There is a good chance that while growing up, you have had to deal with acne – some of you may even still be dealing with them.
Acne can be a pain in the neck: while there are heaps of lines written on the subject, some treatments may not work or help at all.
The main reason is that acne can have a number of different causes – it might be caused by an underlying condition you may be suffering from, like hormonal disbalance. In such cases, a DIY home remedy simply won’t do, and it won’t stop you from getting an outbreak of the most severe and painful type of acne – cystic acne.
Cystic Acne Description and Causes
From the name itself, we know that cystic acne is a type of acne which shows up deep under the skin, forming cysts because of the excess skin oil (sebum), dead skin cells and bacteria. Cysts form when the skin gets more and more inflamed and infected, building up puss and creating a kind of bump which may hurt or itch.
Research regarding the causes of cystic acne has been inconclusive, but it’s known that androgen hormones definitely have a big contribution. Other factors include stress levels, diet, lifestyle, and hormonal imbalance (caused by other health conditions, menopause, menstruation), dairy consumption, certain medication, and some research indicates that there may even be a hereditary component.
Who Is Prone To Cystic Acne?
Puberty can cause massive changes in a teenager’s body, and this can cause cystic acne. Women are more prone to cystic acne than men since they go through hormonal fluctuations every month, but statistically, men suffer from severe types of cystic acne more.
Cystic acne are definitely not easy to deal with, and you need to put an effort into preventing them, just like you would with normal acne. Staying dedicated to certain habits and routines and trying out a health regimen can go a long way for prevention. Here are some of them:
- Make sure you have a daily routine, which will help you keep your skin soft and clean. This means washing your face every morning with a cleanser made for acne, a normal over-the-counter one would do the trick – just make sure that the ingredient list is as clean as possible. Stick to it for long enough before you consider switching – your skin needs to get used to it.
- After you cleanse, it’s time for the toner. It will remove all the oily residue that might be left on your skin and will also help remove any leftover chlorine minerals from tap water. Make sure your toner is not alcohol based, and that you don’t have dry skin. If you have dry skin, skip this step and move to moisturizer – we don’t want the toner to dry out your skin even more.
- Once again, the type of skin you have will determine the type of moisturizer you should use. Have sensitive skin? Go for the ones without fragrances and heavy chemicals. Dry? Go for the milder ones with a thicker texture. Oily? Avoid the ones that are heavy on oils – you need a moisturizer that will help with exfoliation.
- Makeup is very important! Make sure the products you use don’t contain any comedogenic ingredients such as oils, petrochemicals, and perfumes. Reading about the ingredients is no fun, we know, but it can help you choose the best makeup for your face, one that you can wear longer without worrying about irritation or inflammation.
- Avoid touching your face! Our faces are exposed to more than enough things that can clog our pores or irritate our skin, every single day. Polluted city air, dirt, makeup, sunlight, cold weather, the sweat…this list goes on and on. So, keep your hands down and don’t touch your face, and don’t even think about picking the acne your face, chin or otherwise.
- Diet and hydration are just as important for your face as they are for other parts of your body. Make sure you drink enough water. Drink fluids – like teas, which contain minerals and other ingredients which are good for your face.
- While proper hygiene and nutrition are essential to prevention, let’s not forget about the importance of mental well-being. Keeping your stress levels as low as possible will decrease the chances of hormonal chaos. Regular exercise can reduce stress levels and improve blood circulation in your body, skin functions, and processes. Sweating will get the toxins out and will clean out your pores.
Ok, you have done almost everything to prevent cystic acne, but there it is, on your chin, the dreaded lump that gets on your nerves and makes you really want to pop it. Don’t do it. It will only make it worse. As we already said, cystic acne is usually full of bacteria and poping it will only help spread the infection – and there’s the risk that it will leave a permanent scar. Keep in mind that normal acne medicaments usually have little effect on cystic acne. Instead, try out some of the following solutions to sooth the infection and treat the cyst.
Home remedies are a good way for you to see what type of acne you are dealing with on your chin, and see if this is a one-time thing, just a side effect of temporary hormonal imbalance or something more serious is in question.
- Aloe Vera – gels made from aloe vera are useful because of the plant’s proven antibacterial and anti-inflammatory traits. It’s an affordable and efficient way to reduce the inflammation and with that, the size of the cyst. Apply gel on the cyst and it will slowly shrink.
- Turmeric – a good spice and an even better anti-inflammatory wonder. It contains curcumin – which is good for soothing infections. Mix up a teaspoon of turmeric powder with a few drops of water and apply on the cyst. Since this seasoning has many other properties, you might want to start adding it to your meals.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – yeah, using condiments we usually put on our salads for skin treatment is not really intuitive, but it works. To be more precise, apple cider vinegar is good at keeping your acid mantle in balance. The acid mantle is a mixture of sebum (oil) from the sebaceous glands and amino and lactic acids from sweat. These properties make it slightly acidic – with a pH value of 5.5. Mix equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and water, dip a cotton pad in the mixture and dab on and around the cystic acne. Let it soak into the skin for a few minutes and then rinse your face with water.
- Baking Soda – great for skin exfoliation, removes dead skin cells and cleans your pores. Add a teaspoon of it in some water, apply it to your face, let it sit for a minute and then wash it off with a cleanser and warm water.
- Lemon juice – vitamin C is known to have great anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Dip a cotton pad in some lemon juice and dab on the cyst and around it, leave it overnight to really soak into your skin and affect the acne, wash it off in the morning. Careful though – lemon juice can really dry out your skin, so test and see whether it works for you
As we mentioned previously, sometimes cystic acne on the chin can be caused by other conditions that you might be suffering from, and if that’s the case, the above-mentioned home remedies might just soothe the symptoms for a little while. A visit to the doctor would help you understand the root of your acne problem, and your doctor will advise you for the best course of action. If it’s hormonal, some of the following things may be required for you to get rid of that cystic acne on your chin.
- Antibiotics – a lot of times, antibiotics are prescribed so that your body can fight bacteria from the inside. Keep in mind that this treatment can take up to several months, and like any other prescribed medication, they come with potential side-effects – such as nausea and stomach problems. If there is no improvement on your skin after taking antibiotics for a few months, make sure to tell your doctor about this and they can then decide if you need to visit a specialist for further treatment.
- Topical treatment – yes, giving over-the-counter products a chance to do their thing is not a bad move, but consider the fact that there are gels, lotions which you can get only with a prescription. Usually, these are rich with a form of vitamin A called retinoid, which can unclog your pores and even make your antibiotics more effective.
- Spironolactone – this is a hormonal treatment that is usually prescribed to women to help lower their testosterone levels. This, in turn, helps lower oil production in the skin caused by hormonal fluctuation.
- Isotretinoin – this is the go-to treatment for people who because of one or more reasons have had no luck with any of the previously mentioned treatments. This is a form of vitamin A that kills bacteria and soothes infection in acne, and it also decreases the size of your oil glands. The dosage is regulated by the severity of your cystic acne, your body mass and your response to the treatment. It’s not an overnight cure, as the treatment usually lasting somewhere between 15 and 20 weeks. There might be some side-effects like dry skin, redness, and itching, but considering the incredibly high success rate and the fact that relapse rates are not high at all, this is definitely an option that you should take into consideration.
Sadly, this is not a topic that is talked about as much as it should. We know that having cystic acne can have a detrimental effect on our self-confidence. It can cause depression and anxiety and leave problems in the long term. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed from your acne, it can happen to anyone. If it starts getting to you, visit a dermatologist. That will give you a better sense of what you are dealing with and will provide comfort. The most important thing is that there is a solution. With a bit of discipline, medication, some small changes to your hygiene routine, and a generally healthy lifestyle, you will definitely move one step closer to removing cystic acne on your chin and anywhere else!