Hi – I’m a 37 year old female wit hormonal cystic acne. I know I’m going to catch some heat for this BUT I have had cystic acne for the past 2-3 years. When I tell you that I tried EVERYTHING please believe me. I’ve spent so much money on acne products, I probably could’ve paid off my car! Two months ago, I decided to try an old remedy that I used when I was in middle school – rubbing alcohol. Yes, it can be damaging to the skin but understand that I exfoliate and moisturize daily. Sorry if this is TMI, but my monthly came on last night – the root cause of my acne along with my hair rubbing along my face when it is not in a pony tail. Two days ago, I felt two painful, itchy cysts developing. I attacked both of them with rubbing alcohol.
What is cystic acne? It is a very painful pimple with pus and swelling in it. Regardless of age, it can affect anyone but it is very common in teenagers. Hormonal change during puberty is the root cause of this kind of acne. During puberty, androgen hormones increase rapidly which encourage excess oil production. Excess oil attracts dirt that locks up into the pores. When it clogs the pores and go deep into the skin, the bacteria thrive in it developing cystic pimple. So, the attack of bacteria is what causes cystic acne.
Similar to a spot treatment, toothpaste can dry out your pimples in a matter of a few hours. Use classic white toothpaste instead of a gel formula and apply it to the pimple, leaving it on overnight. Fair warning: If you have sensitive skin, I would skip the toothpaste and go for a more gentle treatment, like the one above, since it can be harsh and irritate skin.
“You unfortunately cannot determine the strength of a product strictly by the percentage of its active ingredients because how well a product works depends on how well its inactive ingredients help it penetrate the skin,” explains Dr. Green. “In other words, a 2 percent benzoyl peroxide may be more effective than another brand’s 5 percent benzoyl peroxide because there are other ingredients helping out.”
Retinoids and retinoid-like drugs. These come as creams, gels and lotions. Retinoid drugs are derived from vitamin A and include tretinoin (Avita, Retin-A, others), adapalene (Differin) and tazarotene (Tazorac, Avage). You apply this medication in the evening, beginning with three times a week, then daily as your skin becomes used to it. It works by preventing plugging of the hair follicles.