While acne is the most common skin condition in the United States, a small portion of acne sufferers develops cystic acne, the most severe form of Acne Vulgaris. This painful skin condition is characterized by large, inflamed acne lesions that form deep within the skin and result in painful, large bumps visible from the surface. Unfortunately, this ailment can be hard to treat but there are options available to help alleviate the pain and effects associated with this skin condition.

What Causes Cystic Acne?

It’s important to understand the causes of acne. When pores become blocked by excess sebum, skin cells and/or bacteria, an infection can rise up in the pore. Cystic acne is what may result from the most severe types of pore blockages. Those who develop cystic acne struggle with painful lesions under the skin. These acne blemishes are embedded deep within the epidermis, and unlike pimples and pustules, they don’t come to a head on the surface of the skin. Along with painful, inflamed acne lesions, patients with cystic acne may also exhibit numerous comedones, which can be both open or closed, referred to as blackheads and whiteheads, respectively.

A variety of factors including genetics, hormonal changes and lifestyle factors such as stress and diet can contribute to cystic acne.

Cystic Acne Scarring

Long-term cystic acne can produce permanent damage in the form of:

  • small, deep pits, known as icepick scars
  • larger pits
  • shallow depressions in the skin
  • red, raised scars

Treating Cystic Acne

The treatment of severe, cystic acne requires the help of a specialist physician and some self-care measures. Drug treatment can be effective at preventing cysts and scarring.

The first thing you should do if you find a cystic acne growth is to see a dermatologist ASAP. The faster that you attack the acne without allowing it to develop further, the better the chances of healing quickly without a scar.

If you are experiencing acne or other skin issues, contact The Center for Advanced Dermatology at 602-867-7546 or mddermsolutions.com to schedule an examination with Dr. Holy.