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Cystic Acne 101: The Basics On Dealing With Painful Breakouts

Cystic Acne 101: The Basics On Dealing With Painful Breakouts

Do you deal with cystic breakouts? According to experts, cystic acne can happen to children as young as eight or adults as old as fifty years old, but regardless of when they occur, these types of breakouts can be particularly frustrating and even painful to deal with.


For a little more insight, keep reading. Today, on the blog we’re sharing more about what cystic acne entails and how to address it.


What is cystic acne and what causes it?

Cystic acne refers to a type of breakout characterized by large, swollen, and often painful cysts that form just below the surface of the skin and often linger for weeks or even months at a time.


Cystic breakouts can be caused by a number of common factors, including hormones, humid climate, certain medications, genetics, or even just clogged pores. Nevertheless, when cysts strike, you do have options for treating them at home. Here is what we recommend:


3 Tips for Relief From Cystic Breakouts:

  • Tip #1: Never pick or pop a cyst - As with any type of acne, picking, popping, or attempting to extract your breakouts is never recommended. However, with cysts, this is especially important. Messing with cystic acne rarely yields results and often leads to damaged skin, scarring, or spread of bacteria to other areas. Instead, try as much as possible not to touch the affected area to prevent additional irritation and making matters worse.


  • Tip #2: Treat with a hot or cold compress - Because cystic breakouts are often very inflamed, utilizing hot or cold therapy can be very helpful to reduce swelling and minimize pain. A clean cloth soaked with warm water is a great place to start to bring down inflammation. You can also gently apply a cooled tool such as an ice roller, chilled jade roller, or a piece of ice, depending on your preference. In some cases, it may even be beneficial to alternate between hot and cold.


  • Tip #3: Try a gentle retinol, like our 0.3% PM Retinol Serum- With cystic acne, it’s a good idea to avoid aggressive exfoliation, as many exfoliant products can worsen irritation. However, you can use a retinol serum topically to aid with cellular turnover and repair as your breakout heals. Vitamin A-derived products are known to combat congestion in the pores and can also be effective when combined with other ingredients that soothe inflammation, such niacinamide and small amounts of salicylic acid.


Other Important Things To Know:

Although using the above tips can do a lot to minimize or even eradicate cystic breakouts, there may be instances where professional intervention is required. If troubleshooting at home fails to yield results, it may be worthwhile to schedule a visit with your esthetician or dermatologist. Advanced modalities used by the pros, such as LED light therapy or a professional peel can be extra effective for getting cystic breakouts to subside and stay gone for good.



*On this blog we are never providing medical advice as we are not doctors or dermatologists, yet we do want to encourage women to support their skin health, and age well with great skincare education.  

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