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How Do I Choose the Best Cystic Acne Treatment?

Nicole Madison
By
Updated May 17, 2024
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The best cystic acne treatment is likely to be one you get from a dermatologist, which is a doctor who specializes in skin care. This is due to the fact that cystic acne is often very difficult to treat, and you may have the best chance for success if you allow a professional to examine your skin and prescribe an appropriate treatment. Often, doctors prescribe a course of treatment that includes a combination of oral and topical medications for this purpose. At home, there are several things you can do to treat this type of acne. Among the best may be cleansing the skin of excess oil, dirt, and makeup; using hot compresses; and applying benzoyl peroxide.

Some forms of acne often prove harder to treat than others, and such is the case with cystic acne. This type of acne is often marked by hard, inflamed, painful lesions that take a very long time to heal on their own. Some people try to hasten the healing process by squeezing and picking at the cysts, but this is usually not a good idea. Squeezing and picking often only makes matters worse and can cause permanent scarring of the skin.

Since cystic acne can represent a treatment challenge, the best option for treating it may involve seeing a dermatologist. He can examine your skin and evaluate the type of acne you have and then recommend a prescription cystic acne treatment that is proven effective. For example, he might prescribe an oral antibiotic in combination with a topical treatment effective for drying oil, destroying bacteria, and shrinking blemishes. He may even drain some cysts to encourage faster healing.

While a dermatologist can prescribe the best cystic acne treatment in most cases, you may decide to try treating it at home instead. In such a case, you will likely do well to use a skin wash that helps remove excess oil, dirt, and bacteria from the skin. It usually best to avoid those that strip the skin of too much of its oils, however, as this may actually work to increase oil production and result in more acne. You can also use hot compresses to help shrink acne cysts and encourage them to heal faster. Additionally, you can use an over-the-counter acne treatment to help dry up blemishes — one that contains a significant amount of benzoyl peroxide will likely prove a good choice for cystic acne treatment.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGEEK writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.

Discussion Comments

By ddljohn — On Feb 25, 2014

@SarahGen-- Is your acne very bad? Has your doctor considered steroid treatment for you?

I've had to use steroids in the past as a severe cystic acne treatment. I was scared to use them at first but they worked really well. I even got a corticosteroid injection once for a cyst that would not reduce in size. It was completely flat after the steroid treatment.

Of course, this is a last resort type of treatment. If other treatments are working for you, definitely use those first.

By turquoise — On Feb 24, 2014

@SarahGen-- How long have you been on the antibiotic for? It generally takes some time to start seeing results.

Amoxicillin is a fairly mild antibiotic. If it does not work, your doctor may try stronger antibiotics to treat your acne such as tricyclic antibiotics. So don't lose hope just yet. Antibiotics are definitely a very effective treatment for cystic acne. Most people experience a great improvement while on them. But it requires some patience and you may have to try a few different ones until you find one that works well for you. If you don't see improvements in the near future, tell your doctor about it.

By SarahGen — On Feb 24, 2014

My doctor put me on an antibiotic called amoxicillin for my cystic acne. I've been using the antibiotic as directed but I'm not seeing any changes. I thought that antibiotics are the most effective acne treatment. What can I do if this never works?

Nicole Madison

Nicole Madison

Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGEEK writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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