Conceptual shot of Acne & Problem Skin on female face.
What To Know About Stubborn Cystic Acne
Dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner explains to InStyle that "cystic acne is a severe form of acne, in which deep pimples form underneath the skin."
According to the Cleveland Clinic, acne is caused by clogged pores — but when "bacteria also gets into the pores," cystic acne can form, leading to painful pimples under the skin.
Dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner tells InStyle these bumps are caused by a "structural change under the skin — a 'balloon' or an out-pouching that fills up with oil from your oil gland."
If bacteria is present, any factor that causes acne could potentially cause cystic acne. These factors include hormones, excess oil, inflammation, and clogged hair follicles.
There are noticeable differences between a cystic acne bump and a "regular" pimple. If the bump is deep within the skin with no white head, it could be cystic.
Since cystic acne is below the skin, nothing will happen if you try to pop it. Medical News Today notes that if the lump is large, soft, and painful, it's likely an acne cyst.
The other effects of cystic acne revolve around physical appearance, which includes permanent scarring. This can affect one's overall mental health.
When you attempt to pop cystic acne, Dr. Michael I. Jacobs tells Allure, "You increase your risk of infection and scarring." Therefore, it's best to let a dermatologist treat it.
A dermatologist will confirm the best option for you, with a prescription often being essential. They may also suggest a topical treatment to help fight bacteria.
If hormones seem to be the cause, birth control pills may be prescribed. Other solutions include an injection to zap the zits or cortisone shots.