How to Reduce Acne Cysts
Acne, a skin condition caused by blocked pores, typically results from excessive oil production, especially during adolescence. It commonly leads to inflamed pustules that may develop into nodules of inflammation called acne cysts. This is a severe form of acne, called nodulocystic acne, that can be treated at home but may also require medical treatment.
Take antibiotics. Antibiotics can inhibit the growth of bacteria that can contribute to severe acne. Your dermatologist will typically prescribe a high dosage that will decrease gradually as the acne improves. If the bacteria become resistant to the antibiotic, you'll need to switch to a new one.
Use oral contraceptives if appropriate for you. Birth control pills contain estrogen, which can reduce the productivity of the sebaceous glands. Oral contraceptives should be used only by women under the age of 35. They should not be used by smokers or by women who have blood-clotting disorders or a history of migraine headaches.
Take isotretinoin. This medication is a synthetic form of vitamin A that's typically used only for cystic acne or for acne that is resistant to other types of medication. You'll usually take isotretinoin one or two times a day for 16 to 20 weeks.
Get injections of corticosteroids to prevent the cyst from rupturing. Your dermatologist may inject a severely inflamed acne cyst with a highly diluted corticosteroid. This treatment can greatly reduce the size of the cyst over the next three to five days.
Drain and excise acne cysts with surgery. Your dermatologist may perform surgery on large cysts that can't be treated with medication. You shouldn't attempt to drain or extract cysts yourself, since this can lead to infection or scarring.
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