I wanted to briefly share how I fight my cystic acne. I rarely get break-outs, but when I do they are relentless and painful, and almost always of the cystic variety.
So here's the basic 101 on cystic acne. It is one of the most sever forms of acne and can develop anytime over the course of a person's life. It develops deep below the skin as an infection which makes it harder to treat. It gets it's name due to the fact that the bumps that develop are 'cysts', instead of the regular bumps you would get with general acne, also called acne vulgaris. It can vary widely by person and may appear one very large cystic bump, or can be a small cluster of bumps. I, because my skin hates me, get the clusters, usually along my jaw line in the same exact spot. Cystic bumps also rarely come to a 'head', meaning they don't often penetrate the top layer of skin due to the fact that they begin so deep within the tissue.
Cystic acne can be brought on by stress, eating habits, genetics, and allergies, and emotional stress. Bacteria, clogged pores, and hormones can also play a part. Life changing events, high stress occasions, and hormonal changes can also affect these break-outs. My cystic acne is caused solely by emotional stress.
Because I wanted to do a DIY fix, and I didn't want to pay for a visit to the dermatologist, I found a way to fight my flare-ups that was over the counter and very cost effecient! The list below entails everything I do to keep it at bay. Hope it helps!
1. Clean & Clear Blackhead Eraser Mask: Once weekly, just to to strip that first layer of skin so I can really remove that first layer of skin, the epidermis, to really get under the pores to get to the cystic bumps.
2. Benzoyl Peroxide 4% @ Target: Twice daily, Remember, the bumps are DEEP under the skin, so regular face wash won't due. It wont even scratch the surface. Benzoyl Peroxide gets deep under the skin to clean the layers down to the bumps.This higher the percentage, the stronger it will be. The 4% was very strong for me, but I also have EXTREMELY sensitive skin. I only washed the areas that were affected with this wash, known as spot cleaning.
3. Differin Acne Treatment: Twice Daily, I've always loved this but they stopped making the prescriptions affordable. But! They recently made it OTC. You can purchase at most major retailers. I use this everywhere after I wash my face.
4. Diet Changes: You'll read a lot of info online that says dairy causes acne, but there isn't any concrete evidence, so I won't say eat less dairy, but I will say eat less junk in general. Limiting fast food, fried foods, and empty carbs and sugars will not only help your decrease your acne, but improve your health overall.
5. Patience: I can't stress enough how deep these bumps are. It's going to take time to completely heal them. I cleared my bumps within 2 months of following the above regime, but the scars are tougher to get rid of. I completely cleared everything, scars included, in about 5 months.
** Although I didn't visit the dermatologist, I recommend you do at the first occurrence of a flare up, if you can. The longer you wait to get it under control the higher the odds you will get scars, and the longer it will take to heal. The dermatologist may recommend cortisone shots for the most sever cases. These shots work like a charm, but BE WARNED, they can cause dents, or sunken spots, in the skin that can take months to heal.
** If you try my method and after two months don't see any improvement, go to the dermatologist. Please!