What is cystic acne?vialik/Shutterstock
You may not be familiar with the term cystic acne, but almost everyone over the age of 13 is familiar with what it is. Large, painful bumps you sometimes get on your face that feel like they’re rooted deep in the core of your skin. “These bumps can linger under the surface for weeks or even months and can eventually harden,” explains Engelman, board certified dermatologist at Medical Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery Centers. “They may also leave deep scars.” This type of acne is common in teens, and can run in your family. With adult acne, in particular, it tends to be hormonally driven.
If you find yourself with a cyst, whatever you do, don’t prod, poke or attempt to pop it—as that is most likely to lead to scarring. If you have an important event and need a quick solution, call your dermatologist and make an appointment for a cortisone injection (a popular lunchtime beauty treatment that may even be covered by your insurance). “Cortisone is a steroid that is injected directly into the cystic acne to calm the inflammation and help it resolve more quickly, thus minimizing the risk of scarring,” explains Mara Weinstein, board certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group. The cyst should shrink (up to 90%) and become a lot less painful and noticeable within 24-48 hours.