We don’t think of the pimples and bumps normally referred to as acne as actually being cysts, but that is exactly what they are. Dead skin and other bacterial debris can clog pores. The skin undergoes a type of infection that causes the area to swell. The reddish bumps that appear are a result of an infection that has infiltrated the skin. The cyst or pimple is pus filled, and it can spread the infection to create more pimples if the original pimple/cyst ruptures.
Gone untreated, acne cysts can create scars on the skin, which may appear as pitted, deep dents or tiny pin pricks. Acne cyst can be long lasting or chronic. Seeing a dermatologist can save you from years of dealing with cystic acne, as they can devise an effective treatment plan to eliminate the cysts and prevent them from developing again.
Type of Cysts
The most common types of cysts that affect the skin are epidermal, trichilemmal, and milium. Epidermal and trichilemmal cysts are similar, however trichilemmal cysts normally develop in larger numbers and are located on the scalp. Trichilemmal cysts can be removed, but they will return if not removed entirely.
An epidermal cyst is most often located on the face, ears, neck, and back but can also be found on the scalp. Keratin is often central to the skin’s makeup. When keratin is broken down, it appears near the center of the cyst at the pore. As hair follicles become blocked, epidermal cysts appear.
Facial acne is defined by milia. They are usually quite small but appear firm and off-white in color. Milia can occur without provocation or a known reason. The whitish bumps are also common on newborns, though it will clear up on its own.
Anyone can be susceptible to cystic acne, even people in their 50s or children who have not reached their teen years. However, it most commonly affects adolescents and teenagers.
Treatments for Acne Cysts
Glycolic Peels Glycolic peels work to remove dead skin debris and bacteria from skin pores. The alpha-hydroxy acid exfoliates the skin and works to break down the glue-like substance that keeps the dead skin knitted together. Dead skin sheds away and new skin that resides beneath is revealed.
Intralesional Corticosteroid Treatment Intralesional steroid injections are an effective treatment for acne cysts. The steroid is injected directly into the lesions and addresses the swelling that accompanies acne cysts. It also eliminates the possibility of thinning skin as the acne treatment takes effect. It is more effective than steroids that are applied topically.
Laser Treatments Scarring is a big problem for people who’ve endured cysts on their skin. Fraxel laser treatments work to reduce scarring on the surface of the skin. The laser targets deep into the skin and triggers the skin’s collagen. Healing occurs quickly following Fraxel laser treatments.
Microdermabrasion Acne scarring can also be addressed with microdermabrasion. This is a non-invasive procedure that clears acne scarring and other skin conditions. In addition to scarring, the procedure wears away the top layer of skin and treats large pores and the blackheads that result from clogging.
Acne Cyst Treatment in Southeast Florida
A dermatologist can treat all types of cysts. Dr. Ana Duarte is a board certified dermatologist who is skilled and experienced in treating adults and children. Children’s Skin Center Pediatric and Adult Dermatology is a unique practice, where the doctor and certified physician assistants serve all age groups.
For more information or to request an appointment, call us at (305) 669-6555. You can also request an appointment online.