Thinking back to high school, I always thought I would grow out of my acne as I got older. At least that was the glimmer of hope I held onto. That was, until, I reached my early 20’s and those pesky whiteheads transformed into impossible to budge cystic blemishes. My acne was deep and painful, like a balloon under the skin that couldn’t be popped.
You know, the kind that never comes to a head, lingers for months on end, and leaves behind scarring that takes even longer to fade? If you know what I'm talking about, recognize that you’re not alone and I deeply sympathize with your pain. If you don’t, then consider yourself one of the lucky ones. Infact you have about a 50% chance in developing acne as an adult; in a recent 2011 study it was found that 50% of woman 20-29 suffer with clinical acne. And in that, 20% dealt with some form of cystic acne.
Cystic pimples are considered the hardest of all forms of acne to treat. They tend to start one to two mm beneath the surface, being too deep for most acne treatments. Because they never come to a head, cystic zits can’t be picked. And any attempt at doing so will only aggravate the pimple further. Extractions are also out of the question when it comes to cysts because the pimple isn’t close enough to the surface of the skin.
They’re almost impossible to extract and even more difficult to “pop”. Cortisone shots are a favorite treatment of dermatologists, used to immediately deflate cystic bumps but can leave behind an indentation. Bottom line when it comes to treating cystic acne? There’s going to be time consuming dermatologist visits, prescribed meds, and a trial of topicals. But the bright side? We can take action into our own hands to help minimize cystic acne from forming and help control those bumps in between doctor's visits.
Over the years I’ve spent countless money on products, new, old, tried and true, drugstore and prescription alike, but found my favorites in the list compiled below. Here are my top five favorite products I use every day to help treat and manage cystic spots.
This spot treatment works best on a newly formed cyst, cutting recovery time by about 50%. This treatment also virtually replaces the need for in office cortisone shots and offers quick relief for cystic acne sufferers. Blemishes, inflammation, redness be gone! The blend of lactic and citric acids works to penetrate deep within the pore, eliminating breakouts before they begin.
A well-known cult classic, the Sunday Riley UFO oil proves to live up to the hype. This revolutionary blend of oils provides both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial fighting powers. A quick absorbing, medicated dry oil works to clear congested pores, treating acne while smoothing out the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. UFO uses 1.5% salicylic acid, milk thistle, cucumber seed oil, and tea tree oil to purify the skin, support clarity, brighten the appearance of dark spots, and prevent acne and blackheads from occurring.
This award-winning acne treatment stops cystic acne in its tracks. Working quickly to rid oil and bacteria from deep within the skin, rapid response works to completely disrupt the blemish cycle, clearing old blemishes and preventing new ones from happening.
This gel formula mask calms surface redness and irritation in as little as 5 minutes. When used nightly or before your monthly cycle, you’ll have fewer noticeable bumps and smoother, glowing skin right away. Tea tree oil, salicylic acid, and manuka oil all act as an anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial component to soothe blemish prone, irritated skin.
This all in one lactic acid treatment works to decrease hyperpigmentation, treat acne, prevent scarring, minimize fine lines and wrinkles, and brighten the skins complexion. This high potency, purified grade of lactic acid immediately exfoliates pore-clogging dead skin cells, revealing smoother, younger looking skin. Fine lines are plumped, skin is more radiant, and hyperpigmentation is diminished for an overall healthier looking complexion.
Perhaps the best acne scar fighting product I've ever used, this serum like formula works as a double whammy to prevent and treat deep cystic acne while healing hyperpigmentation. The lactic acid formula works to completely transform the skin. And while it’s going to cost you a pretty penny at $105 a bottle, it’s worth every cent.
Probiotics have long been used to help restore the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut, and now that same science is being applied to skin. The FAB Skin Rescue Acne Clearing Charcoal Cleanser not only works to balance the good and bad bacteria on your skin but uses 2% salicylic acid to help reduce active blemishes and yogurt extract to boost the skins defenses against acne causing bacteria. Bentonite clay further works to remove impurities and activated charcoal absorbs toxins from the skin. This cleanser works best when used twice a day, morning and night to unclog dead skin cells and remove surface bacteria.