Cystic Acne; Causes and Getting Rid of Cystic Bumps

Cysts are usually non-cancerous, sac like structures that contain gas, fluid or even pus. They can occur on nose, jawline, back, chin and any other place on the body. Cystic acne pimples may be as a result of clogged pores, infection, shaving, allergic reaction etc.

Cysts acne can be itchy, painless, painful blind bumps and generally emotionally distressing especially facial appearance for those on face. Popping and tweezing should be avoided for further irritation and inflammation of cysts acne. Cystic acne majorly leaves scaring or acne scars.

Cystic bump on chin
Cystic bump on chin

What causes cystic acne on your body?

Blind pimples may occur due to mild, moderate to severe reasons. Cystic acne is relatively uncommon and tend to be severe.

1. Infection

Infection of the hair follicles that goes deep into your skin forming red, tender bumps on your skin. Clogged pores containing oil, dirt and bacteria may result to infection as well as inflammation.

Comedones may become infected and inflamed cysts, nodules, papules or pustules may be formed. Hard inflamed bumps on your skin may be due to staphylococcus infection   generally known as “staph infection”.

2. Clogged Pores

Skin normally have sebaceous glands that help protect it and hair follicle. Over production of oil (sebum) and excessive growth of skin cells makes the pores become plugged. Plugged pores creates a conducive environment for acne bacteria (Propionibacterium) to grow leading to skin deep inflammation or cystic bumps.

3. Allergic Reaction

Some people are prone to allergic reactions from things we interact with on daily basis. Insects bites on your body

Cystic acne on jawline

may cause formation of cystic acne. Others are allergic to some fabric especially synthetic ones which may lead to cystic acne formation, medication like corticosteroids, isoniazid, phenytoin and lithium may aggravate or lead to eruption of cystic bumps on your chest, neck, face etc.

Normally the allergic bumps appear small red to large patches of redness that are flat or raised. They are itchy and have burning sensation. They are treatable with anti-allergy pill like Benadryl. Use of Aloe Vera or calamine lotion or any anti-itch creams may help in reducing the itchy feelings.

4. Shaving

Shaving sometimes can result irritation that can be intense enough to lead to acne formation or intensify acne break out. Razor blades used combined with the shaving technique. Use of blunt shaving blades can irritate your skin. Shaving also do open the skin pores temporarily making them prone to bacteria.

According to, single blade is worse for acne while those that have more than 2 may agitate your skin. Use of benzoyl peroxide is recommended as after shave by dermatologists.

Cystic acne due to shaving

5. Hormonal Changes

Teenagers are more prone to acne during puberty, adolescent years is one of the largest factor that cause hormonal imbalance. During this period the amount of androgen that circulates the body increases dramatically. This in turn results to increase of sebum production and overgrowth of skin cells.

Women experience hormonal fluctuations during menses, ovulation, pregnancy and even after pregnancy during breast feeding. Use of birth control, hormonal therapy may also lead to cystic acne formation on face, neck, forehead, nose etc.

6. Genetics

Some peoples are just more prone to cystic acne on their body. Individuals that have sensitive skins than other. This may make one more allergic to clothes, animal bites, sweat leading to forming cystic inflammation on your face, neck and other part of the body. Allergic reaction of medication may also be as a result of genetics.

7. Cosmetic Products

Use of cosmetics products may cause acne. Do you consider the ingredients of the cleansers and lotion you use? Rather than increasing the sales volume of the cosmetics industry/ sector, it may be the source of cystic acne pimples on your body. Greasy cosmetics products may lead to clogged pores. This creates a haven for acne bacteria’s leading to acne pimple formation.

8. Humidity and Sweating

Humid climate and exercising or working out aggressively cause sweating that may result in sweat acne. Sweat bumps (pityrosporum folliculitis) are tough and stubborn acne that affect some people more than others.

The yeast that grows normally on everybody skin may overgrow in some people. If their pores don’t fight the overgrown yeast very well, a little heat and sweat causes cystic pimples on the skin.

Types of cystic acne

Cystic acne is a very intense painful form of acne pimples that results in large inflamed nodules and cysts.

Cystic on earlobe

Cystic acne on chin

Cystic acne on chin is common during puberty and can continue to adulthood. The main cause of cystic acne on chin is majorly due to hormonal imbalance especially in women during menstrual cycles, pregnancy, breastfeeding and even menopause.

Use of oral contraceptives also causes hormonal shifts in your body which may lead to chin cystic acne. It worth noting that birth control pills may be prescribed to regulate their hormones.

Jawline chin cystic bumps

The following are some of the helpful tips to address chin cystic acne;

  • Eliminate or reduce dairy intake in your diet.
  • Keep your cell phone clean.
  • Keep your hand clean and off your chin.
  • Avoid allergens products.
  • Consult with your gynecologists to balance out your hormones.

Cystic pimples on back

Cystic acne may affect your back forming deep inflamed painful breakouts. Acne on back may affect your self-image and make you feel uncomfortable. Cystic acne on back usually last for months and frequently leaves behind scars. The main causes are hormonal changes that trigger excess secretion of oils by sebaceous glands on your skin.

The male hormones or androgens is the main culprit. Cleaning our back on daily basis plus exfoliating cleansers may help to improve acne and reduce chances of developing scars.

Cystic pimple on back
Cystic pimple on back

Cystic bumps on neck

Cystic acne on the neck is more common to people with dark or brown complexion, teens adults. It establishes an extreme type of acne on adults especially those who seek heat and cold treatment, needling. Cystic bumps on neck skin are more delicate to get rid of compared to face skin.

Neck cystic pimples at back

In many cases the methods used to get rid of cystic pimples on face may not respond to the cystic bumps on neck. The main causes include lactose intolerance and improper shaving.

  • Lactose intolerance occurs when you have problem digesting dairy products (milk, cheeses, creams and primary milk ingredients).
  • Shaving techniques can be the cause of cystic bumps on your neck. Use of harsh shaving foam, and gel as well as blunt and old blades may cause cystic zits on your neck. Electrical shaving devices may also be rough on your neck skin and may also carry a lot of bacteria.

Cystic pimples on forehead

Forehead cystic bumps are a natural occurrence experienced by almost everyone. Large amount of sugar intake flares up cystic pimples on the forehead. Diet is one of the main causes of forehead cystic pimples on your skin. Inadequate water intake, dirty hands and gargets that touches your forehead are part of the contributing factors that may cause bumps on forehead. Harsh cosmetics products may irritate your skin leading to inflammation on your forehead.

Cystic bumps on forehead

Cystic acne on jawline

Jawline area is prone to cystic acne breakout especially in adults. Hormonal shift is the main cause of jawline cystic bumps. Hormonal imbalance usually triggers or stimulate sebum production. This in turn provides a conducive environment for trapped bacteria to thrive and grow in the skin pores.

Women are more prone to these jawline cystic acne especially along their cycles. Stress and medicines like corticosteroids, contraceptives, B vitamins may also lead to formation of cystic jawline bumps on your skin.

Humidity, genetics, pre-clogging cosmetic product, lotions and cleansers may lead to bacterial infections and rupture of the hair follicle deep in the skin surface. Home remedies and traditional spot treatment may sometime be ineffective.

Spot treatment tend to dry out the surface but still leave you with biggest bump deep under the skin surface. The bumps may last for 1-2 weeks and tend to leave behind red, dark scars which lasts even longer.

Cystic acne on nose

American Academy of Family Physicians state that natural oils produced in your body can cause blockage of hair follicle. The blockage, together with bacteria on your skin may form bumps, pimples or lesions. Nodules or cystic pimples forms irritation and inflammation of the hair follicle deep into the skin layers of the nose.

Cystic nose bumps are as a result of many factors which include; stress, facial cosmetics, hormones, clogged pores and Vitamin deficiency. These bumps are large, red, painful and may leave scars when they heal.

Cystic sore on face

Pimples breakout on your face generally is as a result of clogged pores due to excess sebum, bacteria and dirt. Cystic face acne happens when the infection goes deep into the skin creating red, tender bumps filled with pus that may itch or hurt. When the cyst bursts the infection spread causing cystic pimples breakout.

Acne scars picture and cure

Types of scarring

1. Ice pick scars

These are very deep holes but small pits scars in the skin. The ice pick scars are deeper than they are wide with jagged edges and resembles scooped out pore. New York plastic surgeon, Gerald Imber says, the Ice pick scars are formed when the body produces too little collagen in response to an injury of sebaceous gland on your skin. The treatment to ice pick scars is very difficult.

2. Boxcar scars

These are bread rectangular depressions with steep defined edges on your skin. Boxcars scars tend to be broader than ice pick scars. They too occur as a result of body producing too little collagen compared to the wound on infected sebaceous gland during healing.

3. Rolling scars

They are scars with broad depressions that have rounded sloping edges on your skin. Rolling scars have smooth edges and tiny hill and valley like looks. Rolling scars is as a result of body producing too much collagens during healing of the wounds.

What causes acne scars? The scars are caused by healing process that disrupts the skin natural healing process. According to Dr. Bowe, when the skin is open up, like popping a pimple and then closes together, you get abnormal texture, tone and pigmentation that looks different from the rest of your skin.

Sometimes the broken blood vessels that remain after a bump or lesion fades leaving behind a dark mark. For those who refrain from popping or picking a pimple, they can still get a dark brown or red mark that naturally fade away in few months, says a Miami dermatologist Heather Woolery-Lloyd.

What are remedies for acne scars?

The prospect of living blemish free for acne sufferers may lead to a cabinet full of medicine, chemical creams and oral ointments. While these treatments offer powerful and immediate relief they may have a long lists of side effects. The following are some of safe alternative natural remedies to get rid of acne scars;

  • Aloe Vera gel
  • Baking soda
  • Honey
  • Cucumber
  • Coconut oil
  • Lemon
  • Tea tree oil
  • Potato juice
  • Cocoa butter
  • Rose hip seed oil
  • Sugar scrub
  • Vitamin E

Treatment of cystic bumps

Generally cystic acne form deep underneath the skin and is the most serious type of acne. Cystic bumps tend to affects teens, women and adults or old aged suffering from hormonal imbalance. Usually the cystic pimples improve with age. Although there are some that are stubborn, itchy, painful that won’t go away on their own.

Acne treatment can be by either or both systemic and topical drugs. Benzoyl peroxide in 5-10 % concentration is applied on skin to produce mild dry skin. Oral tetracycline is also effective on some ways. A relatively severe resistant acne, Isotretinoin may be used to inhibit secretion of sebum and liquid composition on surface of the skin. Caution is taken since it is a teratogen and cannot be given to pregnant women. Tretinoin may also be applied to reduce Comedones and address inflammatory lesions.

What are the Effects of treating cystic acne?

Individuals who follow doctor prescriptions for months or years increase chances of improvement as well as preventing permanent scarring. Cystic acne can leave a permanent and disfiguring scars. The following medical methods may be applied; Rotary high speed brush or sand paper surgery or dermabrasion.

Home remedy for cystic bumps

Eating nutritional balanced diet is one of the primary method of addressing any type of acne. As the saying goes; your skin reflect your inner health generally determined by what we eat. The following are remedies to get rid of cystic bumps and acne on your skin.

1. Apple cider vinegar (ACV)

External application: ACV contains antiseptic, antibacterial, anti- inflammatory and astringent properties beneficial to the skin. Apple cider vinegar contains malic acid that exfoliate the skin effectively. ACV also help to balance the skin pH levels.


  • Cleanse your skin first and pat it dry.
  • Apply the apple cider vinegar (for sensitive skin dilute 1:1 with water) on the affected area, using cotton ball or clean cloth.
  • Leave the application overnight, rinse off with luke warm water in the morning
  • Regularly repeat the process for effectiveness.

For internal consumption: Dilute apple cider vinegar detoxifies the body and reduce the effects as well as get rid of free radicals and harmful toxins. The ACV drink may prevent skin problems and pimples acne break out.


  • add 1 tablespoon of unfiltered raw apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm water, add a little honey.
  • Stir well and drink it once or twice a day.

2. Baking soda

Baking soda has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that help to pull out excess oil, dead skin and impurities from skin pores. It also tightens the skin pores, fights acne causing bacteria, makes the skin radiant and smooth.


  • Wash your face with water and mild soap, pat it dry.
  • Mix 1-2 tablespoon of baking soda and water to make thick paste.
  • Apply the paste on the acne affected area. If you have sensitive skin add 2-3 tablespoon of cucumber juice to reduce itchy feel and increase soothing.
  • Leave the paste for 15-20 minutes
  • Rinse off with luke water and pat it dry. Apply moisturizers on your skin
  • Repeat the process once or twice per day for effectiveness.

3. Epsom salt

Epsom salt has anti-inflammatory effects that soothe and reduce inflammation of cystic bumps. Sulfate component present on Epsom salt help to flush out toxins in skin pores that causes acne breakout.


  • Mix one and a half tablespoon of Epsom salt and warm water (you may add 2 tablespoon of baking soda).
  • Combine the ingredients to make a paste and apply on affected area.
  • Rinse off with luke warm water and pat it dry.

This method can make your skin dry add a drop of clove oil. Use dilute clove oil, it is very strong and powerful with amazing properties to fight cystic acne. Apply one on first day. Twice on second day and check positive results definitely on third day.

4. Honey

Honey is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. Applying honey on cystic pimples help in reducing and improving the inflammation almost immediately.

5. Coconut oil

Coconut oil contains caprylic and Lauric acid, that have antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties. Coconut can help fight acne causing bacteria. Coconut also contain vitamin that help remove free radicals and as a result acne scars and marks.


  • Carry out facial steaming for a few minutes to open up skin pores or clean with warm water the affected area to ensure treatment penetrates.
  • Apply few drops of coconut oil on the acne infected area as you massage on circular motion.
  • Rinse off with mild soap and water and pat it dry.
  • If you have dry skin apply 1-2 drops coconut oil mixed with water to moisturize.

6. Lemon juice

Lemon contains citric acid which has antibacterial and astringent properties. The acidic properties remove dead skin, break down the cyst and reduces inflammation and redness.


  • Clean the affected area with soap and luke warm water.
  • Apply lemon juice on affected area using cotton ball.
  • Leave the lemon juice for 10 minutes and rinse off with cold water.
  • Repeat the steps twice per day till the inflammation improves.

7. Mint

Mint leaves contains antibacterial properties and soothing effects that can help prevent and get rid of cystic acne


  • Crush few mint leaves using a mortar and pestle.
  • Clean the affected area and pat it dry.
  • Apply the crushed leaves on the affected area.
  • Leave it for 15-20 minutes and rinse off with luke warm water.
  • Repeat the process at least once in 2 days.

8. Turmeric

Turmeric has curcumin which has anti- inflammatory, antiseptic, antitumor and astringent properties. Turmeric dehydrates, drains out pus and reduce pain and inflammation.


  • Mix 1-2 teaspoon of turmeric powder, sesame oil and add water to make a paste.
  • Apply the paste on the affected area and leave it for about 60 minutes.
  • Rinse it off with water and pat it dry.
  • Repeat the steps 1-2 times per day.

9. Lavender oil

Lavender oil reduces both inflammation and pain or itchiness. It can also help in promoting healing and preventing scarring.


  • Apply lavender oil on the affected area with cotton ball or clean cloth. Alternatively take a bowl of hot water and add 4-5 drops of lavender oil.
  • Rinse it of after 5-10 minutes with water.
  • Repeat the process 2-3 times per day.

10. Cucumber

Fresh cucumber juice may help reduce the redness on the skin by opening the pores.


  • Peel and blend a cucumber and extract the juice using a sieve or cheese cloth you can add sugar.
  • Apply on the affected area using a cotton ball and leave to dry.
  • Wash off with water and pat the area dry.
  • Repeat the process regularly.


  • Mix lentil powder and cucumber paste.
  • Apply on the face and neck for 20 – 30 minutes before taking a bath.
  • Follow these processes regularly.

Others include natural method that can be used include; aspirin mask, blue tansy oil, ice, toothpaste, mango, Dandelion, Cinnamon, potatoes, steaming, green tea etc.

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