How I developed a huge cystic acne?
I haven’t had the chance to indulge in durian for a while as I was overseas. In late Dec, I finished about half a Mao Shan Wang in one night. The durian was pretty big. The next day when I woke up, to my horror, I saw a huge cystic acne developing. My hubby had the other half but he didn’t have any outbreak though. That’s my life as a super acne-prone person.
If you aren’t aware that food can cause acne, here’s proof. I have written about the link between food and acne here. Use our elimination methodology to identify what food might cause you to break outs. Having experienced it myself, I know acne is multi-factorial. The products we use, the food we eat, stress level, etc can cause outbreaks.
I haven’t had such huge nodules / cystic acne for a long time. The last I had cystic acne was before I took accutane in my teen years. After accutane and before Skinlycious, I struggled with a lot of whiteheads and small pimples but never such scary, huge cystic acne. I was worried that this huge cystic acne would leave me a permanent scar.
Progress of my cystic acne
After seeing the acne developing for a few days, I decided to track it by taking photos. I continued to use Skinlycious Anti-Acne Bundle but this time, I would leave the cotton pad that is soaked with Anti-Acne Solution longer on this huge acne. I didn’t attempt to squeeze it. You can see the pictorial progression below. Sorry for the disgusting photos. I get goosebumps looking at them too.
The first few days it developed, I did not take photos. It was just a big red acne. It was probably after 3 days, the cystic acne erupted and a scab formed over the wound. You can see that it got less red and size of the acne reduced over the days. I just use tissue to dab on the pus that oozes out at times. No squeezing. Continue to use Skinlycious products, especially the Anti-Acne Solution. By two weeks, it has almost healed leaving the brown marks. These brown marks are hyperpigmentation and will lighten with Anti-Acne Solution, Skinlycious 8 in 1 Whitening Sunscreen and time. I’ve written another blogpost about scars.
The brown discolouration faded after a month. Unfortunately, this huge cystic acne did leave a permanent scar on me. There’s a pitted hole on my forehead now. But it’s not too obvious as it’s flesh coloured, so I am not too bothered with it. Generally, skin care products won’t work on such pitted scars. Only multiple aesthetic procedures like laser, microdermabrasion would help. And it has to be multiple sessions.
I think God gave me a pitted scar so that I can try and test products to see if they work on pitted scars. I will be constantly looking out for new ingredients that might help.
What is cystic and nodular acne?
Cystic acne and nodular acne are the more severe form of acne where it’s located deep within the skin. Both are similar in the sense that they are often painful and lodged deep within the skin.
Difference between cystic and nodular acne
Cysts are filled with pus and are softer. Nodules are hard acne.
In the case of acne cysts, when pus is produced, it means that there’s an inflammatory response from our body. Our body produces cells to fight these perceived “foreign objects”. In this case, these perceived “foreign objects” are the gunk from closed comedones (blackheads / whiteheads).
You can have nodular acne and / or cystic acne. You can also have then together in one acne known as nodularcystic acne. These two forms of acne can exist independently or exist together as one.
What should you do when you have cystic acne?
If it’s just one or two big occasional cystic acne like my case, you can try using Skinlycious Anti-Acne Bundle, especially Anti-Acne Solution, to try clear the cystic acne. If that one to two cystic acne don’t clear up with beauty / OTC products, please go see a doctor. The doctor might inject anti-inflammatory medication into the acne cyst directly. The doctor will know best which treatment is more suitable for you.
Please go see a doctor immediately if you have many perpetual cystic acne. Your acne is considered serious! You probably need oral medications like retinoids, like Accutane. Such cystic and nodular acne often leads to scarring. The earlier you see a doctor to get treatment, the less likelihood your scarring would be as bad.
If in doubt, seek a second opinion with another doctor until you are comfortable. This is because as with all acne treatments, you need patience. It’s best that you follow through with the same doctor for at least 3 months to determine if the acne treatment is working for you. Likewise, for anti-acne products, you need to be patient to see results. Some of you have asked me about Agnes Treatment for acne. I’ve written my personal opinions on it here.
My experience with Accutane
When I was 20 and studying biomedical science in NUS, I was prescribed Accutane for my acne. While studying, I gave tuition, did banquet waitressing and even sold computers in IT fairs, to earn my own pocket money. I didn’t take any pocket money from my parents. Much of my hard-earned pocket money were spent on beauticians package, different doctors’ consultations, procedures, expensive skin care products, etc. You can read more here. I was lucky that my good friend was working part-time in a clinic and the kind doctor gave me a discount for the medication. At that time, there was no generics, so prices of Accutane was still pretty high. There are many generics now, so prices are cheaper. I remembered I suffered dry lips and eyes for a long while.
I stopped taking Accutane after a 6 months course. Thereafter, I did not have big cystic acnes anymore. Although occasionally, I still get it like the above case. However, after I stopped, I did continue to have closed comedones problem but it wasn’t that bad anymore. For many years, my face was not smooth and had many bumps that even makeup could not cover. It was until I started using Skinlycious products that I manage to achieve smooth skin most of the time.
About the Author : Jasmine Kang
Founder of Skinlycious – a one stop skin care solution for acne and acne-prone skin. A science geek, who has struggled with acne for 14 long years. Armed with decades of acne-fighting experience and bioscience / pharmaceutical knowledge, she seeks to find solution for her own acne-prone skin. She also takes immense joy in helping people regain confidence by solving their acne woes. Her secret ambition is to rid the world of irritating acne.