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Cystic Acne- What It Means

We have all suffered from a pimple or two, however, some of us suffer from a more sever form of acne, known as cystic acne. Cystic acne is deep, inflamed breakouts that develop on the face and/or other areas of the body. The actual blemishes can become large and painful, and are often very deep in the skin. The term cystic acne comes from the differentiation it has from traditional acne. Where traditional acne sits on the surface of the skin, cystic acne is deep cysts that feel like soft, fluid-filled lumps and do not have a whitehead to pop.


Cystic acne can affect anyone, however, it is more common in teenage boys and young men. Acne also seems to have a pattern of running in families, if your parents had cystic acne, you are more likely to experience acne yourself.


The actual cause of cystic acne is similar to regular acne:

-Overactive oil glands

-Excess dead skin cells within the hair follicle (pore)

-A large number of acne causing bacteria


Cysts begin as a deep break in the pore wall, a membrane them forms around the infection within the dermis. Cystic acne is not caused by a lack of cleansing, drinking soda, or eating sweets, typically the sufferer has done nothing to cause the skin problem.


The effects of cystic acne can be more than just damage to the dermis. Along with sever acne, often comes feelings of embarrassment, shame, and anger regarding their skin. Some sufferers avoid mirrors, pictures, and shy away from social situations. Acne is known to hurt self-esteem, no matter the age, and can even lead to depression. Seeing a specialist can drastically improve your self-esteem and help take care of the problem. Not only is acne psychologically hard, it can be very damaging to the skin. The likelihood of developing scars is high due to the deep breakouts. Picking as skin or trying to pop cysts is the worst thing a sufferer can do- it can often lead to worsening the acne too.


To treat cystic acne, a specialist is required. Often sufferers will be put on powerful medications to stop breakouts; it can be hard to control though. Many times doctors will try more than one round of medication. Once it starts to clear up, laser treatments can reduce the appearance of scarring and help even out the skin texture. The most important thing is to stay positive and not give up!



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