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4 Ways to Get Rid of Cystic Acne Breakouts
Cystic acne is a type of inflammation that causes pus-filled pimples to form deep under the skin. While pimples come in many shapes and sizes, cystic acne is the most severe type of acne. In addition to being unsightly and embarrassing, cystic acne can be quite tender and even very painful. Cystic acne occurs when oil and dead skin cells clog skin pores, enabling bacteria to grow that develops into deep-under-the-surface pustules or “zits”.
When it comes to treating cystic acne at home, typical skin-care routines and over-the-counter drug store treatments are usually not strong or deep enough to be effective.
In this article the skincare experts at AMAE in the West Bloomfield area discuss the best at-home cystic acne treatments, as well as the advanced Med Spa procedures that can help keep cystic breakouts away for smoother, clearer skin.
#1. Cystic Acne Treatment: Do Not Pop It
As tempting as it is to relieve the pressure, popping is it is especially important to avoid with cystic breakouts. Cystic acne is not just a pus-filled “poppable” pimple. Cystic acne pustules are actually deep pockets of white blood cells that can’t be popped – and attempting to do so can cause skin damage and scarring.
#2. Ice Cystic Acne Breakouts Immediately
Cystic Acne is a type of inflammation. So as soon as you feel it coming on, apply ice to it – just like a sprained wrist or ankle – to reduce swelling. Applying ice to a cystic pimple will constrict the small blood vessels that are feeding the cyst and will immediately decrease the redness and size.
Wrap the ice cube in a paper towel (don’t apply directly to the skin – and hold it against the bump three times an hour in 10-minute intervals (10 minutes on, 10 minutes off).
#3. Use Clinical Grade Skin Care Products
Acne products you get at the drug store typically are insufficient to reduce cystic pimples that are deep under the skin. In fact, many OTC acne products can irritate the skin, making breakouts appear worse.
The trick is using medical grade products that use different ingredients that work differently and complement each other to treat cystic acne. Typically, a combo of salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide will work best – in strengths available from medical skincare providers like ElastinMD, ZO Health by Obagi, and Alastin.
To prevent irritation when using the latter, make sure you prime the skin with a light moisturizer first, he says, then spot-treat the cyst with a super-thin layer of the lowest percentage of benzoyl peroxide.
For cystic acne removal, start with a high concentration of salicylic acid cleanser – around 1 to 2% – depending on how sensitive your skin is. The high concentration of salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid (BHAs) will help shrink cystic pimples by removing excess oil, sloughing off dead skin cells, and drying them out. Apply the salicylic cleanser and let it sit while you sing the alphabet before rinsing it off. This allows enough contact time with the skin for the active ingredients to penetrate and be effective.
Follow the cleanser with a light oil-free, noncomedogenic moisturizer to prime and hydrate skin and help prevent irritation.
Then apply a benzoyl peroxide spot treatment. While benzoyl peroxide skin-care products come in 2.5 to 10 percent concentrations, but you don’t necessarily have to max out on the highest concentration. Clinical studies have shown that low concentrations of benzoyl peroxide are as effective as higher concentrations but are associated with less dryness of the skin. For larger more aggressive pimples, you may also need to include a hydrocortisone component to the leave-on spot treatment.
#4. Med Spa Treatments for Cystic Acne
Deep cleaning pores to remove sebum (oil), skin cells and debris can help take your cystic acne removal to the next level – and help prevent future breakouts.
At AMAE in the Troy, MI area we offer three treatments that can be customized specifically to treat cystic acne in adults and teens.
We offer the popular ZO Acne Intervention Facial, that contains specially formulated clinical-grade salicylic acid serums that treat cystic acne without irritating skin. Clinical grade acne medication is applied during the treatment that penetrates the pores and kills the pimple-causing bacteria, while necessary extractions are done by our skilled aesthetician or nurse as needed.
We also offer DiamondGlow (formerly Dermalinfusion) that uses vacuum and high-pressure water jets to deeply clean out pores. Then salicylic acid and other proprietary bacteria-fighting ingredients are injected deep into the pores.
And, for patients for whom salicylic acid is not appropriate we also offer the Nordlys Ellipse IPL laser acne treatments at our Troy, MI area Med Spa. This advanced pulsed light device eradicates acne, by using a combination of fractional and infrared lasers in one comfortable procedure.
Cystic Acne Treatment – Troy, MI Area
At AMAE Med Spa in the Troy, MI area each appointment begins with a professional skin consultation. Acne treatments and products are then carefully selected and customized to meet the specific needs of each client.
Dr. Ali and our nurses and aestheticians offer the absolute best technologies in skin care – including state-of-the-art acne products and treatments. Schedule a consultation to see which treatment is best for your skin type and appearance goals. Then relax in our Troy, MI area Med Spa, while we make you look and feel younger and even more beautiful!