(Closed) Cystic acne – solutions?

posted 4 years ago in Beauty
Post # 16
372 posts
Helper bee

Roaccutane is the only thing that works. I used to have terrible acne when I was younger and it was the only thing that worked. My only regret was the doctors didn’t put me on it sooner to prevent a lot of the scarring that occurred with it.

Post # 17
9595 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

I get occassional hormonal cystic acne on my chin mostly. I use heat and ice, organic skin care products by Eminence, Retin A for dark spots and wrinkles, and I just got a topical antibiotic for cystic from my derm.

I had one on my chin for months- it was so deep. I went in and got it shot up with cortisone and let me tell you… Holy shit it felt SO sickly good to have that needle go in and it shrunk instantly. I’m using hot green tea bags now to get it completely gone but obviously That’s not a solution. I just wanted a 911 zit gone for my wedding in a few weeks. It cost me a pretty penny but I got the prescriptions too so, worth it. I’m taking a low grade antibiotic for two weeks before my wedding to insure no acne, but again not long term solution. I’m hoping water, exercise, clean eating and religiously executed organic skin care routine combined with prescription meds helps me out.

Post # 18
609 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

Honestly accutane is the only thing that has worked for me. My skin was so horrible I had to go on two rounds of it. I’ve tried all kinds of perscription creams, diets, natural supplements.

Only the accutane worked and I have beautiful skin now. I use Tazorac cream at night and a light moisturizer during the day. I get pimples now very rarely (and it’s almost always when I’m super stressed) but they are pretty short lived.

I do agree a healthy diet can work wonders but cystic acne can be notoriously difficult to adress sucessfully. So many factors affect our hormones- in my case I just have awful genetics! You should for sure see a dermatologist and get professional advice moving forward. 

Post # 19
356 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

Ugh, sorry you’re dealing with this. I know how bad it sucks. Cystic acne hit me out of nowhere after I graduated college. I first got one on my cheek and tried to squeeze it. BIG mistake. That just made it bigger and deeper. So I made an appointment at the derm to get a cortisone shot, but before my appointment rolled around, the thing popped (GROSS!). So I thought I was cured. I guess the sac never really went away, because it filled up again, so I went to get a cortisone shot, it went down, then it would flare up, etc. etc. 2 years ago I developed another one on my other cheek, almost in the same spot. I went back to the dermatologist and he referred me to a plastic surgeon to have them surgically removed. I currently have a scar on each cheek, but they’re not bad, they just look like dimples. They haven’t been back since, knock on wood! So for me, that’s what really worked.. getting the sacs removed.  I use Peter Thomas Roth Max Complexion Correction pads to keep my skin clear and prevent them from coming back… they work great!  I would highly recommend those to clear your skin and fade any scars.

Post # 20
65 posts
Worker bee

happygirl2016:  I had horrendous hormonal cystic acne for years. Tried everything, including accutane. Spironolactone helped and isn’t as risky as antibiotics. It finally cleared up when I turned 22 but I have terrible scaring and discoloration (I’m extremely pale). Did the microdermabrasion work at all? I’m considering laser treatments for my scarring.

Post # 21
1542 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

Baking soda!

Nothing would work for my acne, but i started putting baking soda masks and it all went away!

Also, i noticed that when i reduce my carb intake (sugar, bread, etc) my acne goes down significantly.

Post # 22
193 posts
Blushing bee

Retin-A. Best thing ever. 

Post # 23
455 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

BC worked for me for a time and then it stopped. I went on spironalctone and it totally fixed it for me. I have zero issues now. Except for when I was pregnant but that’s a whole other ball game. 

Post # 24
23 posts

I had cystic acne for several years in my late 20s around my chin.  I tried acnefree, and it worked. It took about two months to start really working, but it I’ve been using it ever since and haven’t had a cyst.  The benefit of acne free is that it is only about $15.00 for enough to last for several months.  

I forgot to use it for a few days last month on vacation, and the damn cysts came back.  It really worked for me, and I had tried everything when I started using it (including prescription meds.)

Post # 25
119 posts
Blushing bee

I’ve tried everything out there!  The only thing that worked for me was Accutane. It changed my life. Started working in two months and by month 3 I was completely clear.  Here I am 5 years later still acne free! 

Post # 26
1360 posts
Bumble bee

Go to a dermatologist! Your health insurance should offer coverage for a visit and treatment. Acne is just like any other medical condition. I went on Accutane as a teen. And I agree with the above poster, it changed my life and is one of the few acne treatments out there that isn’t a bandaid. You take it for up to 6 months and you never have to take it again, unlike a lot of oral medications where the acne comes back after you stop taking it.  If your acne is so bad it’s causing scarring, you really should see a doc.



Post # 27
3092 posts
Sugar bee


Cut out dairy

Maca root pills (most natural way to balance hormones and they are cheap although you will have a higher sex drive because of this)

The highest form of retinol you could afford (for skin cell turnover so that you can get ‘new skin’).

This is the secret.


Post # 28
3092 posts
Sugar bee

should be ‘the highest form of retinol your skin could tolerate’.

For me, it’s 1% from skinceuticals. Your old skin will literally peel away.

Also, if you could afford a facial from a very reputable place once a month or a mild/superficial chemical peel.

Post # 29
1210 posts
Bumble bee

happygirl2016:  I feel ya girl. Everyone is different, but here is what works for me. It hasn’t completely eliminated my acne, but its a regimen I feel comfortable with. I only use products that are safe in pregnancy, since I’m of child-bearing age. Plus I also feel that if its not safe for a developing fetus, maybe I shouldn’t be applying it all over my face for cosmetic purposes.

AM: Apply sulfa-based face wash (I use an Rx version but you can buy OTC). Wear it like a mask while brushing teeth, taking vitamins, etc. Wash off in shower. This helps prevent new acne. Wash face in shower with Glytone Exfoliating Body Wash (leaving on while shaving underarms). This helps remove dead skin as well as the dark scar marks. Cerave lotion after shower.

PM: Cetaphil cleanser to remove makeup. Cerave lotion as needed for dryness. Spot treat with sulfa-based product of your choice.

As needed: Head to derm for cortisone injection of deep cysts. This makes them go away in <48 hours and reduces chances of scarring SIGNIFICANTLY. 

For makeup: I use Maybelline Fit Me! foundation as its inexpensive, doesn’t clog my pores and works well to cover dark scars (which can be difficult). I usually apply on the dark marks, spray with setting spray, then fill in the rest of my face, and respray with the setting spray again once I’m all done. It gives the most natural look.

A side note, my derm recommended avoiding lightening/bleaching products for dark acne scars. She says they always go away on their own with time and that you risk bleaching the surrounding skin when using those products. She also told me that with any washes I use, its about “contact time” – how long the product is actually on your skin. That is why I treat my washes more like masks, letting them sit on my face for a few minutes.

Post # 30
4891 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2014


I get the hormonal acne around my period, and received a smaple of their blemish cream in my BirchBox one month. Since then, I have bought the cream and the serum. GREAT stuff.

I suffered from bad acne MANY years (teen into adult), and my face has finally figured itself out. But, as I said, I do get the blemish here and there. They’re usually cystic if I get them, and hurt like hell.

Last week, I had one starting on my chin. I used the Evologie Serum (it has tea tree oil in it) on it nightly, and the cream on the spot in the morning. I did that for a couple days and it never appeared *knock on wood*

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