Red, Swollen Pimples:
What is inflammatory acne – or cystic acne – and how is it caused? When the pore is clogged and your immune system reacts by sending in white blood cells to fight the infection, the surrounding area becomes red and swollen, or inflamed. This is called inflammatory acne.
Inflammatory acne results from the rupture of the wall of the hair follicle or pore, leaking bacteria and oil into the surrounding skin. The closer to the skin’s surface these events happen, the smaller and more minor the breakout will be. If the rupture occurs deep inside the pore, you may experience a cyst – a large, firm, bump deep inside the skin. Inflammatory acne is often throbbing and painful as the blood flow increases to the area delivering white blood cells to contain and fight the infection.
There are different types of inflammatory acne depending on the size, redness, tenderness and potential to scar.
These are pink or red dome-shaped bumps, varying in size from a pinhead to half an inch. There’s no visible fluid and they don’t contain pus. They are usually painless unless scratched or picked. Like all pimples, papules are the result of an increase in oil and bacteria inside the pore trapped by dead skin cells. Your body’s immune system fights the infection with white blood cells, so papules are slightly inflamed.
Pustules form when a plug deep inside a pore traps oil and bacteria, attracting white blood cells to fight the infection. Pus is simply a collection of dead white blood cells. Pustules have a yellow or white pus-filled center with a red base. The greater the inflammation, the redder and larger the pustule will be.
Nodules and Cystic Acne
Large, deep and painful bumps, acne nodules and cysts are filled initially with blood, then with pus. They can linger under the surface for weeks or even months and can eventually harden. They may also leave deep scars.
Nodules are larger than pustules and papules and form deeper within the skin. They feel solid to the touch and can be quite painful. They develop when oil and bacteria deep inside a pore spreads, infecting adjoining follicles. Nodules can harden into deep cysts and may leave deep scars, on many levels.
Cystic nodular acne is the most severe form of acne. Cysts are deep, painful, pus-filled bumps that can be quite large, measuring up to an inch or more. Cystic acne often runs in families and may result in permanent scarring and disfigurement. It’s also most common in teenage boys and young men. Not sure how to treat nodular acne? Cystic acne, or any form of scarring acne, needs immediate attention by a dermatologist. A doctor will have the best solution for nodular acne treatment.
Natural Cystic Acne Treatment
Can you get rid of cystic acne naturally? Thankfully, the answer is yes. There are many natural ways to treat and get rid of cystic acne fast. Here are the 10 most effective ones:
1. No Popping
Whatever you do, please don’t try to pop your cystic acne or any other pimples for that matter. Cystic acne, unlike common acne, typically does not give you “poppable” pimples. Due to the the depth of cystic acne lesions, picking or squeezing can be completely ineffective and will likely extend healing time from days to weeks. The more you touch an infected pimple, the angrier and more unsightly it’s going to become. If you try to pop cystic acne, you’re just going to spread the breakout underneath the skin. In addition, you can easily end up with scarring that lasts well beyond the pimple, possibly even forever. Two words to remember with cystic acne: Hands off!
2. Ice It
You can apply an ice cube directly to a breakout for several seconds to constrict the small blood vessels feeding the painful cyst. The ice helps immediately decrease the size and redness of the offending acne.
3. Healthy Skin Care Routine
Maintain a simple, calming skin care routine that avoids heavy and scented moisturizers. Before applying moisturizer daily, always make sure that your skin is thoroughly exfoliated and clean. An oil-free and unscented moisturizer is a great choice.
To encourage healthy skin turnover and growth, make sure to use exfoliants that are effective but not harsh and abrasive. Some good options include glycolic acid and fruit enzymes. When you’re in the sun, the best sunscreensto use are all-natural sunscreens to help reduce the chances of acne scarring. For scars, a natural vitamin C product can help. Some cystic acne scars can unfortunately take months to heal, but don’t lose hope.
4. Mirror Mirror
It’s a good idea not to obsess over your cystic acne. The more you stare at it in the mirror, the more likely you will want to pick at it and think negative thoughts, both of which will only make you look and feel worse. Stop yourself from visually and mentally obsessing over your cystic acne, and make sure you’re thinking positive, skin-clearing thoughts!
5. Your Towels and Pillowcases
Something you might not think about is what else touches your face daily, like towels and pillowcases. To reduce the chances of irritation and sensitivity, it’s a really smart idea to avoid washing these items with strong detergents and bleaches. Instead, opt for natural and unscented laundry products, like my Homemade Laundry Soap. You also want to change your towels and pillowcases frequently to avoid the presence and spread of bacteria, which only make your acne worse.