Submit your skincare questions to Dr. Agnes, CEO of Herborium and natural medicine expert
Acne pimples start to develop in pores that
become clogged with excess sebum (skin oil) made by the sebaceous glands. How
serious your acne problem is depends both on the length/persistence of acne
breakouts over the years and how serious the inflammation is that manifests
into different types of breakouts (from whiteheads to serious cysts and
lesions). If you suffer from acne for two or more years, you have
The most serious form of acne is cystic acne
that forms when the pores become clogged with sebum mixed with dead skins cells
that normally rise to the surface of the skin to be sloughed off and get
trapped in the pore. Bacteria also get trapped in this mix and as the
body attempts to kill the bacteria using its immune system, you get a local
inflammatory response due to cytokines, chemokines and white blood cells
entering the area. Normally the pore is encased by the cells in the lower
layers of the skin, but in the case of cysts this inflammation spreads under
the top layer of the skin. This influx of cells and proteins causes
swelling (bumps under the skin) and can be both very painful and very harmful
to your skin.
If you try to squeeze these bumps you induce
more skin damage, which recruits more immune cells into the area and starts a
vicious cycle, which ends up damaging skin and leaving acne scars and
To treat cystic acne you need both serious
treatment and serious patience and perseverance so you actually get rid of it
before major and long-term damage to your skin becomes extensive.
The best approach to treat cystic acne is a
combination approach that includes a solid acne treatment that prevents new cysts from forming
and is actually taken regularly to secure a steady supply of active acne
fighting ingredients to your body, and an adjunct skincare routine
that ensures you do not further clog pores with inappropriate topical products,
nor apply agents which irritate your skin further causing an inflammatory
reaction. Please note that your skin is a "smart organ" and
when under attack with over-drying or comedogenic products, it will indeed
respond by protecting itself by producing more skin oil (sebum).
Cysts take the longest time to treat, therefore
you may need patience and perseverance to stop them from coming. For example
you may need to take AcnEase® for longer than the standard 1- month.
AcnEase® will prevent more sebum from forming but your body needs to heal from
the damaged skin tissue. By preventing more pimples from forming with
AcnEase® you can achieve this goal.
Cystic acne is the most serious type of acne,
which needs a serious approach. Use combination therapy by adopting an internal treatment (only
internal products can treat internal causes of acne), and topical adjuncts
(helpers) and even topical antibiotics for a comprehensive approach.
Some recommendations for topical spot treatment
are using witch hazel on a q-tip on the larger pimples - after this, dab the
same cysts with Neosporin using a q-tip (use this brand, not others) - do not
put this all over your face - use it sparingly and on the largest cysts only.
Avoid changing products and treatments too fast
and trusting "miracle cures". Cystic acne requires time to treat.
By cleaning your skin smartly, it will thank
Use moisturizer and sun protection daily. It is
a BAD MYTH that acne prone skin does need them. Furthermore, when you have
cystic acne you have inflammation. You want to sooth your skin with water
based, non-comedogenic moisturizer and protect it against additional
inflammation that may be caused by sun radiation. Always chose sun protection
with atleast a level of 6% or higher of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
Treating acne (especially chronic/cystic acne)
often requires changing your lifestyle to support healthy skin, not only the
treatment of pimples. Find the treatment that appeals
to your life philosophy and remember that even prescription is not a guarantee
of effectiveness or safety (examples include Accutane, antibiotics, oral
contraceptives). And also remember, if it sounds too good, it usually is too
good to be true. Beware of "over night" treatments for cystic acne
(and acne for this matter) as they do not exist.
With a Promise of Clear