Few things are more troubling in the skincare world than a cystic acne breakout. Not only are these not pretty, but they can be very painful, swollen, and inflamed. Cystic acne is considered by most to be the worst type of acne because not only is it painful, but it's difficult to treat with home remedies. Cystic acne is characterized by painful nodules underneath the skin.
Cystic acne can be difficult to tackle at home. Here we're going to give you the best strategies for handling these deep, painful breakouts.
1. Treat with multiple ingredients
Because cystic breakouts are deep, underneath the skin, traditional acne medication will not typically work. Still, you'll want to use a cleanser and other products that contain salicylic acid in order to get rid of excess oil and debris from the skin as well as benzoyl peroxide, which will help to treat any acne-causing bacteria in the skin.
2. Ice it!
If you've ever experienced cystic acne, then you know how painful and swollen these breakouts can get. This step is best to do right when you feel the acne starts to form underneath the skin. Wrap an ice cube in a paper towel and hold it against the skin where you feel the bump forming. The ice works to constrict the blood vessels in the cyst, reducing swollenness and redness.
3. Calm Inflammation
Applying a hydrocortisone cream to the affected area will help treat redness and inflammation. You can even customize this treatment by combining it with a leave-on salicylic acid or sulfur spot treatment. Sulfur is a great ingredient to use with cystic acne as it also works to calm inflammation, kill bacteria, and clear the pores. You should apply this type of spot treatment combination two to three times a day. Cystic acne is stubborn, and this will take some time - up to 10 days.
4. Use an Oil-free Moisturizer
If you are prone to cystic acne, you may be tempted to skip your moisturizer but don't. Instead, follow your acne-treating cleanser with an oil-free moisturizer to protect your skin's barrier.
5. Dermatologist visit
Very painful and extreme forms of cystic acne may require treatment from your local dermatologist. If you don't have the patience or ability to wait through the healing cycle of a cystic breakout, your dermatologist can administer a cortisone shot which treats the breakout immediately and can be cleared up within hours.