Ways to Get Rid of Cystic Acne
Cystic acne is one of the more complicated and difficult types of lesions to treat. As the American Academy of Dermatology points out, many acne treatments guarantee rapid results, but there's no instant cure to treat acne in general--and that goes doubly so for severe, lingering cysts. Cystic acne forms deep inside of the hair follicle, making it impervious to topical treatments. The best way to get rid of cystic acne is to schedule an appointment with your dermatologist, who can offer and deliver the treatment that's right for you.
More stubborn cysts aren't responsive to medication, in which case, acne surgery--in-office drainage and extraction--may be performed by your dermatologist. As tempting as it is to manually squeeze cystic acne lesions at home, this is extremely ill-advised for cysts, cautions the AAD; if you attempt this at home, you risk more profound infection and extensive scarring. Acne surgery should always be performed in a sterile environment using the correct techniques.
One way that dermatologists get rid of cystic acne swiftly is by injecting the lesion with a diluted corticosteroid solution. This reduces inflammation in cysts that are in danger of rupturing and speeds up healing time, says the AAD. After the injection, it takes three to five days for the cyst to dissolve.
If you want to get rid of severe, cystic acne, isotretinoin, an oral medication that's taken for between 16 and 20 weeks, can be prescribed. During the first couple of weeks of treatment, acne may get worse before it gets better; however, because isotretinoin addresses all of the causes of cysts--excess sebum production, dead skin cells, bacteria and inflammation--once you complete treatment, you'll likely not need it again, says the AAD.
Isotretinoin is a particularly potent acne medication that can cause numerous uncomfortable side-effects (such as dry skin, eyes and nasal passages), and because it also causes birth defects, it's stringently monitored in female patients of child-bearing age. The AAD stresses that use of this medication is a decision to which you and your dermatologist should arrive together after being informed of the risks and benefits.
Other oral treatments can be used to resolve cystic acne, including broad spectrum antibiotics, which reduce the population of P. acnes population on the skin (a major contributor to infection). Mayo Clinic experts note that because people with acne build up a resistance to antibiotics, your dermatologist may start you out at a higher dose and taper it off after three to four months when symptoms either improve or worsen.
Birth Control PIlls
Female patients may benefit from taking oral contraceptives (birth control) pills, which can act as a long-term therapy in treating acne by reducing the amount of oil produced by the skin. Mayo Clinic experts note that there are three birth control pills approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to treat female acne that go by the trade names Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Estrostep and Yaz. The AAD states that oral contraceptives might not be appropriate for all women, particularly those over the age of 35, those who smoke, or those who have had difficulties with blood clotting and migraine headaches in the past.
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