Cystic Acne: What Is It?
Cystic acne also called Nudular acne is a severe type of acne that leads to scars and deep pits in the skin. What causes cystic acne and how to prevent it would be the focus of our discussion.
Acne is classified into categories according to severity. Cystic acne is the severe type of acne; it is characterized by pimples that are deep and largely inflamed. Cystic acne is a general term used to describe people with severe acne, but those who form cysts are considered with true cystic acne.
Cysts are blemishes in the skin that are large, inflamed and fluid filled. It contains bacteria, cellular debris and sebaceous contents that spilled into the dermis (second outer layer of the skin) from the inner layer where the follicles are located. Cysts appear large, red and are very painful. Because the blemishes are rooted deep within the layer of the skin, cystic acne can cause scar formation after.
What Causes Cystic Acne?
Bacteria and an overproduction of sebum are the primary causes of cystic nudular acne. An overproduction of sebum causes the skin to be oily, and an oily skin attracts bacteria. Bacteria such as Propionibacteria acnes begin to accumulate in the pores of the skin where they clog and infect the skin pores. This is the beginning of acne formation. If the inflammation is concentrated near the surface of the skin, there would only be minor lesions that will heal quickly. However, if the inflammation is located near the follicles, then major acne lesions form.
In the follicles, bacteria, dead skin cells, and sebum begin to accumulate until it enlarges and then ruptures. The rupture forms the large blemishes or cysts we see in the surface of the skin, the characteristic of cystic acne. Because the site of the inflammation is from the deep layer of the skin, the healing process is longer and the lesions are painful. Aside from that, deep pitting scars are also formed after the blemishes have healed.
There are also other factors that can trigger the formation of nudular acne. Certain drugs can cause the sebaceous glands to become overactive and produce more sebum than it normally would. Anti-tuberculosis medicine, epilepsy drugs, and hormonal replacement drugs can cause the overactivity of the sebaceous glands leading to cystic acne formation. For some people, stress and strong emotions can trigger acne formation. Lack of hygiene does not directly cause cystic acne, but it can affect or worsen the presence of acne. For some people intake of certain foods can trigger cystic acne; in this case they are advised to avoid intake of foods they think can trigger breakouts.
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How to Prevent Cystic Nudular Acne
There is no single way on how to prevent cystic acne, oftentimes prevention of this condition is not achieved because people only come to know it when they already have breakouts in their face. Cystic acne can happen to anyone, and although there is no single prevention, certain measures can help in preventing the breakouts that may lead to cystic acne. Hygiene remains to be an important prevention; washing the face two to three times daily cleanses the skin of the excess oil and bacteria. Avoiding the trigger factors can also help prevent cystic acne.
Medications that can cause acne formation must be consulted with a physician, and cosmetic products that can lead to breakouts must be avoided. For some people who experience acne due to intake of certain foods or beverages, these must also be avoided. For some who have breakouts due to stressful situations, it would be advisable for them to take stress relieving measures to lessen or eradicate the acne formation.
Prevention of cystic acne is not usually employed until the breakouts are already present, and so the best management for cystic acne remains on the curative side rather than a preventive one. This type of acne is considered severe, and so consultation with a dermatologist is necessary in treating this condition. In order to treat cystic acne, the dermatologist may prescribe certain medications and also suggest procedures in order to prevent scar formation.
Severe acne is usually treated with a vitamin A derivative, Isotretinoin. Isotretinoin is not an over the counter drug and needs a physician’s prescription and supervision as well. The dermatologist might also suggest procedures such as dermabrasion to make the skin smooth and to manage acne scars. There are several factors to be considered in terms of what causes cystic nudular acne; preventing it may be difficult but curing it is highly possible.
Watch the video to see how a pro removes cystic acne pimple