There are a variety of acne types, including blackheads, papules, pustules, and nodules. Then there is cystic acne, which is easily recognizable by its swollen, inflamed appearance. Cystic acne is often very uncomfortable. Its scientific name is nodulocystic acne, and it manifests as pus-filled cysts that actually develop under the skin. Nodulocystic acne is substantially larger in size and more severe than even the worse case of acne vulgaris, the most common type of acne that both teens and adults can suffer from.
The cause of cystic acne is not the foods you eat or even your skincare habits or lack thereof, although these are common beliefs. Cystic acne occurs when too much sebum builds up in the pores located on the face or other areas of the body such as the neck, back or chest. This oily secretion causes the pores to become clogged. This leads to painful and unsightly inflammation.
Most people develop acne during adolescent puberty. During this time, hormones fluctuate and become imbalanced. These changes can not only affect a teen’s mood, but it can also affect their skin. The fluctuations cause too much sebum production which leads to cases of acne vulgaris or worse, cystic acne. Luckily there are various ways to treat the problem.
The first thing to do is modify your skincare routine. Choose a cleanser made for acne prone skin and use it morning and night to keep acne bacteria from spreading and wash away oil and dirt. The worst thing you can ever do is try to pop your acne, as this causes scarring. Even if you don’t pop pimples you may experience temporary scarring. This is known as macular scarring and will go away over time.
To treat cystic acne, prescription medication will often be necessary. You will need to see a dermatologist or your doctor in order to obtain a prescription for this medicine. It is called Accutane in the United States, and also known by its medical name of isotretinoin. This medication is made with vitamin A. It should be noted that there are side effects and that not everyone (for example expectant mothers) can use it.
This medication is commonly used in pill form and taken orally. However, for some patients a topical cream version is desirable. Your dermatologist will evaluate your skin and decide what is right for you. It is important to tell your dermatologist any other medicines you are taking and any underlying medical problems you may have. Take the medication exactly as prescribed and inform your doctor if you experience any problems.
For those not going the prescription route, a diet rich in vitamin A may help your skin. Vitamin A is abundantly found in orange fruits and veggies like sweet potato, pumpkin, red bell pepper and carrots. It is not recommended that you use a bottled vitamin A supplement pill because large amounts of this vitamin are very toxic and harmful to your health.