What Is Cystic Acne?

Cystic acne is when we have large, painful red breakouts on our skin. It is commonly referred to as the critical type of acne.

Cystic acne commonly occurs when dry skin cells, bacteria or oil get trapped in the pores of our skin.

Man covering face

Who Gets Cystic Acne?

Interestingly, it’s a condition that is more common in men than in women.

Even though acne is a universal condition – cystic acne commonly happens to people who have oily skin. It's more likely that you’ll get a breakout of cystic acne in your teenage years when you are undergoing puberty, up until your early 20s.

Studies have shown that it is also commonly seen in men, women, teenagers and older people who have fluctuating hormone levels. Interestingly, it’s a condition that is more common in men than in women.

Identifying Cystic Acne

Not only is cystic acne the most critical form of acne, but it can also be the largest. It goes deeper into the skin, while all other types stay on top of the surface. When this acne goes deep into our skin, it creates a lump that’s full of pus. When the cyst bursts, the infection may spread. The British Association of Dermatologists defines cysts as closed sacs that have both a lining and contents that are liquid or semi-solid.

Cystic acne can appear as if you have sores on your skin. Some characteristics you can use to identify cystic acne are:

· Big white lumps

· Redness on the skin

· Can be painful and tender to touch

· Pus-filled cyst

Your face, back, shoulders and upper arms can be the areas that get affected. These cysts are perhaps most noticeable when they are on a person’s face.

The Risks That Come With Cystic Acne

If not treated in due time, cystic acne can also lead to scars. Scarring can also occur if you squeeze the spots you have cystic acne on, so make sure you don’t do this.

You can purchase an over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide product to help fight the bacteria infection before you see a dermatologist. One popular product is Acnecide Spot Treatment, which contains 5% Benzoyl Peroxide.

When you do get to see your doctor, ask about the following treatment options:

- Antibiotic creams

- Retinoids

- Isotretinoin (or RoAccutane)