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According to the American Academy of Dermatology, up to 50 million Americans are affected by some type of acne every year. Over-the-counter acne treatments like topical retinoids and benzoyl peroxide cleansers are great options for managing ordinary pimples and blackheads. However, when it comes to cystic acne breakouts, stronger treatments are usually needed. Since cystic acne can cause significant acne scarring, it is best to schedule a consultation with a board-certified dermatologist, such as Dr. Michele Green, to help treat these cysts effectively. At her private, boutique NYC dermatology office, Dr. Green will help you eliminate your acne and achieve a clear, healthy, radiant complexion.

Having the correct cystic acne treatment plan from the outset is important because inflammatory acne, like cysts, is the most likely type of acne to cause acne scars. There is a wide range of acne treatment options that Dr. Green may recommend depending on the cause of the acne cysts, the frequency of breakouts, and the amount of acne scarring that may be present. Dr. Green incorporates the best skin care for her patients from MGSKINLAB’s line of products, with ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, salicylic acid cleansers, oil-free moisturizers, and more. When severe acne occurs, oral medications such as antibiotics, Spironolactone, or Isotretinoin may be used. Corticosteroid injections, acne surgery, HydraFacial, and chemical peels are just a few of the best acne treatments that Dr. Green utilizes in her discreet, private NYC dermatology office.

Dr. Michele Green is an internationally renowned board-certified dermatologist with over two and a half decades of experience providing some of the world’s most discerning individuals with personalized acne treatment plans to suit best their skin condition, type, tone, and the types of acne they have. Dr. Green is consistently identified as one of New York’s best dermatologists by Castle Connolly, New York Magazine, and Super Doctors for her dedication to her patients and expertise. She takes pride in carefully creating customized treatment plans for each patient based on their medical history, their cosmetic goals, and their unique situation. If you are looking for a solution to your cystic acne breakouts, Dr. Green is here to help.

What is Cystic Acne?

A cyst is a type of acne lesion characterized by a large, red, tender bump that doesn’t come to a “head.” Cystic acne is usually pus-filled and forms deep beneath the skin’s surface, meaning most over-the-counter treatments are ineffective against them. Cystic acne is highly inflammatory and thus closely associated with acne scarring. Some of the most common cystic acne treatments include oral antibiotics, Accutane (Isotretinoin), and Spironolactone. Although topical treatments can be supplementary to oral medications in targeting cystic acne, they typically won’t be effective in clearing cystic breakouts on their own. This is because most topicals won’t penetrate the skin at the depth required to treat and prevent cystic acne, which forms deep beneath the skin’s surface. However, it is still important for patients with acne-prone skin to use skincare products suitable for their skin type. Consulting with an experienced board-certified dermatologist, such as Dr. Michele Green, is the best way to treat and prevent breakouts and acne scarring.

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5 months before and after Acne treatment

What causes Cystic Acne?

Cystic acne lesions can develop when excess oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells clog the sebaceous glands at the base of hair follicles in the skin. Cystic acne breakouts most commonly affect the face but can develop anywhere there are oil glands, such as the back, chest, buttocks, shoulders, and neck. Genetics and hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause can increase the likelihood of getting cystic acne. The chances of getting cystic acne tend to be higher if one or both parents have a history of cystic acne breakouts. Anyone can potentially develop cystic acne, but this skin condition most commonly affects teenagers, individuals with a genetic or familial disposition, and adults with hormonal imbalances.

Additionally, while acne cysts are most often associated with oily skin, those who have normal, dry, or combination skin types can also develop acne cysts. Some patients are simply more prone to cystic acne breakouts than others due to their skin’s natural oil production. When you consult a board-certified dermatologist like Dr. Green, she will collect a thorough medical and family history, physically evaluate your skin condition, and potentially request certain lab tests to determine what’s causing your acne and how to treat it best.

How does a dermatologist treat cystic acne?

Cysts are a type of inflammatory acne that are difficult to manage with over-the-counter treatments and likely to lead to acne scarring. Patients with cystic acne are advised to consult with a board-certified dermatologist as soon as possible in order to prevent acne scars, which can often be even more challenging to treat than the breakouts themselves. A board-certified dermatologist, such as Dr. Green in NYC, has the experience and expertise to create a cystic acne treatment plan best suited to your specific needs and skin condition. Dr. Michele Green is a world-renowned expert in the field of dermatology, especially when it comes to treating acne breakouts and acne scars.

The first step in developing a customized treatment plan for your unique situation is to thoroughly evaluate your medical history during your initial consultation with Dr. Green. The medical history typically details any personal and family experience with acne breakouts, including any previous acne treatments that you may have tried. Dr. Green will perform a physical examination of your skin, and she may order lab tests to help determine which combination of in-office treatments, prescription medications, or specially formulated skin care products will be best suited to your unique situation. No matter the cause of your cystic acne, Dr. Green is here to help treat your acne and provide you with a blemish-free, clear, smooth, beautiful complexion that lasts.

What is the best thing for cystic acne?

The best way to prevent and treat cystic acne is to consult with a board-certified dermatologist as soon as you notice the development of cystic acne lesions. Unfortunately, cystic acne does not go away on its own and can lead to the formation of permanent acne scars when left untreated. Cystic lesions can be large, painful, and highly inflamed and require treatment with topical or oral medications for effective management. During a consultation with Dr. Green, she will review your medical history, skin condition, and cystic acne breakout to determine a treatment plan suited for you. Below are some of the treatment options available that Dr. Green often recommends to her patients who struggle with cystic acne vulgaris.

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Acne treatment – 1 and 6 months after.

Oral medications to treat cystic acne

It is important to consult with a board-certified dermatologist like Dr. Green regarding oral medications for cystic acne, as the recommended prescriptions will depend on the underlying factors contributing to your skin condition. It is often recommended to use some form of oral medication to treat cystic acne breakouts, especially if you are prone to recurring cystic acne due to genetics or hormone changes.

Oral antibiotics such as Doxycycline and Tetracycline are effective at resolving cases of mild to moderate and even severe inflammatory acne, including cystic acne. The frequency and strength of your prescription may depend on the severity of your skin condition. These oral antibiotics are usually advised when topical acne treatments have failed or for severe acne. Oral antibiotics need to be taken for some time, as ascertained by Dr. Green, based on your unique situation. Probiotics are generally recommended while taking oral antibiotics to promote gut health.

Oral isotretinoin is one of the most effective treatments for cystic acne, helping to prevent new nodules from forming and keeping acne scars from developing. In the past, Accutane (brand name for isotretinoin) was reserved for only the most severe cases of recalcitrant cystic acne. However, Accutane is now used to treat both moderate and chronic acne breakouts, particularly if they have not responded to other acne treatments. More dermatologists are recommending Accutane in order to prevent permanent acne scarring and to achieve blemish-free skin more effectively and permanently. There are some potential side effects related to Accutane, and a board-certified dermatologist like Dr. Michele Green should always supervise your acne treatment. Monthly appointments are required during the course of Accutane. During each follow-up, blood tests are performed to ensure safe usage, and women must get additional lab tests to make sure that they are not pregnant. Dr. Green will adjust the dose as necessary to ensure that the breakouts don’t recur once Accutane is discontinued. Strict sun avoidance and sunscreen use are required while taking Accutane, as it is photosensitizing and can make you more susceptible to getting sunburn during your acne treatment.

Spironolactone (Aldactone) is a prescription medication that combats hormonal changes that may be contributing to the development of acne breakouts. While healthcare providers have historically prescribed spironolactone for blood pressure management, it is now also prescribed to control androgen levels. Increased androgen levels can lead to an overproduction of sebum within the skin, creating cystic acne lesions. Acne-prone patients, patients experiencing acne due to hormonal changes, and particularly patients with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome typically find great relief from their acne breakouts by taking spironolactone. For other patients, this medication greatly helps to regulate the hormonal fluctuations which can cause adult acne.

Oral contraceptives/birth control pills can help regulate the hormones that spike during a woman’s menstrual cycle and control the acne flares associated with those changes. Birth control pills are used to prevent hormonal acne by keeping hormones in balance. The FDA has approved specific oral contraceptives to treat women who struggle with hormonal breakouts. Two of the most popular brands of birth control pills that are used to treat acne are Yaz and Ortho Tri-Cyclen, which contain both estrogen and progestin. Possible side effects associated with birth control pills include weight gain, nausea, mood swings, and an increased risk of blood clots. Women should avoid cigarette smoking while on oral contraceptives as this further increases the risk of developing blood clots.

Before prescribing any oral medications, Dr. Green will collect a thorough medical history and potentially order certain laboratory tests to assess potential underlying factors contributing to the breakouts. In addition to oral medications, Dr. Green may suggest in-office procedures, topical treatments, and specially formulated skincare products to treat cystic acne.

Chemical Peels

A chemical peel is a non-invasive skin resurfacing procedure designed to increase the rate of skin cell turnover, encouraging dead skin cells, debris, and dirt to be sloughed off more quickly than they would on their own. A chemical peel can help remove dead skin cells and sebum from clogged pores, reveal a healthier complexion that is more even in tone and texture and prevent or eliminate blemishes. The chemical solution causes the dead skin cells to peel off, revealing new, unblemished skin that replaces the older, damaged, and dead skin cells. There are various types and strengths of chemical peels that can be used to target different skin conditions, including hyperpigmentation, acne scars, fine lines, rosacea, and sun damage, among others. During your consultation, Dr. Green can select the appropriate type and strength of chemical peel for your skin condition to help treat and prevent breakouts and acne scars.

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Accutane 6 months – before and after

Acne surgery

Acne surgery is an in-office procedure that entails creating an opening in active acne lesions, removing the contents using a comedonal acne expresser, and administering corticosteroid injections directly into the emptied lesions. The steroid shots can help relieve some of the inflammation commonly associated with cystic acne lesions, which can help reduce the likelihood of developing acne scarring. This treatment method is a quick technique that can remove sebum and dead skin cells that are trapped within the clogged pores and causing acne. Extracting the contents of the active acne lesions prevents acne scar formation and allows the skin to heal. While acne surgery is an effective treatment for active blemishes, it can not be used to prevent new lesions from forming. Usually, patients with cystic acne who take advantage of the benefits of acne surgery still need to take oral medications and use topical treatments to resolve their breakouts successfully. When you have cystic acne treatment with Dr. Green, she will recommend a personalized combination of in-office procedures, oral medications, topical treatments, and skincare products.

VBeam Laser

The VBeam laser is the gold standard for eliminating facial redness, including that which is associated with acne. The VBeam operates on a wavelength that exclusively targets red pigment, leaving the surrounding skin untouched. This laser treatment also kills acne-causing bacteria while stimulating new collagen production, which contributes to reducing breakouts and improving skin texture. Most patients require 4-6 VBeam treatment sessions to eliminate redness. There is zero downtime involved with the treatment, meaning patients can resume their usual daily activities immediately after the procedure and schedule their treatment sessions with ease. The VBeam is equipped with a dynamic cooling device, which emits a burst of cool air prior to each laser pulse, enhancing the comfort of the treatment.

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VBeam- 4 sessions


A HydraFacial is a three-step medical-grade facial that focuses on gentle exfoliation, deep cleansing, and intense nourishment of the skin. The HydraFacial utilizes a handheld device to deliver a combination of serums through a vortex fusion tip.

The first step in the HydraFacial treatment is the cleansing of the skin through suctioning of dirt, debris, and dead skin cells. The second step in the process is the administration of a chemical peel, using a combination of salicylic and glycolic acids, to increase the rate of skin cell turnover and break up the excess oil contributing to clogged pores and acne. The third step of the HydraFacial is the infusion of rich antioxidants to nourish the skin, reinforce the skin’s natural protective barrier, and keep any toxins or environmental irritants from penetrating the skin. Different boosters can be incorporated at this time for redness, hyperpigmentation, or other skin concerns. Additionally, Blue LED (BLU-U®) light therapy can be added to the third step of the HydraFacial process. Blue LED light works to eliminate acne-causing bacteria and improve the overall appearance of oily skin and clogged pores.

When you schedule a HydraFacial with the office of Dr. Green, she will work with you to customize your HydraFacial so that it addresses your primary skin concerns and leaves you with a healthy, radiant, glowing complexion.

Topical Skincare for Acne-Prone skin


Choosing the right cleanser is vital to creating a skincare routine that effectively targets breakouts. Depending on the type of acne you have, Dr. Green may recommend a gentle cleanser or a cleanser with active ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, glycolic acid, or salicylic acid. From her line of specialty skincare products, MGSKINLABs, Inc., the Pore Minimizing Cleanser contains a combination of glycolic and salicylic acids. The Pore Minimizing Cleanser helps eliminate excess oil and dead skin cells from clogged pores to promote a clear complexion.


One of the biggest myths about acne-prone skin is that moisturizer isn’t necessary. Moisturizer is an essential component in every skincare routine. For acne-prone patients, choosing a non-comedogenic lotion over a cream formula may offer more comfort. It is especially important for patients with acne-prone skin who are using skincare products with active ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or retinoids, as they can cause dry skin. Dry skin tends to overproduce sebum in order to provide moisturization, which can exacerbate acne. Keeping skin hydrated with a lightweight moisturizer will help regulate oil production and promote healing. The Ultimately Sheer hydrating lotion from Dr. Green’s MGSKINLABS, Inc. is an excellent moisturizer for oily or acne-prone skin, providing essential moisture without clogging pores.


Many patients with acne-prone skin admit to forgoing sunscreen to simplify their skincare routine and prevent worsening their breakouts by clogging pores with the product. However, UV exposure can worsen breakouts by causing dry skin, leading to oil glands overproducing sebum to compensate. UV exposure can also increase the likelihood of developing post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from blemishes. To protect your skin, always wear a non-comedogenic, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours. The Hydrating SPF 50 from Dr. Green’s MGSKINLABS, Inc., is a great product for those who are seeking a lightweight sunscreen. This sunscreen is broad-spectrum, meaning it offers protection against UVA and UVB rays. Acne-prone patients enjoy that this combination of moisturizer and sunscreen allows them to reduce the number of total steps in their skincare routines. When you consult with Dr. Green at her private dermatology office in Manhattan’s Upper East Side neighborhood, she will work with you to create a customized skincare routine that includes a combination of specially formulated products that are suited best to your skin condition.

What is the best skincare product to use for cystic acne?

Anyone who has dealt with cystic acne knows that managing breakouts can be a challenge. To best prevent cysts from forming, acne-fighting ingredients should be included in your skin care regimen. Benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and topical retinoids are some of the key ingredients to look for when creating a skincare regimen that’s targeted to treat and control acne. Below are some of Dr. Green’s recommendations for skincare when you’re struggling with cystic acne.

When you have cystic acne, an acne spot treatment or cleanser that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid will be helpful for eliminating acne-causing bacteria from the skin and shrinking acne lesions. Cleanse your skin twice a day without excessive scrubbing, as scrubbing too hard or overwashing the skin can actually cause your skin to overproduce oil as a response. Additionally, if you have sensitive skin, ingredients like benzoyl peroxide may be too aggressive for you and cause a negative skin reaction. Dr. Green’s specially formulated pore-minimizing cleanser is made with salicylic acid and glycolic acid, designed to treat acne-prone skin and effectively eliminate acne lesions. This Pore Minimizer cleanser from MGSKINLABs, Inc. removes oil and sebum from deep within the skin, minimizing the appearance of pores and leaving behind clear, smooth, healthy-looking skin.

Adapalene (Differin gel) and tretinoin (Retin-A), along with other topical retinoids, are derived from vitamin A and are commonly used in the treatment of inflammatory acne and cystic acne. Azelaic acid is another topical cystic acne treatment containing anti-inflammatory properties to both treat cystic acne and improve hyperpigmentation from acne breakouts. These topicals are beneficial for acne-prone skin because they help exfoliate away dead skin cells and sebum that cause the pores to become clogged. Those who have sensitive skin may not be able to tolerate retinoids as they can cause dryness and skin irritation.

Do spot treatments work on cystic acne?

Unfortunately, spot treatments that typically work wonders for whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, and pustules just do not work on cystic acne lesions. Most of your topical skincare products, no matter how targeted the ingredients are and how miraculous they may be for treating other forms of acne, are ineffective when it comes to addressing cysts. Cystic acne sits deep within the lower layers of the skin, making it especially difficult for topical spot treatments to penetrate the skin at the depth necessary to treat the cyst effectively. If you think that you feel a pimple coming on, it may be helpful to apply a bit of spot treatment to the area even before the lesion fully forms to potentially help manage skin inflammation before things get too out of hand. As of yet, there are no spot treatments available that can effectively manage acne cysts. Consulting with a board-certified dermatologist like Dr. Green is the best way to control cystic acne and prevent the formation of acne scars.

Will pimple patches help cystic acne?

First of all, what is a pimple patch? A pimple patch is a hydrocolloid bandage that can be used to cover an inflammatory acne lesion, drawing out the sebum and oil that’s clogged within the pores. Hydrocolloid bandages work to dry up any surface-level pimples and pustules, and many pimple patches are even medicated with additional acne-fighting ingredients to help further minimize breakouts. While a pimple patch can be an effective method for removing the contents of an acne lesion that is on the skin’s surface, they are essentially worthless when it comes to addressing cystic acne that forms deep beneath the surface of the skin. Applying a hydrocolloid bandage to a cyst might be able to help with reducing the size of the lesion. However, it is highly unlikely that it will successfully eliminate a cyst. If you insist on using a pimple patch to treat this type of acne, then opt for a brand that offers medicated patches as opposed to regular unmedicated hydrocolloid bandages.

Will tretinoin help cystic acne?

Yes! Tretinoin, known by its brand name Retin-A, is a great topical treatment for acne breakouts because it stimulates accelerated skin cell turnover. Increased cell turnover rate allows for new healthy cells to come to the skin’s surface and leads to more open pores, releasing trapped impurities and bacteria from pores. Additionally, this vitamin A derivative helps to regulate sebum production and decrease inflammation, preventing new acne breakouts and clearing up active papules. Tretinoin cannot be found over the counter and must be prescribed by a board-certified dermatologist such as Dr. Green.

Will salicylic acid help cystic acne?

Salicylic acid is an excellent acne-fighting ingredient for those experiencing cystic acne. Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that binds to excess oil and impurities to break them apart on a molecular level, releasing them from pores and gently exfoliating the skin. Salicylic acid also reduces sebum production and increases the rate of cell turnover to remove excess dead skin cells quickly.

Will benzoyl peroxide help cystic acne?

Yes. Benzoyl peroxide reduces inflammation and kills acne-causing bacteria, which can be helpful in treating cystic acne. Benzoyl peroxide is better suited to managing inflammatory acne lesions like cysts compared to other types of acne, such as blackheads and whiteheads. Benzoyl peroxide can be found in many over-the-counter cleansers and spot treatments. Before integrating a benzoyl peroxide skincare product into your routine, consult with Dr. Green at her private dermatology office in NYC. Dr. Green will ensure that your skincare routine is composed of products that are appropriate for your skin condition and type.

Will retinol or retinoids help cystic acne?

Retinoids are skincare products derived from vitamin A that accelerate the rate of skin cell turnover. Dead skin cells are sloughed away more quickly than they otherwise would be, revealing healthy new skin cells and keeping pores clear. Acne forms when sebum, dead skin cells, and debris clog the pores, causing inflammation and irritation. Since retinoids help prevent pores from clogging, they can be a beneficial skincare product for patients with acne breakouts. Retinoids are available over the counter, such as Differin gel, and in prescription strength formulas, such as Tretinoin. In addition to reducing breakouts, retinoids work well to diminish fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and other signs of aging. This is because retinoids also encourage new collagen production. Collagen is a skin protein that contributes to elasticity, a firm skin texture, and an overall youthful appearance. Dr. Green will work with you to customize your skincare routine to comprise the products, including retinoids, best suited to your skin condition. While using any type of retinoid product, it is important to practice proper sun protection, as retinol can increase the photosensitivity of the skin.

Should you exfoliate cystic acne?

Yes! Patients with cystic acne should gently exfoliate their skin on a regular basis to remove the build-up of dead skin cells and debris from the skin’s surface. Over-exfoliation can exacerbate the breakout, so it is important to refrain from using any harsh tools or scrubbing techniques and instead use a gentle chemical exfoliant such as lactic acid, glycolic acid, or salicylic acid. Using a retinoid is another safe and effective way to gently exfoliate acne-prone skin. Retinoids, including adapalene, tretinoin, and retinol, are vitamin A derivatives that accelerate the rate of skin cell turnover, causing dead skin cells to slough off more quickly than they would on their own to keep pores clean and unclogged. Patients starting retinoid skincare products for the first time should slowly integrate their exfoliant into their routine, starting with applying just a pea-sized amount to clean, dry skin once or twice a week and increasing frequency as the skin adjusts to prevent over-exfoliation and worsening of any acne breakouts.

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Is cystic acne hormonal or bacterial?

Cystic acne may be caused by a variety of factors, including hormonal and bacterial components. Hormonal acne commonly occurs during puberty, pregnancy, menopause, and menstruation. Adult hormonal cystic acne often presents along the jawline but may also affect the back, chest, neck, shoulders, and buttocks. Androgen hormones, like testosterone, regulate the production of sebum. When androgen levels are imbalanced, such as during puberty, pregnancy, or menstrual cycle, the oil glands in the skin produce excess amounts of sebum, clogging pores and leading to the development of cystic acne. Bacteria can also become trapped in pores, creating inflammation, swelling, and the formation of acne cysts. To develop the best personalized cystic acne treatment plan for each patient, Dr. Green will thoroughly evaluate your medical and family history and may order certain lab tests to determine the underlying causes of the cystic acne breakouts.

How to treat hormonal cystic acne

Hormonal cystic acne, more common in females than males, often requires intervention with medications like spironolactone or birth control pills. Spironolactone (brand name Aldactone) is a medication that regulates androgen levels to control and prevent acne breakouts. Oral contraceptives/birth control pills have recently been FDA-approved to treat women who struggle with hormonal acne. Yaz and Ortho Tri-Cyclen, which contain both estrogen and progestin, are two popular birth control pills prescribed to treat hormonal acne.

The first step in determining the underlying causes of your cystic acne and clearing your breakouts is consulting with a board-certified dermatologist with the expertise and experience to manage the condition of your skin adequately. Dr. Green in NYC has over 25 years of experience providing the best acne and acne scar treatments to patients from around the globe and will assess your skin condition and medical history to create an individual treatment plan for treating your acne.

How to treat cystic acne while pregnant

It is common for women to experience cystic acne breakouts while pregnant due to an increased release of various hormones, including androgens. These hormones can impact the amount of sebum produced in the skin and lead to excess oil accumulation, clogging pores and causing the formation of cystic acne lesions. Pregnancy is a very special time, and it is extremely important to be careful with what skincare products and medications are used during this period to ensure the safety of both the mother and the developing fetus.

While many products are safe to use while pregnant, other medications, such as retinoids and antibiotics such as tetracyclines, can cause potential birth defects. If you choose to breastfeed, many of these same medications should be avoided since the effects can potentially be passed to your infant. Again, it is always best to check with your obstetrician or pediatrician when breastfeeding to ensure any medication is safe for your baby. While pregnant, consult with Dr. Green as to which cleansers and skincare products are safe to use. Consult with both a board-certified dermatologist, like Dr. Green, and your obstetrician prior to the use of any topical skincare products or oral medications for treating acne while you are pregnant and after delivering your baby.

How to treat cystic acne at home

When it comes to home remedies for cystic acne, there are a few treatments that may help and can even be used as a supplement to your acne medications, skincare products, and in-office treatments with a derm. Tea tree oil is a helpful homeopathic remedy for reducing acne lesions, including cystic acne. Tea tree oil is naturally anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory, making it a beneficial topical treatment for acne lesions. Some patients like to incorporate clay face masks into their acne treatment routines since clay can deeply penetrate the pores and remove impurities like sebum, oil, and debris that contribute to acne lesions. Applying facial masks and exfoliants can also improve acne at home, as long as abrasive cleansers and exfoliants are not used.

While a Google search might highlight a slew of possible homeopathic remedies designed to cure your cystic acne, the very best treatment for any form of acne (especially cystic acne) is found through treatment with a board-certified dermatologist, like Dr. Michele Green. It is incredibly important that cystic acne be addressed swiftly and professionally since cystic acne lesions are the most likely to leave behind permanent acne scars. Acne scarring typically occurs after cystic acne breakouts because of the sheer amount of intense skin inflammation associated with cysts, causing damage to the skin tissue that, unfortunately, cannot be repaired on its own. The result is usually an area of depressed skin that is tethered by bands of scar tissue. In order to actively prevent acne scars from forming and clear cystic acne quickly, safely, and effectively, one should always meet with a board-certified dermatologist who can promptly diagnose your skin condition and prescribe you the appropriate combination of medications, topical skin care products, and in-office treatments to help you achieve a blemish-free complexion that lasts.

Will cystic acne go away?

Cystic acne is not likely to go away without treatment. Unlike other types of acne, cystic acne forms when bacteria become trapped and cause inflammation deep beneath the skin’s surface. Without treatment, cysts can take weeks to months to resolve on their own, and the painful, pus-filled lesions can rupture beneath the surface of the skin, permanently damaging the surrounding skin tissue and forming acne scars. Cystic acne is most likely to cause acne scars due to the inflammation associated with the lesions. In order to prevent damaging the skin tissue and keep permanent acne scars from forming, it is important to seek cystic acne treatment from a board-certified dermatologist, like Dr. Green, as soon as cysts develop.

Will cystic acne go away without popping?

Cystic acne is not likely to go away without treatment. Cystic acne lesions lie deep under the skin. Should one attempt to pop a cyst, the result will be a lesion that is even more inflamed, red, and painful, with the cyst remaining below the top layers of irritated skin. As an additional result, the tissue underneath will undergo permanent damage, creating acne scars. Instead of popping cystic acne lesions, consult with a board-certified dermatologist such as Dr. Green to create a customized treatment plan consisting of prescription medications and in-office treatments for getting rid of your acne.

Why is my cystic acne getting worse?

One of the most important things to remember is not to pick at your acne! Picking at pimples only leads to worsening the acne, causing sebum to be pushed deeper into the skin and inflammation surrounding the lesion to increase. Cystic acne develops at a level deep within the skin that prevents the lesion from connecting to the skin’s surface, making it essentially impossible to manually extract the cyst by popping it. Attempting to pop a cystic acne lesion can create inflammation, resulting in permanent damage to the skin and leading to the formation of acne scars, which are often even more difficult to treat than acne.

Trying to pop a cystic acne lesion is not the only thing that can make it worse. No one can deny that cleansing your skin with the appropriate products is an essential part of preventing and treating acne; however, overwashing the skin or scrubbing too aggressively while cleansing can exacerbate your cystic acne. Excessive or incorrect usage of harsh cleansers or exfoliants can strip the skin of its natural essential oils, causing an overproduction of additional sebum and oil to restore the balance of essential oils and rehydrate the skin. It is important to keep this in mind when selecting your skincare products and adapting your skincare regimen to ensure that you are not exacerbating your acne, unintentionally increasing sebum production, or causing other types of skin irritation. This is especially important if you have sensitive skin, as many acne-fighting ingredients can be potentially irritating to your skin. When you visit the New York City office of Dr. Michele Green, she will discuss which combination of skincare products, procedures, and medications will help you get rid of your acne cysts as quickly, safely, and painlessly as possible.

What triggers cystic acne?

Cystic acne occurs when bacteria cause inflammation deep beneath the skin’s surface, forming a painful, pus-filled lesion without a head. While the development of cystic acne breakouts can widely be attributed to one’s genetics, some external factors might trigger their onset. Some of these triggers include fluctuating hormones (particularly the sex hormones and androgens), lack of sleep, high levels of stress, and diets rich in sugar, dairy, and fat. With Dr. Green, you will delve into your medical history and identify any potential triggers that may be exacerbating your cystic acne breakouts. She may request blood work to evaluate you for abnormal hormone levels. In addition to the customized treatment plan for cystic acne that you develop with Dr. Green, she may recommend slight lifestyle adjustments that will help you avoid external factors that could be triggering your cystic acne breakouts.

How do I get rid of cystic acne fast?

The fastest way to resolve cystic acne is by consulting a board-certified dermatologist like Dr. Michele Green. By combining topical or oral medications with in-office treatments, you will see your acne heal much more quickly than it would with any DIY method or homeopathic remedies. Working with an expert in dermatology will always be the quickest, safest, and most efficient way to tackle cystic acne breakouts and help prevent any acne scarring. To help resolve active cystic acne, Dr. Green may prescribe oral antibiotics that work internally to eliminate acne or may recommend in-office treatments, such as chemical peels, intralesional steroid injections, or acne surgery, to get rid of your cystic acne quickly.

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How to get rid of cystic acne scars

It is important to treat cystic acne breakouts as soon as possible to effectively prevent the development of acne scars, as acne scars can be much more challenging to treat than the initial breakouts themselves. Cystic acne is the most likely type of acne to result in acne scarring as it is highly inflammatory. The inflammation associated with acne lesions can cause irreparable damage to the skin tissue, resulting in acne scars. Dr. Green is an expert when it comes to carefully customizing the acne scar treatment plans of patients, utilizing the most cutting-edge technologies and innovative techniques to restore the confidence of patients with acne scars by giving them smooth, clear, radiant skin that lasts. Whether treatment consists of laser skin resurfacing with Fraxel laser, radiofrequency lasers such as eMatrix or Vivace, chemical peels, subcision with dermal fillers such as Restylane and Sculptra, or a unique combination of treatment modalities, Dr. Green will help you to look and feel like the absolute best version of yourself.

Is cystic acne dangerous?

Breakouts of cystic acne aren’t inherently dangerous on their own, but attempting to pop or pick at lesions may lead to a serious skin infection. Cystic acne is also considered the most severe type of acne breakout, as lesions can be physically and mentally painful and are the most likely type of acne to lead to acne scarring. Many individuals with cystic acne struggle with the psychological effects of breakouts, including feelings of low self-esteem, self-consciousness, depression, and anxiety. These effects may cause some patients to avoid social activities and negatively impact their overall quality of life. A board-certified dermatologist, like Dr. Green in NYC, can help to quickly clear cystic acne breakouts and boost feelings of self-confidence by providing the right acne treatments for your skin condition.

Why is cystic acne painful?

Cystic acne is painful due to the size, location, and inflammation of the cysts. Cystic acne lesions are located deep underneath the skin and are closer to nerve endings in the skin than other types of acne, such as blackheads and whiteheads. Additionally, cystic acne is characterized by inflammation, which can heighten the pain of a cyst. The larger, deeper, and more inflamed a cyst is, the more painful it will be. The best way to treat a painful cyst is to consult with a board-certified dermatologist, such as Dr. Green, as soon as the cyst has formed.

Will ibuprofen help cystic acne?

Over-the-counter pain relief medications like Advil and Ibuprofen can help soothe tenderness and discomfort associated with the cysts. Ibuprofen has anti-inflammatory properties to reduce swelling and alleviate any pain associated with the pressure from the cysts. Ibuprofen and other pain relievers are not designed for topical use and should not be applied directly to a pimple in any form. Instead, schedule a consultation with a board-certified dermatologist like Dr. Green, who can help properly diagnose and treat your cystic acne.

Will ice help cystic acne?

Icing cystic pimples can soothe inflammation, resulting in a reduced pimple size. When ice is applied, the flow of blood supplying the acne cyst is restricted. Ice can also reduce redness as well as pain associated with some cystic pimples due to ice’s short-term numbing effects. Ice should not be applied directly to the skin – instead, wrap an ice cube around a washcloth before applying it to your skin to prevent a burn. Apply the ice to the pimple in increments of 30 – 60 seconds for no more than five minutes. While ice can diminish the size and appearance of a pimple, it is in no way an effective acne treatment. It should be used in conjunction with other therapies, such as oral or topical medications.

What to do when cystic acne starts

When cystic acne breakouts start, the first step is scheduling a consultation with a board-certified dermatologist, like Dr. Michele Green, in New York City. Cysts are a type of acne lesion associated with a lot of inflammation, which can lead to serious and permanent damage to skin tissue, resulting in acne scars. Acne scars can be even more difficult to treat than acne breakouts themselves, which is why it’s so important to seek treatment from an experienced healthcare professional as soon as cystic acne starts. Dr. Green has over two and a half decades of experience treating patients from around the world for a host of skin conditions, including acne breakouts and acne scars, and will work with you to determine the best way to achieve clear, smooth, healthy skin that lasts.

How to get started with cystic acne treatment today

Cystic acne can be painful, cause acne scarring, and, for many, induce feelings of self-consciousness or low self-esteem. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, up to 50 million people in the United States are affected by acne vulgaris annually. Cysts are a severe type of inflammatory acne that can be especially challenging to treat. Rather than suffer through trial-and-error over-the-counter solutions, schedule a consultation with a board-certified dermatologist like Dr. Green, who will work with you to make a personalized acne treatment plan that’s best suited to your skin type and the types of acne you have to help you achieve and maintain a smooth, clear, healthy complexion that lasts.

Dr. Michele Green is an internationally renowned board-certified dermatologist with over two and a half decades of experience providing some of the world’s most discerning individuals with the best treatment options for active breakouts and residual acne scars. Dr. Green takes a holistic approach to acne treatment, customizing each patient’s protocol to include a unique combination of skincare products, in-office procedures, topical treatments, and oral medications for your particular needs and goals. To get started with your individualized cystic acne treatment and learn more about how Dr. Green can help you achieve beautiful, clear skin that lasts, please contact us online today or call our New York City-based dermatology office at 212-535-3088.

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