Cystic Acne – What Is It and What Are the Treatments Available?
Cystic acne is a severe form of acne that forms deep within the skin, causing painful, inflamed, and pus-filled cysts. It can affect both the face and body. Cystic acne is different from other types of acne, as it forms when the follicle wall breaks, allowing bacteria to spread and cause a more significant infection. This type of acne is not only painful but can also leave behind permanent scars. It can cause redness, swelling, and inflammation, making the skin appear uneven and irritated. Additionally, cystic acne can leave behind dark spots and scars.
Finding an effective, long-lasting treatment for cystic acne is essential. One treatment option that has gained popularity in recent years is the Dermapen, a device that has been shown to provide lasting results for those suffering from cystic acne.
Sydney Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Michael Kernohan offers a wide variety of surgical and non-surgical procedures such as breast augmentation, liposuction and facial filler injections.
What Is Dermapen And How Does It Work?
The Dermapen is a handheld device that uses microneedling technology to rejuvenate the skin and treat a variety of skin concerns, including cystic acne. Microneedling involves the use of tiny, sterile needles that penetrate the skin, creating micro-channels that stimulate the body’s natural healing process. As a result, the skin produces new collagen and elastin, which helps to repair damaged tissue and improve the overall appearance of the skin.
Dermapen treatments are performed by trained professionals who carefully glide the device across the affected areas, causing minimal discomfort. The microneedles create controlled injuries, which trigger the body to produce growth factors and cytokines, essential for tissue repair and regeneration. Furthermore, the Dermapen can be adjusted to different needle depths, allowing for a customised treatment tailored to your specific needs.
The Dermapen is a versatile tool that can address various skin issues, such as fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and, most importantly, cystic acne. By stimulating collagen production and promoting new skin cell growth, the Dermapen can help reduce inflammation, break up scar tissue, and improve the overall tone and texture of your skin.
Benefits of Dermapen Treatments for Cystic Acne
Dermapen treatments offer benefits for those suffering from cystic acne, making it a popular choice for improving the complexion. Some of the advantages of Dermapen treatments for cystic acne include:
- Reduced inflammation: The microneedling process helps to break up scar tissue and promote healing, which can lead to a decrease in inflammation and redness associated with cystic acne
- Scar reduction: Cystic acne often leaves behind unsightly scars. Dermapen treatments can help break down scar tissue and stimulate collagen production, resulting in smoother, more even skin
- Improved skin texture: The Dermapen’s ability to stimulate new skin cell growth and increase collagen production can lead to a noticeable improvement in your skin’s texture. This can help reduce the appearance of acne scars and give you a smoother complexion
- Minimised pores: Microneedling can help regulate oil production and minimise the appearance of enlarged pores. This can lead to a more balanced, refined complexion
- Customisable treatment: The Dermapen can be adjusted to different needle depths, allowing for a tailored treatment that addresses your specific skin needs. This means you can receive an effective treatment for your cystic acne, ensuring optimal results
How Dermapen Treatments Offer Lasting Results
Dermapen treatments provide lasting results for those suffering from cystic acne due to their ability to stimulate the body’s natural healing processes. By creating controlled injuries in the skin, the Dermapen triggers the production of growth factors and cytokines, which are crucial for tissue repair and regeneration. This results in the formation of new collagen and elastin, essential components for healthy skin.
The increase in collagen production helps to repair damaged tissue and reduce the appearance of acne scars, while the promotion of new skin cell growth can improve the overall tone and texture of your skin.
Dermapen treatments also offer long-term results because they address the underlying causes of cystic acne, such as inflammation and excess oil production. By reducing inflammation and regulating oil production, Dermapen treatments can help prevent future breakouts and maintain a clear, radiant complexion.
Adult Vs. Teen Acne: Is Dermapen Right For You?
Both adults and teens can suffer from cystic acne, with each age group experiencing unique challenges and concerns. Dermapen treatments can be an effective option for both demographics, offering lasting results and improved skin health.
For adults, cystic acne can be particularly frustrating, as it often appears unexpectedly and can be more challenging to treat than teenage acne. Hormonal fluctuations, stress, and environmental factors can all contribute to adult acne, making it essential to find a treatment that addresses these underlying causes. Dermapen treatments can help reduce inflammation, regulate oil production, and improve the overall health of the skin, making it an effective option for adults suffering from cystic acne.
Teenagers, on the other hand, often experience acne due to hormonal changes and increased oil production during puberty. While many teens will eventually outgrow their acne, cystic acne can leave lasting scars. Dermapen treatments can help minimise the appearance of these scars, as well as reduce inflammation and regulate oil production, making it a suitable treatment option for teenagers struggling with cystic acne.
Causes of Acne and Acne Scars
Understanding the causes of acne and acne scars is essential for finding the most effective treatment options. Some common factors that contribute to the development of acne and acne scars include:
- Hormonal fluctuations: Hormones play a significant role in the development of acne, with hormonal imbalances often leading to excess oil production and inflammation. Hormone-related acne is common during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, as well as in individuals with certain medical conditions
- Excess oil production: Overactive sebaceous glands can lead to an overproduction of oil, which can clog pores and contribute to the development of acne. This is often a result of hormonal fluctuations, but can also be influenced by diet, stress, and other factors
- Bacteria: The bacteria Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) can contribute to the development of acne by causing inflammation and infection within the blocked hair follicle
- Inflammation: Inflammation is a key factor in the development of acne and acne scars. When the skin becomes inflamed, it can damage the surrounding tissue and lead to the formation of scars
- Picking and squeezing: Picking and squeezing acne can cause further inflammation and damage to the skin, increasing the likelihood of developing scars
Preparing For Your Dermapen Treatment
To ensure the best possible results from your Dermapen treatment, it’s essential to properly prepare your skin before the procedure. Some steps you can take to prepare for your Dermapen treatment include:
- Consult with a professional: Before undergoing any Dermapen treatment, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced professional who can assess your skin and determine the most appropriate treatment plan for your specific needs
- Avoid sun exposure: Sun exposure can cause inflammation and increase the risk of hyperpigmentation following a Dermapen treatment. Be sure to avoid excessive sun exposure and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen in the weeks leading up to your treatment
- Discontinue retinoids and other irritants: Some skincare products, such as retinoids and chemical exfoliants, can increase skin sensitivity and should be discontinued several days before your Dermapen treatment
- Cleanse and hydrate: On the day of your treatment, cleanse your skin thoroughly and apply a gentle moisturiser to ensure your skin is clean and well-hydrated
Skincare Tips for Cystic Acne
In addition to Dermapen treatments, adopting a consistent skincare routine can help improve your complexion and prevent future breakouts. Some skincare tips for cystic acne include:
- Gentle cleansing: Use a gentle, non-comedogenic cleanser to remove dirt, oil, and makeup without causing irritation or dryness
- Exfoliation: Incorporate a chemical or physical exfoliant into your routine to help remove dead skin cells and prevent clogged pores
- Moisturise: Choose a non-comedogenic, oil-free moisturiser to keep your skin hydrated and balanced without contributing to breakouts
- Sun protection: Protect your skin from harmful UV rays by applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day
- Avoid picking: Resist the urge to pick at or squeeze your acne, as this can cause further inflammation and increase the risk of scarring
FAQs about Cystic Acne and Dermapen Treatments
At what age does cystic acne clears up?
- The age at which cystic acne clears up can greatly vary from person to person. While most individuals experience acne during their adolescent years due to hormonal changes, cystic acne can persist into adulthood. It is not uncommon for individuals to experience cystic acne into their 20s, 30s, or even 40s. However, with appropriate treatment, the duration and severity of acne can be managed effectively.
Why am I suddenly getting cystic acne?
- A sudden outbreak of cystic acne can be due to various factors. It’s often related to hormonal changes that occur during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause. Changes in medication, diet, stress levels, or skincare routine can also contribute to sudden cystic acne. Underlying health conditions such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) can also be a reason for sudden onset cystic acne.
What are the risks factors for acne?
- Several risk factors can contribute to the development of acne. These include hormonal changes, which occur during adolescence, pregnancy, and certain phases of the menstrual cycle. Genetics also plays a role. If your parents had acne, you’re more likely to have it too. Other risk factors include certain medications, a diet rich in dairy products and carbohydrates, stress, and exposure to oily substances or humid conditions.
What are the stages of acne?
- Acne can progress through several stages, beginning with non-inflammatory acne before potentially developing into inflammatory acne. Non-inflammatory acne includes open (blackheads) and closed comedones (whiteheads). If bacteria infect these comedones, they can become inflamed, leading to papules and pustules, which are red and may contain pus. If inflammation reaches deeper into the skin, nodules or cysts can form, which are larger, more painful, and may cause scarring.
What other treatments aside microneedling work for acne?
- There are various treatments available for acne, aside from microneedling. Over-the-counter options include topical treatments containing benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or sulphur. Prescription treatments include retinoids, antibiotics, or combined oral contraceptives for women. In severe cases, a medication called isotretinoin may be used. Other therapies like light therapy, chemical peels, or extraction of whiteheads and blackheads can also be effective.
Further Reading about Non-Surgical Procedures with Dr Kernohan
- Read Dr Kernohan’s Anti-Wrinkle Injections Page
- Read Dr Kernohan’s Dermal Filler Page
- Read Dr Kernohan’s Healite II LED Light Therapy Page
- Read Dr Kernohan’s Anti-Sweat Treatment Page
- Read Dr Kernohan’s Microneedling Page