Many people suffer from regular forms of acne like pimples, blackheads or whiteheads. Cystic acne is one of the more rarer, and more serious, forms of acne. Acne as you may know is caused by the buildup of sebum in the pores which causes an inflammation of the skin. When the wall of the pore ruptures, infected material will leak into the dermis. This leads to large cysts and nodules forming under the skin. These blemishes can get very large, and are often incredibly painful. Since cystic acne is far deeper in the skin than other forms of acne and if left untreated can lead to severe scarring. The severity of this conditions means that a more systematic approach must be used in cystic acne treatments.
Cystic acne is not the result of poor hygiene. Most cases of this serious form of acne are in teenage boys, and it is often a result of hormones causing the body to produce exuberant amounts of sebum. If you have this problem, or are a parent of a teen who has it, it is essential to realize that your hygiene is not to blame. Those who blame themselves often “punish” themselves by scrubbing extra hard when they wash, and washing the area way too often. This type of behavior is very typical, but incredibly counterproductive. This will damage the skin even more, leading to more breakouts and scarring.
This form of acne should not be taken lightly. NEVER pick at or try to pop acne cysts or nodules. Treating it with conventional methods will not work. You need to go see a dermatologist who specializes in dealing with this type of problem. They will be able to put you on a treatment plan that will help reduce the pain and minimize the number of scars.
You dermatologist will likely use medicines that contain isotretinoin for treating cystic acne. This is a derivative of retinoic acid which is related to Vitamin A. There are several medicines that contain isotretinoin. There are topical medicines such as Isotrex and Isotrexin and oral medications such as Accutane, Oratane, Amnesteem, and Sotret. Isotretinoin provides temporary relief from excess sebum production which contributes to the formation of cystic acne.
Oral medications usually are used for 4-6 months. Common side effects of isotretinoin therapy include : skin dryness, acne flares, cuticle infections, itch, rosacea, skin fragility, and skin peeling. These are just a few side effects. Infrequent side effects are severe periods of acne flares, raised blood glucose levels, and fatigue. Rare side effects are inflammatory bowel disease, impaired night vision, menstrual cycle disturbances and severe depression has also been known to occur.
It is important that you stick with the regimen that your dermatologist puts you on, even if you start to notice a significant improvement. Many people will see improvements and go off the medications, only to see it come back worse than before.
Some people consider acne laser treatment the be all end all of getting rid of cystic acne, but this is still a hotly debated topic. The treatment essentially kills the bacteria under the skin and reduces the sebum produced by the glands.
One thing to keep in mind is that mental health is also important to keeping your acne somewhat under control. Try to take some time for yourself everyday to relax. This might help manage the stress that is said to cause inflammation. It is also important to do your best to live a healthy life style. If your body is sick (from lack of exercise or by eating terrible foods) it cannot properly fight off that which ails it. Exercising often and eating healthy food will drastically improve the way your body responds to cystic acne treatment.