Most of us suffered with acne as teens, and many of us continue to cope with this unsightly and embarrassing skin problem as adults. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), acne affects an estimated 50 million Americans annually, including a whopping 85% of individuals between the ages of 12 and 24.
However, you may find yourself dealing with a much more serious issue: cystic acne. Acne symptoms may include blackheads, white heads, and pimples, but deeper lumps, or cysts, are not as common.
Acne occurs when bacteria becomes trapped inside pores because they are clogged by oil and dead skin cells. With cystic acne, the infection goes deep into the skin to cause painful, red bumps. If these cysts burst, they can cause further infection, as well as permanent scarring.
Cystic acne may appear in a variety of areas, mainly the face, neck, back, and chest. If you happen to suffer from cystic chest acne, it could stop you from living your life to the fullest, especially during the summer months when you avoid wearing tank tops or swimsuits that expose a portion of your chest.
What can you do to get rid of these cysts? For starters, do not “pop” them. This is a great way to spread infection, prolong symptoms, and cause scarring.
What you should do instead is consider the many home remedies that can not only shorten the life of your breakouts, but potentially prevent future problems. If cystic chest acne is ruining your life, here are a few home remedies to implement post haste.
How you treat your skin is important when it comes to acne, and especially cystic acne. You can’t do much about hormonal fluctuations that tend to prompt breakouts, but you can work to keep your skin in ship shape.
There are three main contributing factors where acne is concerned: oil production, dead skin cells, and bacteria. Your regimen should include gentle cleansers that reduce oil, gentle exfoliants (used with a spinning face brush) that slough off dead skin cells, antibacterial treatments, and an appropriate moisturizer for your skin type.
You may also want to include products with salicylic acid, which helps with skin turnover, as well as regular mud masks to help reduce oil and pull impurities from pores. Kaolin clay is a great option to unclog pores.
These ministrations should help to reduce the onset of acne, but the truth is that fluctuating hormones could derail your best efforts at ongoing skin care. In this case, there are several treatments you can turn to for relief of cystic acne symptoms.
Tea Tree Oil
I know what you’re thinking: won’t putting oil on acne make it worse? In most cases you would be correct, especially if you already have oily skin. Tea tree oil is different, though.
It has properties that make it ideal for treating acne of all kinds, and particularly cystic acne. The main benefit is that it is antibacterial, which means it can disinfect your pores. All you have to do is put a few drops on a cotton swab and dab it on affected areas.
Because of the strong smell, it’s best to do this right before you go to bed. You’ll likely see a major improvement when you wake up in the morning. You can also add a few drops of tea tree oil to bath water to treat acne all over your body, or mix a couple of drops into some aloe vera, honey, or even your daily moisturizer to spread all over affected areas.
Just be aware that tea tree oil can dry your skin. For this reason, your best bet may be to apply it directly to acne. Remember that dry skin produces more oil to compensate, leading to further breakouts. So try not to over-dry your skin and moisturize appropriately.
The antibacterial properties of honey are well known. If you want to take advantage of them when treating cystic acne, you’ll find the process quite easy. You can, for example, apply honey directly to breakouts, leave it for 15 minutes, and then rinse it away with warm water.
You can also use crystallized honey as a scrub, but this may be too harsh on some skin, especially if you’re experiencing a breakout.
Apple Cider Vinegar
This simple, inexpensive product is not just for salads. Its antibacterial and pH properties make it ideal for both household cleaning and treating all kinds of health issues. When applied to acne breakouts at night, it could result in reduced inflammation by morning.
Milk and Honey Mask
Dairy products may cause acne when ingested, but they will not when applied topically. The reason dairy products cause acne is because of the extra hormones. When applied topically milk soothes the irritated skin also helps keep down the redness down.
Milk is a nourishing potion for any skin type.
1 tbs of plain full-fat milk
1 tbs of natural, raw honey
you need room temperature milk
mix 1 tablespoon of milk in with 1 tablespoon of honey
apply the mixture with a cotton pad
dry each layer before adding a new one
until the mask is the thickness you want on your face
keep on your face for a minimum of 12 minutes.
Gently scrub in a circular motion with a soft washcloth to wash your mask off
when the mask is completely off your face
If your skin tends to get dry after you cleanse it, use a moisturizer appropriate for your skin type afterward.
Oranges Face Peel
Bacteria and extra oil and dead skin cells clogging up pores will cause acne
An orange peel face mask will act as an astringent since it has vitamin C, citric acid is particularly helpful because it promotes the growth of new healthy cells, keeping your skin in better condition overall.
2 Fresh Orange peels
Clean, freshwater Directions
Rinse your face with fresh warm water and pat dry
Grind up 1 pound of orange peel
add a little water to make the paste
too much added at one time will make it too thin and runny
Once you have the right texture
apply to problem areas on your face
leave on for 20 minutes till the mask is firm
but it can still work if it isn’t
Rinse off thoroughly with water then pat your face dry
apply a good moisturizer.
How to Love Yourself with Acne
Honestly, few things are harder than having cystic acne. These mean, ugly bumps will have people making side comments that can really hurt your confidence. But you truly CAN be confident, even with your acne. Of course, we know you are here to get rid of it, but sadly, sometimes it’s just not that easy. When the times come where your cystic chest acne flairs up, or you find yourself in a situation where you are scared to wear anything but turtle necks, it is time to learn how to love yourself even with it.
Learning to Eat Well
It is a massive misconception that self-love means laziness. Indeed, the truth is the exact opposite. Learning to care for your body by doing something like giving it the foods that make it thrive can really help your entire body and be an act of self-love that many overlook. Find the anti-inflammatory foods that are good for your body, and learn how to eat balanced.
Learning how to rest means so much more than just going to sleep at a decent time every night. It also means leaning how to take mental breaks. How to set boundaries to protect your emotional states. And yes, sometimes it even means kicking back and binge-watching your favorite show! No matter what you choose to do, remember that rest combats stress, and the stress hormone has a lot to do with creating and flaring up cystic acne.
Move Your Body
Moving is an act of self-love. You are worth moving, you are worth getting rid of those harmful toxins in your body, and you are showing your love for what you can do in this body when you move it around and keep it active in the world.
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