Young Woman with Acne - Cystic Acne

There are several types of acne, but cystic acne is one of the most painful of them. It causes large, red cysts to form deep beneath the skin, leaving painful bumps that can lead to permanent scarring. It starts the same way as other forms of acne with clogged pores, but the bacterial infection moves deeper into the skin, where it forms a pus-filled bump that can burst open and spread the infection, leading to further breakouts.

Problems with cystic acne can last for years, and anyone who has ever had this type of infection can tell the difference between cystic acne and regular pimples. The question remains, though, what causes it?

Risk Factors

Consumers are most likely to suffer from cystic acne during their teens and early 20s, although it has been known to affect children as young as eight and adults as old as 50. The condition is more common in men, but women can also get cystic acne, especially on the lower halves of their faces. Researchers also believe there is a genetic component, as consumers whose parents had severe cystic acne are more likely to develop the condition themselves. At high risk for developing cystic acne? Keep that in mind when you visit to find skincare products.

The Role of Hormones

Part of the reason that teenagers and young adults are more prone to cystic acne may be attributed to higher levels of androgen during these years. Androgens, the best-known of which is testosterone, are hormones that affect sexual development and the reproductive systems of both men and women. Androgens also play a role in metabolism, insulin sensitivity, body composition, and other important functions and, unfortunately, they can contribute to changes in the skin that pave the way for clogged pores and cystic acne.

Natural changes in hormone levels can make women more prone to cystic acne during certain phases of their lives such as pregnancy and menopause. Many women also report worse or more frequent outbreaks before their periods. All of these increased risk factors are related to natural hormone production.

Medical Causes of Cystic Acne

Some underlying medical disorders and medications can increase the risk of developing cystic acne. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome are more likely to suffer from cystic acne than those with normally functioning ovaries, for example. Medications can also aggravate acne conditions. Some do so by affecting the immune system, while others stimulate insulin and insulin-like growth factor or directly affect hair follicles.

Environmental Causes of Cystic Acne

While genetics play a large role in determining consumers’ risks of developing this painful condition, there are also environmental factors at play. Wearing clothing that is too tight or living in an area with high humidity, causing sweat, can both contribute to clogged pores and increased problems with acne, especially in those already predisposed to developing cysts. Some skin products can also contribute to problems with cystic acne so it’s important for those at high risk to be careful and purchase skin care products only from a reputable manufacturer.

The Bottom Line

Cystic acne is a painful, unsightly condition that can leave permanent scars, and most of the time, it won’t go away by itself. Consumers need to take initiative as soon as they start noticing clogged pores and buy skincare products that can help them keep their faces clean and their acne under control


What Causes Cystic Acne?

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