Treating Acne Cysts

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Acne cysts are a severe form of acne. The acne cysts look and feel like soft, fluid filled lumps under the surface of the skin. They’re often inflamed and very painful. They may occur on their own or cover the face, neck, scalp, back, chest and shoulders and tend to affect teenage boys and young men.

What causes acne cysts?

They are caused in very much the same way as other forms of acne. Common causes are the over-production of oil in the sebaceous glands and an excess of dead skin cells within the pores. Normally, small skin lesions arise in the form of blackheads, whiteheads and pimples, but in the case of acne cysts, the lesions become bigger and deeper, causing infection to occur under the skin.

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Breakouts of acne cysts damage and destroy healthy skin tissue and, as a result of this, there is an extremely high likelihood of scarring. Squeezing the acne cysts should be avoided at all costs since this can damage skin further and cause more infection and scarring.

Another cause of acne cysts is thought to be stress. When you’re worried and anxious about your acne, the body can produce more androgens which then stimulate the oil glands and the hair follicles. The resulting oil and bacteria can affect the nearby tissues and cysts may appear.

Whether diet is a trigger to acne is highly debatable, but some research has suggested that the sensitivities some people have to particular foods may cause acne cysts. It’is also worth mentioning that many people think that the refined sugars and starches found in so many foods are possible causes of acne cysts as well as other forms of acne.

For whatever the reason, acne cysts are signs of a severe form of acne. Often, they can cause great emotional distress and affect your self-esteem and confidence. If not treated, some severe cases may develop bacterial infections that require hospitalization. Fortunately, this is a rare occurrence that does, however, emphasize the seriousness of the condition. Acne cysts should be treated as soon as possible to prevent infection.

Treatment Options For Acne Cysts

  • Oral antibiotics are the main treatment option for acne since they get rid of bacteria and reduce inflammation.
  • Topical creams and ointments, either bought over-the-counter or by prescription, help to kill the bacteria that cause acne cysts and help to speed the healing process.
  • Isotretinoin is an extremely potent drug used to treat severe acne cysts which don’t respond to other medications. It is a synthetic retinoid, a form of Vitamin A which is taken orally.
  • Steroid Injections are only used when the acne cysts become severely inflamed and there is a possibility of rupture and scarring. A diluted steroid is injected into the cyst to reduce the inflammation and promote healing.
  • Draining and surgical excision. Some large cysts do not respond to medication and may require draining and extraction. This should never be undertaken at home, but always under the care of your dermatologist.

However, the best treatment is to prevent acne cysts forming in the first place and there are various options for this:

  • Make sure that you keep the affected areas thoroughly clean using anti-bacterial products. Products containing tea-tree oil can be used.
  • Keep your hands clean and nails short. It might be a good idea to carry around an anti-bacterial hand gel.
  • Avoid touching your face or picking or squeezing your pimples as this can lead to permanent scarring.
  • Eat a healthy diet of fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. Try to avoid refined sugars and starch by giving up the junk food.

Remember that acne cysts are symptoms of severe acne and, if not treated properly, can cause permanent scarring. By using preventative methods and the treatment options mentioned, you can keep your acne at bay and your skin free from scars.

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