What is it?

Have you ever had a pimple that you can feel underneath your skin days before it even surfaces and becomes a bump on your skin? That’s likely cystic acne. It’s often painful and leaves your skin really red and inflamed. They’re much larger than a normal whitehead, and with cystic acne, rarely does it ever form a pop-able head because they are so deep in your skin. They often feel hard beneath the skin and because they’re so large, they’re really hard to cover up and ignore.

What causes it?

A pimple is essentially an infected pore. A cystic pimple is a deeper, more infected version of this. The exact cause of why some people get cystic acne is unknown. However, we do know that hormones play a big part in its formation and during your teenage years, your hormones increase. For women, hormone changes can also occur during their menstrual cycles, pregnancy, menopause, and even with the starting and stopping of birth control. Genetics play a big part in whether you’ll get acne as well. If your parents suffered from severe acne, you more than likely will as well.

How is it treated?

The good news is cystic acne is treatable and there is hope. You really shouldn’t try to wait this type of acne out, because it can last many years. Also, since they’re so deeply rooted in your skin, they are a common cause of acne scarring and can leave big, unsightly scars on your body that can be quite permanent. It’s important to never try to pop a cystic pimple. If one is popped, the infection can spread on your skin which can cause even more breakouts.

Cystic acne doesn’t often respond to topical treatments. Since they are so deep, the active ingredients have a hard time responding to the infection. Treating cystic acne from the inside is the best bet and can be done naturally with vitamins. Dermatologists often prescribe antibiotics or birth control to help control the hormones that cause this type of acne as well. It’s best to research the different treatment options and weigh your pros and cons, plus the risks and side effects associated with each.

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