is also known as nodulocystic acne and is one of the most severe forms of acne. This type of acne is not common. Like the other types of acne, cystic acne is due to plugging of the pores with sebum. Cystic acne does not occur because of poor hygiene or lack of personal skin care.
The cystic acne may start off as small pimples on the face but rapidly develops into large nodules. The nodules are usually small to start off and become larger and hard. Over time these nodules become large and cystic (hollow cavity). The cysts may contain fluid and are usually found in the deeper layers of the skin.
Besides the unattractive look, these cysts may also cause pain. Unlike other acne, this acne is very prone to formation of scars.
Because of the presence of cysts, most individuals have an urge to squeeze the large pustules. This should be avoided because the chance of scarring is high. Squeezing
of this type of cystic acne has been known to prolong the duration of the symptoms.
The pimples or cysts in cystic acne are usually filled with a cheesy white substance. The cysts usually can be quite large and very tender. When squeezed, the cheesy white material can be seen. Surround the cysts is always red skin and moderate amount of inflammation.
The acne is usually wide spread on the face or the back and appears red and inflamed. In addition, Cystic acne can affect the neck, upper arms, shoulders, buttocks and sometimes the upper thighs.
Cystic acne is more common
in the younger population and affects both males and females. It usually starts off after puberty and may last until the 3rd or 4th decade of life.
Cystic acne must be recognized very early on for successful treatment. If the treatment is delayed, a certain degree of scarring is a certainty. This type of acne very rarely responds to topical antibiotics and so time should not be wasted seeking medicines from a general physician.
When the cystic acne is treated late in the course, some scars will be permanent, no matter what treatment is undertaken.
Only, the fortunate individual will sometimes see healing of the cystic acne leaving very few scars behind.
The cause of cystic acne is not known but there are various triggers. These include:Hormones:
Cystic acne is known to fluctuate in intensity during the menstrual cycle and pregnancy and thus it is believed that there is a hormonal connection to it.Birth control Pill:
Women who take the birth control pill notice that the cystic acne decreases and comes back when the pill is stopped.Topical steroids
: In many individuals, cystic acne is aggravated by the application of topical corticosteroids and thus this medication should never be applied without first consulting with the physicianCosmetics
: When one has acne, almost any cream or lotion can aggravate acne and the same applies to the cystic acne. During the acute phase of cystic acne, avoid creams, camouflages and fragrances.Sweating
and tight constrictive clothing aggravates cystic acne. This is why sports athletes have some of the worst acne on their backs and armsFood:
Cystic acne is aggravated by eating hot foods and spices. Chocolates
: There has been no link between chocolates and cystic acne despite what many individuals claim. The best advice for those who get acne after eating chocolates is to stop eating chocolates.
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