Cystic Acne: Causes, Triggers and Treatments

What is Cystic Acne?

Cystic acne is a deeper pustule containing an infection in the dermal tissue. They are large, pus-filled lesions that look similar to boils. Like nodules, cysts can be painful. People who develop nodules and cysts are usually considered to have a more severe form of acne.

What causes Cystic Acne?

Cystic acne can be the result of one or more of the following factors: oil, bacteria, and also dry skin cells stuck inside the pores. Acne is a common occurence to all skin types, but cystic acne is more likely to occur in people with an Oily Skin Type.

Cystic acne can also be caused by an internal concern. If this is persistent, I recommend seeking a naturopath to look into the root cause your cystic acne, also followed by a professional skin consultation to personalise and tailor a specific skincare regime for you.

Can I squeeze/pick Cystic Acne?

It is recommended not to squeeze or lance cysts. Instead, cystic acne should be treated by a Dermatologist, as scarring can occur.

When looking at inflammation, there are three key factors to consider:

1. Our acid mantle health:

In the case of an impaired acid mantle, irritants can be absorbed into the skin too quickly, which leads to the overstimulation of deeper cells.

The solution for an impaired acid mantle is to work on the hydration of the skin! Make sure you are not stripping the skin off its natural oils with the usage of too many harsh skin products.

Also ensure your skin is hydrated at all times! A great skin hydrator is the Medik8's Hydr8 B5 - a mix of Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin B5 for a boost of hydration and moisture!

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Infuse your skin with intense hydration and long-lasting moisture with Hydr8 B5. A deeply hydrating, crystal-clear serum that sinks in quickly to flood the skin with moisture. Using an optimum blend of hyaluronic acid weights ensures skin is seriously moisturised from the deepest layers right up to the surface.

2. Langerhan cells strength:

The Langerhan cells are responsible for the skin's immune response.

In a strong and healthy skin, we would see a large number of Langerhans cells, all with long dendritic arms, which provide very effective protection from bacteria, pathogens and irritants.

However, in inflamed skin, we often see an impaired skin immune function, where there are fewer Langerhans cells with damaged shortened arms. This greatly reduces the effectiveness of the skin's immunity and leads to excessive immune responses to small threats.

To strengthen the Langerhans cell function, topical Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) works as a tonic for the Langerhans cells to become stronger and to re-lengthen their dendritic arms.

For a boost of Niacinamide, I recommend you try the Aspect Extreme B 17.

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Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide) brings the pH of the skin back into balance, especially in oily and acne prone skins. It also removes any opportunity for the "C.acne" bacteria to proliferate, regulates sebum and helps treat post inflammatory hyperpigmentation that is common after breakouts.

3. Capillary function:

Overproduction and abnormal development of capillary networks within the skin can impair the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the stem cells and melanocytes, essentially starving them.

This results in stem cells and melanocyte function becoming sluggish, and this is where you may notice pigment disorders and slow healing (breakouts leaving future markings due to slow healing response).

Skin needling is the professional skin treatment to help boost growth factors to correct the angiogenesis process and help with post inflammatory pigmentation.

Skin needling (professionally or at home) cannot be performed over a cystic breakout.

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Skin-Inject Derma Roller (0.25mm) utilises 600 gamma-sterilised, micro-needles to effectively and visibly rejuvenate and it can also regenerate the skin’s own natural healing response.


+ Apply your night serum following your home rolling with the Skin-Inject Derma Roller for added benefits!

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Vitamin A helps to treat acne by rebalancing the stratum corneum, speeds up healing by stimulating stem cells, prevents and treats scarring by stimulating the fibroblast, and increases cell turnover to help natural desquamation

+ Supplement recommendations to support your inner health to help with visible cysts on the surface of the skin:

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Bestow Be Cleansed Powder is a fibre-rich, super food blend which cleanses the liver and bowel for radiant, healthy skin, promoting clear, pure, translucent skin by purifying your entire system. Dull, congested skin will become clearer and brighter.

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Bestow Beauty Oil is contains high levels of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), a blend of cold-pressed organic flax seed and safflower oil, formulated to deliver the best balance of healthy fats for clear, glowing skin.

About The Author:

My name is Sari Pols,
I have been in the skincare industry for over 15 years. My passion lies in ‘Health’. Health for the skin and body. My philosophy is if we have good well-being on the inside, then it shows our vitality on the outside.
I have furthered my knowledge of Skin Anatomy, Skin Concerns, and Fitness. I am a true believer in how to make my clients feel their best both inside and out. My emphasis is on guiding my clients through their journey of skin concerns and conditions. I do not like to band-aid a concern or condition but want to get down to the root of the cause. I aim to give personalised consultations with treatment and correct prescribed skin products.

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