Taking On Cystic Acne: What To Do When You’re Losing The Battle

Acne is hard to deal with, and cystic acne is the most difficult type to battle. Not only can it be very embarrassing, but it can also be very painful.

A lot of the advice out there about cystic acne simply isn’t realistic, and it doesn’t provide any real results. I know that it can be painful to be battling your acne every day, and that’s why I’ve gathered up some info about the root causes of cystic acne to give you a better understanding of your problems.

Then, I’ll share four of the most effective natural remedies for cystic acne that you can try at home. While fighting cystic acne may seem impossible, you can address the beast that is wreaking havoc on your skin with the following info!

What Is Cystic Acne?

Cystic acne is a very painful, intense type of acne that causes inflamed cysts or bumps to show up on your skin. These bumps can be very painful, and they form when oil and dead skin cells build up in your pores or underneath of hair follicles.

Common Symptoms Of Cystic Acne

It’s important to remember that cystic acne is more than just red bumps on your face; it’s a very painful and long-lasting type of acne that can cause both physical and mental distress for anyone affected by it.


Cystic acne is a type of inflammatory acne. This acne occurs when your pores have become clogged underneath the skin, and your body initiates an inflammatory reaction to fight the problem. This inflammation causes the redness, soreness, and swollen characteristics of cystic acne.

Painful Cysts:

Pimples that occur with cystic acne remain embedded under the skin, never coming to a head. This means that they may keep growing under the skin and make the area tender to the touch. If you pick at these cysts, they may even become infected and last for even longer.

For women, these cysts usually happen on the lower jawline.


If cysts last for a long time or become infected, it is possible that they will leave scars on your face. While these scars typically fade after a few weeks or months, some scars may be permanent if you regularly get cysts in the same areas.

What Causes Cystic Acne?


When your hormones are not balanced properly, oil production increases. This excess oil then sits on your face and begins to clog the pores. These clogged pores create the perfect conditions for bacteria to thrive, and soon enough, cystic acne begins to develop if this happens under the surface of the skin.

While acne is usually associated with teenagers, adults can get cystic acne, too. These hormonal imbalances can happen during:

  • Puberty
  • Menopause
  • ​Postmenopause
  • ​Pregnancy
  • ​Menstruation
  • Ovary disorders

Inflammatory Foods

While you may not notice any sort of reaction that your body has to them, it is possible that your cystic acne is caused by an internal, inflammatory reaction to certain foods.

Common foods that cause inflammation include:

  • Dairy (cheese, milk, etc.)
  • Sweeteners and sugars
  • ​Greasy foods
  • Any food that you are allergic to

If you notice that you start to see signs of cystic acne after eating any of these foods, try to cut them out of your diet. If your acne clears up, you may have found the inflammatory-causing culprit. Gradually add that food back into your diet until you figure out your body’s tolerance for that food.

What Is The Best Way to Treat Cystic Acne?

The number one way to effectively treat cystic acne is to work with a dermatologist to help discover if hormones are, in fact, causing your acne. Then, your doctor can help you find a medicine or routine which helps your body to stop creating painful, frustrating cysts.

Cystic acne is quite rare. In fact, only two in every 1,000 people. If you think you have cystic acne, it’s important to work with a dermatologist to be sure about what is causing your skin problems.

There are many different ways that affect your hormone that dermatologists often use to take on cystic acne. Common treatments include:

Birth control

If you start taking a hormonal medicine like birth control, it can help regulate and prevent cystic acne.

Changing diet

What you eat can actually affect what hormones your body produces. Changing your diet can change your skin!

Stress control or daily exercise

It’s thought that certain stress hormones might be the root cause of many cases of cystic acne. Exercising releases de-stressing hormones that can help you manage your skin.

Other hormonal medications

In some cases, your dermatologist might try a hormonal medicine aimed at treating your cystic acne.

While it can be stressful to find a solution to your cystic acne, it is important that you take the time to discover what is causing your acne so you can get rid of it for good.

How Can I Treat Cystic Acne At Home?

A great way to treat your cystic acne at home so that it doesn’t worsen is to try a home remedy that will prevent any existing cysts from spreading or becoming larger. While you can’t adjust your hormones at home, you can try to counteract the effects of cystic acne!

Before you try any of these natural remedies, remember that you should never try to pick at or pop cystic acne. While it can be tempting to try to “speed up” the process, this will actually rupture the pore and cause the cystic acne to take a longer time to heal.

The 4 Best Natural Remedies For Cystic Acne

#1 Steam Away The Imperfections

The first great, easy way to help reduce the amount of cystic acne that you are dealing with is to steam your face.

Steaming your face is a good way to give your skin a gentle cleansing that gets deeper than just washing your face. Steam can open up the pores which will help push out impurities and dirt that is locked in deep under the surface. This is great for those suffering from cystic acne.

Carefully put warm or hot water into a bowl. Then, lean your face over the bowl and cover your head with a towel to lock in the steam. Stay there for 10 to 15 minutes. You can do this two times a day for the best results! And after steaming your face, you can choose from the next 3 great methods to continue your battle with cystic acne!

#2 Apple Cider Vinegar Balances pH

Apple cider vinegar is a great way to balance your skin’s pH, and it also has antiseptic, astringent, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. These features make apple cider vinegar a fantastic way to naturally combat the painful cysts that can plague your skin.

The best way to use apple cider vinegar topically is to dilute it to ensure that it will not cause any further damage to your skin. Here’s how to do it:

1. Mix unfiltered apple cider vinegar and water in a 1:1 ratio.

2. Use a cotton ball to gently apply it to inflamed areas.

3. Let it work its magic for 15 minutes.

4. Rinse off with water.

5. Repeat up to 2 times a day.

#3 Clay Masks Extract The Bad

Clay masks are a great way to draw out excess sebum, toxins, and impurities from your skin, which can help to reduce the inflammation and pain that usually accompany cystic acne. Clay masks will bring acne to a head and help clear your face more quickly.

Mix the clay with a little bit of milk and a teaspoon of honey to make a paste. Apply this paste to your face, and then let it sit on your face for 10 to 15 minutes or until it dries completely. Use warm water and a gentle washcloth to remove the mask, and then moisturize your skin. Do this process 2 to 3 times a week.

#4 Baking Soda & Epsom Salt

This next treatment is potentially drying, but it is a great way to kickstart your cystic acne recovery process.

All you need is baking soda and Epsom salt. Here’s what to do:

1. Mix together baking soda, Epsom salt, and warm water until you create a paste.

2. Put it on the affected area and let harden.

3. Rinse off with warm water.

You will want to start by using this once a day. You can increase it as time goes on, but check the area to make sure that you aren’t unintentionally causing an acne flare up. Not every skin type does well with this type of treatment.

Don’t Live In Fear Of Cystic Acne

Dealing with cystic acne can feel like a never-ending nightmare. The cysts will last for weeks on end, and as soon as they start to clear, you often get another one. You may start to feel defeated.

But that doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything to make your acne more manageable. While it’s not always possible to balance our hormone production levels, natural treatments can soothe the effects of cystic acne and give you your life back.

Remember that all is not lost. Cystic acne doesn’t have control of your life; you do!

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Saeed - November 22, 2017


I was looking for such kind of article because I have cystic acne on my neck. Thanks for sharing.

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