Remedies-for-Cystic-AcneCystic acne is one of the most severe forms of acne, and is characterized by large affected areas, generally over the face. It is probably the most embarrassing and self-esteem-lowering forms of acne that exists. Just like with other forms of acne, it is caused by trapped bacteria in the pores of the skin, causing blockages of the skin that can lead to infection, severe inflammation, and irritation in some cases.

Cystic acne generally affects the face, but can also be present on the upper trunk, and upper arms. The pores of the skin, called pilosebaceous units, include hair follicles and their accompanying sebaceous glands that secrete an oily substance known as sebum. Normal secretions of sebum can help to protect hair follicles and skin, but overproduction can cause the pores to become plugged with sebum and epidermal skin cells which are shed from the skin. This can create an optimal condition for the overgrowth of an anaerobic bacterium known as Propionibacterium acne.

Cysts occur when the inflammation from breakouts leads to the rupture of the hair follicles, either by squeezing already-existing pimples or by harsh scrubbing, which releases material that can trigger wider inflammation, and deeper, hard, and painful cysts. This entire combination of events is what is commonly referred to as the “cystic acne” that we hear about and experience in our daily lives. While acne in general affects approximately 80% of those between 11-30 years of age, cystic acne is the most severe form of all, and is only experienced by an average of 2 people out of every 1,000, making it very rate.

As noted above, cystic acne can be very embarrassing. This very, very intense and visible form of an already painful and embarrassing condition can actually cause quite a bit of emotional and psychological distress, causing the sufferer to withdraw and isolate from society due to the appearance of his/her face. Furthermore, the effects of cystic acne can last long after the disease stops affecting the individual, and is the form of acne most responsible for horrific scarring and pitting seen on the classical “pockmarked” face. Many times, severe cases of cystic acne can only be treated with very powerful antibiotics and dermatologically-prescribed medications. However, before the sufferer rushes out to the dermatologist, it is important to understand that there is a variety of home remedies for cystic pimples and over-the-counter scar treatments for the terrible scarring that should occur.

How to Pop a Cystic Pimple

Because of the cystic pimple’s deep embedded infection underneath the skin, it is not generally advisable to pop a cystic pimple at home. It is best to find and use a treatment regimen that works to heal the infection. If the cystic pimple is beyond this, it may need to be surgically popped with a very fine needle by a healthcare provider. This is known as fine-needle aspiration. While one could perform this procedure at home, it is generally not advised because of the lack of a sterile environment and the risk for possible further infection of the area. This is one of the issues that makes cystic acne stand out from common outbreaks that occur with standard blackheads and whiteheads, which can be popped effectively. Instead, try some of the below home remedies for dealing with cystic acne, and if they are not effective, it may be time to visit a healthcare professional for a fine needle aspiration of the area or an actual incision and drainage procedure, known as “lancing.”

Home Remedies for Cystic Acne

Baking Soda
Baking soda is a very effective treatment for acne of all types, but especially cystic acne. It contains antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties which heal cystic acne, balance pH level of the skin, and absorb excess oil on the skin. It also helps to exfoliate the skin.

  • Mix one to two tablespoons of baking soda and water to make a thin paste.
  • Apply to the affected area.
  • Leave on for 15-20 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water.
  • Repeat one to two times daily until results are visible.
  • Alternatively, mix a small amount of baking soda, sea salt, and water to make a paste.
  • Apply to the affected area.
  • Leave on for 3-5 minutes and rinse.
  • Repeat 1-2 times daily until results are visible.

Apple Cider Vinegar for Cystic Acne
Apple cider vinegar stabilizes the skin’s natural pH levels, thereby helping to prevent future outbreaks of the dreaded cystic acne. The process is simple:

  • Use a cotton ball or cotton swab to apply apple cider vinegar to the affected area before going to sleep.
  • Leave on overnight and rinse with water the next morning.
  • Repeat until results are visible.

Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is one of nature’s most miraculous and versatile antimicrobial agents. It is useful for all types of acne, including cystic acne. There are a couple of different methods that have shown to be effective, and they are both rather simple:

  • Use a cotton ball or swap to apply tea tree oil before going to sleep.
  • Leave overnight and rinse with lukewarm water.
  • Repeat regularly until results are visible.


  • Mix a tablespoon of tea tree oil and 9 tablespoons of water to make a solution.
  • Stir well to finely blend.
  • Apply to the affected area.
  • Leave on for 3-5 minutes and rinse with water.
  • Repeat regularly until results are visible.

As you can see, some of the same home remedies that can be used to treat the occasional problem zit can also be used to treat cystic pimples. However, because of their unique deep-embedded nature, it is important to keep a close eye on the area, as opening it without a sterile environment can lead to very serious infections. Cystic acne is indeed the most severe form of acne, and if you suffer from it, you already know this. Before you give up and retreat to a life of solitude, try some of these simple home remedies and see if they work for you. It is also important to note, though, that many new products are available over-the-counter which can greatly reduce the scarring left by these painful, embarrassing outbreaks of cystic acne. So, either way it goes, even if you are able to take care of the outbreaks with these home remedies and the scars remain, there is a much better chance of ending up with better skin in the future that ever thought possible before.