April 13, 2024

Your skin being the largest organ of the body is your protective barrier against germs and other harmful foreign particles. It prevents dehydration and regulates body temperature. It is important to take care of your skin to look beautiful and confident. If you do not adopt adequate hygienic measures and skin-caring techniques, your skin will be destroyed. Just like any other organ of the body, it is important to provide the skin with the appropriate nutrition as well, to keep it glowing. 

One of the common problems people face regarding their skin is acne. While it is an annoying skin condition, a severe form of it is less common but highly difficult to get rid of. This severe form presents itself with the development of cysts and is excruciatingly painful. It is called cystic acne. A dermatologist in Lahore helped us understand the possible causes, symptoms, and treatment options for cystic acne. Let’s have a look at those:

What Is Cystic Acne And How Is It Caused?

A severe form of acne, cystic acne is caused by a bacterial infection of the skin. The skin secretes sebum – an oily substance that protects and hydrates the skin naturally. This sebum dries up to block the hair follicles. This combined with an infection is the cause of cystic acne. When the pores become infected and inflamed, boil-like bumps form which have a huge emotional impact on your well-being. 

Poor self-confidence, depression, and anxiety are common issues that people with cystic acne face. Cystic acne can be also caused by hormonal imbalances, pregnancy, menopause, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), poor hygiene, and intake of acne-prone diet. Stress is also a major contributing factor to this. 

Scientists agree if your parents struggled with this condition, you are more likely to develop it as well. 

How Do You Identify Cystic Acne?

Cystic acne presents itself with large cysts or bumps originating from deep within the skin with inflamed tissue surrounding it. They may appear on the face and neck, but can also occur on the back, chest, or arms. 

The bumps are red, inflamed, and painful to touch. Large-white bumps filled with pus are indicative of infectious acne. Individual cysts may merge to form large abscesses that may ooze pus as well. 

This type of acne is most likely to leave you with hyperpigmentation and scars. They may be deep-pitted or raised ones. These usually do not go away on their own. 

What Are Some Tips To Avoid Cystic Acne In The First Place?

Good hygiene is important first of all. Avoid touching your face, especially if you haven’t washed them recently. Your hands contain a lot of bacteria and foreign particles that cause problems and infections. You are more likely to develop acne if you frequently touch your face with unclean hands. 

It is also important to keep everyday items clean, especially those you touch, such as your phone, clothes, or glasses. These may contain bacteria on the surface that are transmitted when you touch them. For acne originating on areas other than the face, it is required that you wear loose and breathable clothes. 

Do not use harsh chemicals on the face. Use a gentle cleanser and use it twice a day if you have oily skin. Most importantly, if you do have cystic acne, do not touch your pimples or squeeze them. The pus will cause further infection where it touches. 

Use water-based cosmetic products and make sure you remove them properly before bedtime. Wear sunblock while going out and avoid staying for longer durations in the sun. 

Treatment Options

Treatment may vary from person to person depending on the condition of the acne. 


Often the first line treatment for cystic acne that is usually prescribed by most doctors are oral antibiotics and topical creams. Antibiotics reduce the redness and swelling caused by inflammation and kill the bacteria responsible for acne. These are usually given when the cysts cover a large part of your skin. Possible side effects may include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. If they do not treat your acne, you may be given isotretinoin for the acne. 


One of the most effective measures to treat cystic acne, isotretinoin is a powerful form of Vitamin A that makes effective improvements in three to six months. It reduces inflammation, kills bacteria, removes oil, and unclogs the pores altogether. 

It is important to know that isotretinoin comes with some side effects. Firstly, it should not be used by pregnant women or women trying to conceive. It causes mood disorders, headaches, nosebleeds, dry mouth, and joint pain. 


Although it is not approved for acne treatment, it is given by some doctors to reduce the production of male hormones or androgens. This reduces the amount of oil produced by the skin, helping to reduce the cystic acne. This is not recommended for men and pregnant women. 

Final Thoughts

Cystic acne is painful and stubborn and takes time to go away. It is necessary to consult a dermatologist if you are struggling with this. There are many treatment options, so you do not have to live with it. Just follow good hygienic measures and make sure to take the prescribed treatment plan. 

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