According to the American Academy of Dermatology, about 40 million to 50 million Americans suffer with acne. All acne can be embarrassing, but acne cysts are especially painful and hard to hide. Cystic acne can cause many emotional and physical problems, including depression. Acne cysts can take longer to heal and usually require a more extensive treatment than regular acne. Because of this, it's important to become educated about its causes and prevention.
Acne cysts are a form of severe acne. They are inflamed, hard bumps that reside deep in the skin and can be as large as several centimeters in diameter. A person can have one cyst or multiple cysts spread about the face, neck and shoulders. Acne cysts are usually painful. When infected, they're filled with a thick yellowish pus. Trying to drain a cyst by yourself can be dangerous and lead to serious infection and disfigurement.
The American Academy of Dermatology says cysts are caused by very deeply blocked oil glands. Our bodies produce oil to keep the skin moisturized. Sometimes, hormones cause the production of oil, or sebum, to increase dramatically. When this happens, not all of the oil can escape to the skin's surface, resulting in a clogged pore. Bacteria, which is normally found on the skin, gets caught in with the oil and causes inflammation--and sometimes an infection.
Because cysts are considered a severe form of acne, the American Academy of Dermatology suggests being treated by a dermatologist. Oral antibiotics are sometimes prescribed to heal and prevent acne and cysts. Dermatologists also prescribe birth control pills for certain women to help regulate hormones. In addition, a combination therapy can be used. This is when the acne is attacked by an oral medication and topical medication. A corticosteroid injection can give instant relief to painful cysts.
Some people find that home treatments can help treat acne cysts. Says both benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid can help heal and prevent cysts. Vitamin E supplements can be taken to maintain healthy skin. Absoluteacneinfo.com says rose water can be used as a natural astringent to help reduce inflammation. Tea tree oil can be used to dry out acne, encouraging new cell production beneath the sloughed-off dead skin cells.
As stated on Absoluteacneinfo.com, the best prevention for acne cysts is a proper diet and exercise. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables and water should be adequately included in your daily menu. A body can fight off infection and illness much easier when it's healthy. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests using a mild face wash at least once a day to cleanse the skin of excess oil. Avoid over-washing or scrubbing; this can aggravate acne.
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