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced skin professionals today.