Cystic Acne Treatment | Pimple under the Skin

Cystic Acne Treatment | Pimple under the Skin

Cystic acne is the most severe acne that one can face. It is a very serious form of acne vulgaris which causes inflammation and large bumps underneath the skin. 80% of the people between 12 to 30 years of age group face acne problems. Cystic acne is very rare but severe enough to cause emotional distress to a person because of the way it appears. However, on time cystic acne treatment is important otherwise, it can lead to lifelong damage in the form of ice-pick scars, larger pits, shallow depressions in the skin, and raised scars. Before knowing the treatment for cystic acne, let’s see the causes of cystic acne?




Hormonal imbalance in adolescent teenage years is the main cause of cystic acne.  At the time of puberty, androgen hormones levels get elevated which leads to enhanced sebum production. Despite this, several other factors are also associated with cystic acne formation -

  • Hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle or pregnancy
  • Use of birth control pills
  • Hormonal therapy
  • Stress
  • External factors like too much humidity and sweating
  • Use of greasy cosmetics, cleansers, and lotions
  • Use of certain medications such as corticosteroids, lithium, phenytoin, and isoniazid


Moreover, there are several myths among people related to acne such as -

Myth 1: One should not eat greasy foods, chocolates, or nuts

Myth 2: Acne is a teenager problem

Myth 3: Toothpaste can heal a scar

Myth 4: Inadequate washing of face


If you find red, painful, and irritating bumps on your skin, then you have developed cystic acne. Apart from this, cystic acne may have these characteristics –

  • Large white bump
  • Large pus-filled cyst
  • Redness
  • Tender or painful to the touch


Due to the severity of acne, over-the-counter drugs or medication is not very effective most of the times as they are for mild acne mostly. One must consider going to a specialist who can prescribe some strong medication in order to get rid of cystic acne. But before that, you should try to do the following cystic acne treatments:   

  • Salicylic Acid

If you have cystic acne, it becomes important to get rid of excess oil which is present beneath your skin in order to give way to other products that you apply and also keep it clean so that the bacteria do not enter to cause inflammation. Salicylic acid, in this case, will cleanse gently. Washing your face twice a day is very necessary to keep your skin bacteria-free and avoid the formation of a pimple under the skin.

  • Icing

It is important to keep your skin cool in order to help your blood vessels constrict. Ice cubes will help you in this case. Wrap the ice cubes in a towel and apply them on the red bumps available on the affected area. Apply it for 10 minutes and then let it rest for another 10 minutes. Meanwhile, you can apply it on the other side. Do this for an hour daily. Please make sure that you wash your face before applying the ice cubes as if you wash your face afterwards, it will warm the skin right away due to which, the effect of icing won’t be as it should be.

  • Moisturizing

If you think that having an oily skin gets you rid of moisturizing. You are wrong! In spite of having oily skin, you must moisturize on a daily basis after cleansing. If you do not moisturize, your skin will become dry and therefore, sebum will be automatically produced to moisturize it. When the sebum is produced, it clogs the pores thus, resulting in a pimple under the skin. Prefer using an oil-free mattifying moisturizer.

  • Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide kills the acne-causing bacteria which are trapped in the follicle. It also prevents inflammation. Benzoyl peroxide may also cause irritation so, in order to avoid it, you should first moisturise your face and then apply the ointment. However, if the irritation continues, you must wash it off immediately as it does not suit everyone. To know more about the benefits of Benzoyl Peroxide for acne read here 



Apart from the above points for cystic acne treatment, one should be more careful about their sleeping pattern and eating habits. You must never sleep with makeup on your face and regularly change your bed sheets and pillow covers as well. Of course, not to forget the most important point- remain stress-free!

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