If you’ve ever suffered from severe breakouts, then you’ve probably wondered “why me?” In school, your classmates may have seemed to have flawless skin, but the truth is that most people suffer from acne to some degree—the unfortunate catch is that some people just get it worse than others. In addition to the amount of acne you can get, there are also different types of acne, that range from mildly irritating to painful and potentially scarring. Most people agree that the worst kind of acne you can get is cystic acne, a chronic type of inflammation that can have all kinds of negative consequences on physical and mental well-being.
What is Cystic Acne?
Cystic acne is a specific type of breakout that begins with a pimple that goes a step deeper into the skin than your average zit, causing a red, pus-filled bump. These cysts often spread as the infection gets worse, and many people end up with a face full of painful, red, swollen bumps. In addition to being painful and embarrassing, cystic acne can itch, which if scratched can lead to worsened breakouts, increased inflammation, and even scarring. One of the main problems with cystic acne is that the infection lies beneath the skin and is very difficult to treat with topical medications.
What are the Causes of Cystic Acne?
So what causes this kind of acne to get so bad? No one really knows—though there are known factors that influence the problem. Anyone can get cystic acne, but it’s most common during the teen years, when hormones increase and the skin can become clogged.
There is a genetic component to cystic acne, so if either of your parents had a problem with bad breakouts, you can thank them in part.
Some women also have cystic acne triggered during pregnancy or menopause, just adding to the stress, discomfort and changes to the body during these phases of life.
Long Term Consequences
There’s some more bad news about cystic acne, unfortunately: the negative impact doesn’t always fade once the acne itself goes away. Cystic acne is prone to scarring, especially if you pick at the acne or touch your face—a mistake we’ve all made at some point. Sometimes, cystic acne results in scarring—pits that can be shallow or deep, or permanent purplish-red discoloration. Once this happens, it can be difficult to treat these problems.
How Acne Holds You Back
While many people suffer from bad acne, the problem can greatly affect social development. Acne is not typically dangerous, but it is extremely uncomfortable, and more importantly, can make you feel embarrassed about going out in public!
Many people get cystic acne during the teenage years—a time when personality is developing and you can get teased for something as simple as wearing the “wrong” clothes. Having bad acne doesn’t help make people into social butterflies, and can harm self-esteem and confidence.
So what can you do if you’re struggling with cystic acne? First off, leave it alone! Much like blackheads and whiteheads, picking and scratching at the acne only makes the problem worse. If you manage to pop cystic acne, you’ll end up with an ugly scab and possible scarring.
Treatment for chronic cystic acne is safest and most successful when supervised by a qualified dermatologist. There are many different treatments that can help, but none of these will work overnight. Most treatment programs take at least 6-8 weeks for results to become apparent. Some options include:
- Prescription creams and gels
- Isotretinoin (Accutane)
- Birth control pills
- Laser treatments
- Chemical peels
- Cortisone injections
Finding a Dermatologist
Lots of people try to fight the battle against cystic acne alone—a frustrating and often futile experience. If you’re suffering from the worst kind of acne, it’s time to take action and find a knowledgeable, board certified dermatologist to help you get on track to unblemished skin. If you take action as soon as possible, you can prevent a lot of heartache, frustration, discomfort, and long-term consequences.
Dr. Diane Walder understands the impact acne can have on your well-being, and as a renowned cosmetic dermatologist, she has the tools to help you move forward—without your acne. If you’d like to make an appointment at Dr. Walder’s Miami office and see how she can help you regain your confidence through powerful acne treatment and skincare, call (305-866-2177) today.