What Is Cystic Acne?

what's cystic acne
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Cystic acne is a form of acne that affects many people of all ages. It is often characterized by large, red bumps on the skin that are filled with pus. These bumps can be painful and can take weeks or even months to heal. Cystic acne can affect any area of the body, but is most commonly found on the face, neck, chest, and back. It is important to seek medical attention for cystic acne in order to avoid any long-term scarring.

What Causes Cystic Acne?

Cystic acne is caused by the overproduction of sebum, an oily substance produced by the body’s sebaceous glands. Too much sebum can cause the pores of the skin to become blocked, trapping the oil inside. This can cause bacteria to accumulate in the follicles and cause an infection, leading to cystic acne.

Who is Most at Risk for Cystic Acne?

Anyone can develop cystic acne, but it is most common in teenagers and young adults. This is because the body produces more sebum during puberty, making it more likely that the follicles will become blocked. People with oily skin and those who experience hormonal fluctuations may also be more at risk of developing cystic acne.

How is Cystic Acne Diagnosed?

Cystic acne can be difficult to diagnose because it can be mistaken for other skin conditions, such as boils, folliculitis, or rosacea. Your doctor may conduct a physical examination and review your medical history in order to make a diagnosis. They may also take a sample of the pus from the cyst in order to test for bacteria or fungi. In some cases, a biopsy may be necessary.

How is Cystic Acne Treated?

Cystic acne can be difficult to treat because it is deep within the skin. Your doctor may recommend a combination of topical and oral medications to treat the condition. Topical medications, such as retinoids, can help reduce the inflammation and decrease oil production. Oral antibiotics such as doxycycline or minocycline can help reduce the bacterial infection. In some cases, corticosteroids may be injected directly into the cyst to reduce inflammation.

Can Cystic Acne Be Prevented?

While it may not be possible to completely prevent cystic acne, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk. These include washing your face twice a day with a mild cleanser, avoiding harsh skin care products, and limiting your exposure to the sun. Eating a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water can also help to keep your skin healthy.

When Should I See a Doctor?

If you are experiencing severe or persistent cystic acne, it is important to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Your doctor can prescribe medications or recommend other treatments that can help to reduce the symptoms of cystic acne. They can also provide advice on how to prevent future outbreaks.


Cystic acne is a common but serious form of acne that can cause long-term damage if not treated properly. It is important to seek medical advice if you are experiencing persistent or severe cystic acne. There are treatments available that can help reduce the symptoms and prevent future outbreaks. Taking steps to keep your skin healthy, such as washing your face regularly and avoiding harsh skin care products, can also help to reduce your risk of developing cystic acne.

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