How can you tell that you have cystic acne? If you have deep infections on your skin that are nodule or cyst-like, and these infections don’t rise to the surface and discharge their waste material, you may suffer from cystic acne.
You may or may not have blackheads or whiteheads along with the cystic nodules. But, certainly, these infections heal very slowly, with a risk of possible scarring. What’s behind these horrible bumps? Dead skin cells and other debris stick to the skin’s excess production of sebum and completely block the openings of hair follicles. Bacteria becomes trapped with skin oil and its free fatty acids within follicles. Unfortunately, these bacteria breed rapidly, and tend to produce skin infections and abscesses. These severe breakouts are called cystic acne.
Within the follicles, bacteria is not the only culprit. The reproduction of bacteria also generates enzymes that produce free fatty acids from sebum. These acids spill out into the follicle openings, inflame the skin and break down skin barriers such as calcium. In an effort to combat the inflammation, the skin near the follicle openings produces even more cells, which clogs the follicle openings even further. This action closes the follicles, making them ideal environments for incubating bacteria and producing acne infection.
Some cystic acne sufferers are even fighting heredity. There is already a well-accepted theory suggesting that acne tends to run in families and that some people may be predisposed to cystic acne infection. A hyper-sensitive gene within the cells of the follicles responds with overproduction of cells within the follicle walls, causing chronic blockages.
One of the ways you can combat the causes of cystic acne is to aim for effective bacterial control on the skin surface. However, killing and controlling the bacteria that cause cystic acne is not as easy as it was a few years ago. Overuse of antibiotics has allowed more resistant bacteria to develop; many are resistant to one or more of the antibiotics typically used to treat acne.
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Many people use glycolic acid in an attempt to fight acne breakouts. However, glycolic acid does not kill the bacteria that commonly cause breakouts. Salicylic acid and triclosan do. Benzyl peroxide kills acne bacteria, but it also dries out the skin and promotes premature aging.
Typical acne infections rise to the skin’s surface and discharge a large portion of the waste products, toxins and tissue debris. In cystic acne, this release does not happen. Helping the skin to absorb therapeutic chemicals becomes very important. Absolutely vital are drugs and topical medications that reinforce the skin’s ability to break down the infection’s waste materials and facilitate the healing and repair process. If this is not accomplished, cystic acne will not be controlled.