Reader Question: How Do I get Rid of cystic acne?

cystic acne cures

Hey Jamie,

I’ve been having REALLY BAD cystic acne breakouts lately(the large, painful kind)…and I’m in my 30s, by the way. Awesome.  I tried using over-the-counter acne stuff but nothing is working. Do you have any ideas?



Hi S,

I’m so sorry, dude. Cystic acne is THE WORST…believe me, I know.  I had to deal with it when I was 24/25 and it was really awful.  You can’t pop them and the zits sometimes feel like they have a pulse they hurt so much.  So yeah, the over-the-counter stuff is great for regular (bacterial) breakouts like blackheads, whiteheads, etc. but they will do absolutely NOTHING (seriously, nada) for cystic acne.  In fact, sometimes it can even make it worse cause the ingredients in the products can irritate your already-inflamed skin.

What I suggest is this, because it worked for me:

Step 1: Go to your dermatologist to make sure it is, in fact, acne of the cystic kind (just in case…not that I don’t trust you, but I thought mine were bug bites- NO LIE).

Step 2: Try what your derm recommends.  I tried two different kinds of prescription topical medications before she finally decided to put me on oral antibiotics.  I saw MUCH faster results once I started taking them, along with using a prescription topical, but it DID take several months before it actually got better which can be really rough on the old self esteem…

Step 3: Stick with it. I know it’s hard but try to trust what your derm is telling you; the skin isn’t an instant thing and it takes time to see results.  I’d say it took me about 1.5 years before my acne was fully cleared up but once it was I was VERY HAPPY that I did everything that I did to get to that place.

Step 4: When all else fails, have a backup.  There are two things that got me through my cystic acne rough spots:

Renee Rouleau Anti-Cyst Treatment// Now, like I said, most topical stuff doesn’t really do much for cystic acne since the bacteria is so deep down in your skin, BUT, I LOOOOVED using this stuff because it definitely improved things.  The Anti-Cyst Treatment, by Renée Rouleau, is formulated to heal and reduce inflammation of stubborn cystic acne blemishes that develop deep within the skin and can linger for weeks–or even months. When used immediately on a newly formed cyst, most will find they get approximately a 50% quicker recovery (if not faster) than when using nothing at all.  So, again, this stuff doesn’t completely get rid of the cysts but it helps them heal faster and I definitely also noticed they were smaller after use.

Spontaneous cortisone shots from my dermatologist// Right in the heat of my acne battle I luckily worked about a 5-minute walk away from my derm’s office. She told me if I ever had a really painful cyst, that I could just call to come in that day and if she wasn’t available to give me an injection, a nurse practitioner could do it for me. The cost?  Just my insurance co-payment which, at the time, was about $25.  TOTALLY WORTH IT, guys. As long as the cyst was fairly new (not like two weeks old or anything), the injection would kill the bacteria at the root and the zit would go away in about 2-3 hours.  Seriously. It worked every time and, believe me, a needle to the face is nothing compared to the pulse coming from that zit.

Good luck!



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