There are some skin conditions that are difficult to treat and to live with. Kallgren Dermatology in Boulder knows that you want to look your best and that you are willing to do whatever it takes to get your skin clear, if only you knew what to do! Cystic Acne is one of these conditions. We are going to explore what cystic acne is and the measures you can take to control outbreaks.

What is Cystic Acne?

First, let’s define acne. Acne is, according to the Mayo Clinic, a “skin condition that occurs when your hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin.” The root cause is that the sebaceous glands, which are connected to the hair follicle, produces an excess of oil, and when it can’t get out of the hair follicle opening, the follicle gets clogged. The clog progresses through stages: from a simple clog, to a whitehead, to a blackhead, to pimples, and, in some cases, to cysts.

Acne: Step By Step

A white head is when a simple clog of oil from the sebaceous gland is not able to get to the surface of the skin. A blackhead is caused by the oil being exposed to the air. When germs get into the hair follicle, they can cause a small infection, which manifests itself as a pimple, or pustule. This can occur because the pore becomes inflamed and swollen, letting even less oil out and so it builds up under the skin. This, in turn, can lead to “large painful lumps beneath the surface of the skin,” or nodules. These are caused by a subdermal infection. It seems there is really only a qualitative difference between these nodules and cystic acne. Cystic acne can be chronic and is very painful.The cysts are infections when they have created puss. This cycle of inflammation is hard to break.

To look at breaking the cycle, we need to look at the causes of sebaceous gland oil production and what habits that can be controlled contribute to it. We will look at those factors in our next blog.

In the meantime, call Kallgren Dermatology for help with cystic acne.