Treatments for Cystic Acne
Acne occurs when the hair follicles become blocked by dead cells, bacteria and oil. Hair follicles are connected to sebaceous glands which secrete sebum, which is predominantly oil. Sometimes, these blockages occur deep within the hair follicle, which leads to the development of small cysts (also known as cystic acne). The treatments for cystic acne are essentially the same as for regular acne.
Try topical treatments. Topical treatments should be the first line of treatment for cystic acne and include such over-the-counter medications as benzoyl peroxide and sulfur. Another type of medication, available by prescription, is tretinoin, which is made from Vitamin A.
Take antibiotics. These will be available with a prescription, preferably by a dermatologist. Because cystic acne can be so difficult to cure, you may need to take antibiotics along with other treatments, including the topical ones, to clear up your acne.
Administer isotretinoin. Isotretinoin is a powerful cream that can be used for severe cystic acne and is generally reserved for cases of cystic acne that do not respond to other treatments. Isotretinoin can cause birth defects, however, so it is not recommended for pregnant women.
Take oral contraceptives. This method only works for women with cystic acne, but hormonal contraceptives, such as Ortho-Cyclen, have been shown to reduce acne in women.
Consider laser therapy. Laser therapy works by sending beams of light deep into the skin and is thought to treat acne by damaging the sebaceous glands. Because the sebaceous glands produce the oil that causes the outbreaks of cystic acne, these lasers can help treat cystic acne.
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