Acne at its harshest is what best describes cystic acne. In this condition, the skin shows the formation of large pus filled bumps on the skin. Cystic acne (acne vulgaris) causes painful inflammation of the skin. This is a skin infection that does not remain restricted to superficial skin but also invades the inner layers of the skin. In most cases, facial area shows acne but skin care experts say that it can occur anywhere on the body. Cystic acne can also occur in the form of big swollen red pustules, thus, giving the appearance of chickenpox.
Cystic acne causes are varied but usually, it is the result of excess sebum (oil) production. Sebum that is produced beneath the skin tissues, prevents skin dryness. However, this sebum becomes a problem, when its production goes beyond normal range. The excess sebum produced clogs the skin pores, which eventually becomes the breeding ground for skin bacteria. The bacterial invasion brings cystic acne in the form of pus filled skin eruptions. Alterations in hormonal balance that are common during pregnancy can also cause cystic acne. Stress, too much use of cosmetics and air pollution may actually worsen acne.
Use of antibacterial creams can assist in restricting the growth of bacteria responsible for causing acne vulgaris. After assessing the condition, the doctor will decide which cream to apply on the affected skin. Topical creams that kill the bacteria are the ones that contain benzoyl peroxide, azelaic acid or sodium sulfacetamide.
Severe acne respond quite well to oral antibiotics. These medicines kill the bacteria causing acne, which in turn helps to improve the skin condition. Erythromycin, tetracycline, doxycycline and minocycline are the ones prescribed to decrease the inflammation.
In order to unblock the pores caused due to excess sebum production, one can use topical retinoids. Retinoids are chemical compounds that are derived from vitamin A. Hence, their topical application can help to improve cystic acne and rejuvenate the skin. Topical retinoids that are beneficial to speed up healing of acne vulgaris are Tretinoin, tazarotene and adapalene.
The main purpose of the surgery is to remove the pus, which is accomplished by making a small incision into the skin. This method is adopted when cystic acne doesn't respond to conventional treatment.
Do Not Squeeze
Squeezing the enlarged pimples is not the solution to drain the infection. This method in any way, doesn't help to cure cystic acne. In fact, squeezing or pricking does an 'excellent job' of damaging the skin, as the infection worsens and penetrates deeper into the skin. So under any circumstances, do not try to squeeze the cystic pimple.
Sufficient water intake (7-8 glasses) is necessary to control this skin problem. In case the body is deprived of adequate water intake, it can worsen acne, thus prolonging the recovery time. Acne vulgaris diet involves staying away from certain foods that aggravate this skin problem. Include plenty of fresh vegetables in the diet. Protein and fiber rich foods can immensely contribute to reduce cystic acne symptoms. Patients should also avoid eating chocolates, candy and sugary foods like pastries.
Having protein foods like fish is useful to reduce the production of sebum. Processed or fried foods such as chips, dairy products (milk) and junk food can worsen this problem, hence, excluding them from cystic acne diet is very important. Also, minimize intake of poultry products as well as reduce consumption of pork and beef. Instead, focus more on eating fresh vegetables. Ditch the habit of drinking tea or coffee in the morning. A healthy option would be to replace these beverages with a glass of orange or cucumber juice.
Is it Safe to Take Accutane (Isotretinoin)?
Accutane is a very strong anti-inflammatory medicine, which is sometimes used when all other alternatives fail to improve this severe form of acne. Although, accutane may contribute to cure acne vulgaris, many patients taking this medicine develop health issues like IBS (inflammatory bowel syndrome), Crohn's disease, stomach cramps and even constipation. When taken during pregnancy, the baby may suffer from birth defects. So, before trying this remedy, consultation with a dermatologist is a must.
Home remedies in conjunction with prescription treatment can work wonders to get rid of this skin problem. It is discussed below:
Products made from the extracts of aloe vera plant, can work wonders in getting rid of cystic acne. Application of aloe vera juice or cream can help to improve skin appearance.
Baking soda that is readily available in household kitchen can also be helpful to get rid of severe forms of acne. To treat this skin condition, you got to make a mixture by combining baking soda with water. Make sure the mixture does not contain too much of baking soda as it may irritate the skin. The paste, thus prepared is then smeared on the area affected with acne.
Let the applied mixture remain for approximately 20 minutes and then rinse it off. Follow this skin care routine two times a week until acne clears away. Adding sea salt to this mixture made up of baking soda and water can also work to heal cystic acne. Baking soda acts an excellent antibacterial cleanser and moreover it promotes exfoliation.
Use of mango paste is a natural way to unclog the pores and reduce the inflammation. Inflamed cystic acne on chin or cheeks respond quite well to this home remedy. Just apply it on the acne affected area everyday and the person will definitely notice a positive change in the texture of the skin within a few days.
Applying fresh lemon juice is another effective way to calm down cystic acne. The size of the acne bumps considerably reduces with regular application of lemon juice. Even application of orange juice can be helpful to subside this form of acne.
The product that we use everyday to clean our teeth can also assist to reduce the discomfort associated with this skin problem. So, toothpaste although formulated to give those pearly whites of teeth, may actually assist in clearing acne. However, make sure to avoid using toothpaste containing gel. Also, direct application of toothpaste is said to irritate the skin. Hence, it is advised to add some amount water to the toothpaste and then apply it to the affected areas.
Applying a thin of layer of diluted toothpaste just once in a week is effective to treat this acne. Leave the paste for 10-15 minutes and then wash it off. The components of toothpaste make the skin dry. As the skin becomes devoid of moisture, cystic pimples also decrease in size. Also, triclosan an active ingredient found in fluoride toothpaste shows antibacterial activity. This in turn helps to kill the bacteria clogged in the pores and heal acne vulgaris.
Make a paste of oatmeal by mixing it with water. The oatmeal paste, thus prepared is very useful to treat this severe form of acne. Apply this paste evenly on the affected area and allow it to remain for 15-20 minutes. After the stipulated time is over, remove the mask by washing the skin with water. This oatmeal remedy certainly works to reduce the healing time of acne vulgaris.
In order to maintain the youthfulness of the skin, dermatologists often recommend to include honey in the diet. But did you know that its external application is equally beneficial to keep the skin healthy and glowing. The antibacterial nature of honey not only drives away the bacteria but also reduces the inflammation of the skin. It is a natural cleanser that is found to be effective in treating skin disorders like cystic acne.
Apply a mixture containing 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder and 3 tablespoons of honey on the affected area before going to bed. Rinse it off in the morning and follow this skin regimen daily for approximately 14 days. Within this stipulated period, you are sure to see noticeable improvement in your skin condition.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil, well-known for its anti bacterial properties, can also be used for treating acne. Make sure to dilute essential tea tree oil, before applying it on the skin. A tea tree oil solution can be prepared by mixing 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil with 9 teaspoons of water. Do not use fingers to apply the solution, instead take a cotton ball and then moisten it with the tea tree oil for application.