Dermatologists agree that cystic acne is one of the most severe cases of acne. They're deep-seated, have a long lifespan and even if you try your best not to touch them, they have a tendency to leave scars. First off, not touching them is the right thing to do. Dermatologist Dr. Shari Marchbein tells Cosmopolitan that squeezing the cysts will only cause further inflammation, worse scarring and infection. While getting cortisone injections are the best option, they're expensive and frequent trips to the dermatologist at this time may also be a health risk. Nurse your cystic acne safely at home with the best cystic acne treatments approved by dermatologists. These over-the-counter products were compiled by Allure, Byrdie and The Strategist.
Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Cleanser
As they say, prevention is better than cure. If you're prone to breakouts of any kind, maintaining an anti-acne cleanser helps ward off future breakouts.
Cetaphil Pro Oil Removing Foam Wash
An oil-free and non-comedogenic facial cleanser is best when treating acne-prone skin. Since you are, or will be, using strong topical products for your cystic acne, Dr. Marisa Garshick tells The Strategist that a mild cleanser will help lessen irritation.
Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10
Don't spend too much on cleanser or washes. Dermatologist point out that the best cystic acne treatments are topicals gels or creams since they stay longer on the skin. This drugstore option contains 10% benzoyl peroxide and is a great spot treatment for home use, but just be aware that benzoyl peroxide has a bleaching effect on clothes and pillowcases.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Dual Acne Treatment
La Roche-Posay is a popular skincare brand among dermatologists. This spot treatment contains lipo-hydroxy acid to gently exfoliate dead skin cells while micronized 5.5 benzoyl peroxide will be able to penetrate skin deeper and reach deep-seated cysts.
ZitSticka Killa Pimple Patch
Hydrocolloid patches are great for any type of acne. They suck gunk to the surface and help shrink the size of your acne. These patches contain salicylic acid to combat acne and niacinamide with helps repair skin. Patches are also a big help since it protects breakouts from your dirty hands. These are best for day use when your hands are active, and you tend to touch your face.
Mario Badescu Drying Lotion
This tiny bottle contains a potent solution with its blend of salicylic acid, calamine, and zinc. Let the pink solution settle on the bottom of the bottle before using a clean Q-tip to scoop out the product. Apply on clean skin and let dry. Leave on overnight for best results.
Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Daily Leave-on Face Mask
For cystic breakout that cover a larger surface, try a mask instead of a spot treatment. This one is meant to be left overnight so your breakouts will be exposed longer to the benzoyl peroxide content.
CeraVe Hydrocortisone Cream
As mentioned, cortisone shots speed up the healing process of cystic acne. When it's not possible to rush to the dermatologist every time you have a breakout, a hydrocortisone cream may be the next best thing. While a hydrocortisone cream doesn't have acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, you can layer it over those treatments and dermatologist Dr. Brendan Camp informs The Strategist that it will tone down the swelling and pain that comes with cystic acne. This CeraVe option also contains niacinamide which calms down inflamed skin.
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