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How To Make Cystic Acne Swelling Go Down [Top Tips]

There are few things more frustrating than dealing with cystic acne. Not only is it painful, but the swelling can make it difficult to even see your face in the mirror. If you’re looking for ways to make the swelling go down, you’re in luck. We’ve rounded up some of the top tips from dermatologists on how to get rid of cystic acne quickly.

Woman looking into the mirror whilst cleansing her face with makeup remover and a cotton pad

What Is Cystic Acne, and What Causes Cystic Acne?

Cystic acne is a type of acne that is characterized by deep, inflamed pimples. These pimples are often large and painful, and they can cause permanent scarring.

Cystic acne occurs when the pores of the skin become blocked with oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells. This blockage allows the bacteria to grow and multiply, which leads to inflammation.

Does Cystic Acne Affect Adults As Well As Teenagers?

Cystic acne is most common in teenage boys and young men, but it can affect people of any age. If you have cystic acne, you should see a dermatologist for treatment.

Adult acne treatment options include oral antibiotics, over the counter acne products like topical medications, oral medication and surgery. With proper treatment, you can decrease the size of any stubborn bumps from your cysts and prevent new ones from forming, to help you get clearer skin, and reduce skin inflammation.

How To Tell If You Have Cystic Acne Or Regular Acne

There are many different types of acne, and it can be tricky to figure out which kind you have. Cystic acne is a severe form of acne that occurs when oil and dead skin cells get trapped in the pores.

This can cause the pores to become enlarged and filled with pus. Cystic acne is often painful, and it can lead to permanent scarring if it is not treated properly. If you think you might have cystic acne, it is important to see a dermatologist for diagnosis, and potential treatment.

Regular acne, on the other hand, is a less severe form of acne that occurs when the pores become clogged with oil and dead skin cells.

Although regular acne can be unsightly, it is usually not as painful as cystic acne and does not usually result in permanent scarring. If you are not sure whether you have regular acne or cystic acne, it is best to see a dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis.

How To Make Cystic Pimples Come To A Head

Cystic acne is one of the most difficult skin conditions to treat. Unlike other types of acne, cysts are deep under the skin, which makes them difficult to reach with topical treatments. In addition, they often occur in areas where there is very little skin tissue, making it even more difficult to apply medication.

However, there are a few things that you can do to help bring cystic acne to a head. First, try using a warm compress. This will help to open up the pores and release the sebum that is trapped underneath the skin. Second, try massaging the area with your fingertips or a soft brush.

This will help to loosen the sebum and encourage it to come to the surface. Finally, be sure to cleanse the area gently, as harsh cleansers can further irritate the skin. By following these simple steps, you can help bring your cystic acne to a head and get on the road to clear skin.

Diagram showing how types of acne pimples form with whiteheads, blackheads, papules and pustules

How To Make Cystic Acne Swelling Go Down

Apply A Cold Compress

One of the quickest and easiest ways to reduce swelling is to apply a cold compress to the affected area. This can help to soothe the pain and inflammation associated with cystic acne.

In addition to a cold compress, you could always try icing the painful area with an ice cube. There are many TikTok videos lately, showing people use ice cubes on their skin to reduce puffiness, and swelling. This tip works for swelling for severe acne too, it’s very much worth a try.

It’s obviously a good option if you have more sensitive skin conditions, or you don’t want to use harsh acne treatments on your skin, to treat the cystic pimples.

Apply A Warm Compress

One of the most common and frustrating types of acne is cystic acne. These deep, painful pimples occur when hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells.

As a result, they can be very difficult to treat. However, one simple home remedy that can help to reduce the swelling associated with cystic acne is a warm compress.

Applying heat to the affected area helps to increase blood flow and promote healing. In addition, the warmth can help to soothe pain and inflammation.

To make a warm compress, simply soak a clean cloth in hot water and apply it to the affected area for 10–15 minutes. Repeat this process several times a day until the swelling goes down. By reducing the swelling of cystic pimples, it should reduce the size of your acne scars when the pimple is beginning to heal.

Use An Over-The-Counter Cortisone Cream

Cortisone is a type of steroid that helps to reduce inflammation. Applying a cortisone cream to the skin can help to reduce the swelling associated with cystic acne.

In addition, cortisone creams can also help to reduce redness and itching. While over-the-counter cortisone creams are generally safe for most people, it is always important to read the label carefully and follow the directions. Those with sensitive skin may want to consult a dermatologist before using any new product on their skin.

Close-up image of a man with breakouts, pimples and cystic zits on his skin looking angry and inflamed

Apply Tea Tree Oil To The Problem Area

Tea tree oil is an essential oil that has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. When applied topically, it can help to reduce swelling and redness, as well as kill bacteria that can cause acne.

Additionally, tea tree oil is gentle enough for use on sensitive skin, making it an ideal treatment for those with cystic acne.

To use tea tree oil for acne, simply apply a few drops to a clean cotton ball and dab it onto the affected area. For best results, repeat this process several times a day.

Use Blemish Stickers

Unlike blackheads or whiteheads, cystic acne tends to be located deep under the skin and cannot be easily squeezed. They are also often large and painful, making them hard to cover up with makeup.

However, one simple trick that can help to disguise cystic acne is to use blemish stickers. Blemish stickers are small adhesive patches that can be placed over individual breakouts.

They are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you can choose one that best fits your needs. Additionally, they are usually clear or flesh-toned, making them virtually invisible. So, if you’re struggling to conceal your cystic acne, give blemish stickers a try.

Use An Over-The-Counter Blemish Treatment Cream / Acne Treatment

Over-the-counter blemish treatment creams can help to reduce the size and redness of a pimple in as little as four hours. They work by bringing blood and nutrients to the surface of the skin and by absorbing excess oil.

There are many different blemish treatment creams available with different blemish-treating active ingredients, so it is important to choose one that is right for your skin type. If you have sensitive skin, look for a cream that is non-irritating and non-drying.

For best results, apply the cream before bed and leave it on overnight. In the morning, wash your face as usual. With regular use, you should see a noticeable improvement in the appearance of your skin.

For me, salicylic acid-based blemish treatments are always the most effective for severe acne, and I have very sensitive skin. They tend to reduce swelling of the painful bumps, reduce discomfort, and quicken the healing time process all-in-one. They can cause the upper layer of skin to peel, so always go sparingly just in case.

A doctor prescribing acne medication to someone struggling with acne

See A Dermatologist

If over-the-counter cystic acne treatments haven’t helped to reduce the swelling and inflammation, it’s important to see a dermatologist. A dermatologist can prescribe oral antibiotics or other medications to help clear the inflammatory acne breakouts and prevent new ones from forming.

They need to also check you aren’t suffering from a severe type of medical condition, which is causing the cystic acne to form on your skin.

In severe cases of inflammatory acne, isotretinoin (Accutane) may be recommended as a daily dose. While isotretinoin can be one of the most effective treatments in treating painful cystic pimples, it can also have serious side effects, so it’s important to discuss all of your options with a dermatologist before beginning any treatment. You don’t want to do anything to make your acne worse.

What Is The Best Type Of Cleanser To Treat Cystic Acne?

When it comes to treating cystic acne, the best type of cleanser to use is one containing benzoyl peroxide, as part of your skincare routine, and recommended by board-certified dermatologists. This severe type of acne can be hard to treat and is associated with painful bumps that are deep in the skin.

Benzoyl peroxide will help reduce inflammation, redness, swelling, as well as help shrink the size of cysts. It also kills bacteria that can cause a breakout of cystic acne.

As well as helping treat and prevent breakouts, benzoyl peroxide helps reduce pain from cystic acne breakout lesions by breaking down cell walls and allowing oxygen in to eliminate infection-causing bacteria.

An added benefit of using benzoyl peroxide is that it helps reduce oil production, so the skin stays clearer for longer periods, especially those with oily skin, and help the pimple go away.

When using this cleanser on cystic acne, make sure you leave it on your face for at least two minutes before rinsing off completely with lukewarm water; this allows enough time for the active ingredient to penetrate the clogged pores and do its job.

Can Salicylic Acid Help Shrink Cystic Pimples?

Yes, salicylic acid can help shrink cystic pimples. Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that has the ability to penetrate deep into the skin and reduce redness, oiliness, and inflammation.

It helps break down blemishes on the surface of the skin and in deeper layers of tissue. By breaking down dead cells that block pores, salicylic acid reduces swelling and unplugs clogged pores, which helps them shrink faster.

This makes it an ideal treatment for cystic acne since it helps reduce existing pimples and prevents new ones from forming by making sure pores don’t become clogged again.

Since salicylic acid exfoliates the skin as well, it can also help promote healing. Many over-the-counter medications include this ingredient because it is so effective against cystic pimples.

When applying products with salicylic acid to your face to help remove cysts, be sure to use gentle pressure, as rubbing too hard can irritate your skin or damage blemished areas even more.

Cystic acne can be painful and frustrating, but there are ways to reduce the swelling and inflammation. So, if you’re struggling with cystic acne, try some of the treatments above and see what works best for you.

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