Best products for Cystic Acne?

Greetings all.   I come before you with hope that someone will have a suggestion as to what over the counter treatment may work well for cystic acne?  I have seen a dermatologist for this, and they prescribed Retin-A as treatment.  However, it dried my skin out so bad that I had to discontinue after a month's use.  To get that prescription was like pulling teeth from the dermatologist, because she flat out told me that I should just go on birth control and that will solve all of my cystic acne issues. However, at this point - birth control as a form of acne treatment is not an option due to the fact that my gynecologist wants me off of it as an experiment to see if I can rid myself of other female symptoms. make a very long story short, I am at my wits end.


I understand the fact that nothing is truly going to rid me of my cystic acne, but I would be so happy to find a product that would at least shrink the ones I have a little faster, that way they aren't as painful for so long.  I spend most of my day on the phone, and nearly 10 times a day, I'm banging the receiver into my jaw and it hits a cyst and it makes me want to cry! 


As it stands now, I'm using Philosophy's Purity Made Simple, and their new On A Clear Day acne face wash.   For moisturizer, I've been using Fresh's Umbrian Clay Oil Free moisturizer.   As for spot treatment, I have PTR Acne Spot Treatment.  However, I don't feel as though this combination is aiding in riding myself of my usual acne, nor aiding in the healing of my cystic acne.


I'd be ever so happy for any suggestions ya'll might have!  Thank you!


- Jessica

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Hi there -

I'm an Herbalist student and an Aromatherapist so my advice deals with treating the problem from the inside AND out. Cystic acne is a hormonal issue - which is why your doc wants you on birth control (which you probably figured out Smiley Wink ).


Topically, I would highly recommend using a yarrow-tincture on your skin (a quick google search will lead you to where to purchase all of my recommendations - i do like Herb Pharm and Ancient Indigo Herbs - the latter of which is found on Etsy, and cheaper).  

Do a bit of research online - many people have had a lot of luck.


Internally (which is the real path to clearing cystic acne) i like Stinging Nettle teas/infusions.  Again, very cheap to purchase in bulk online and easy to make.  It is incredibly good for the skin and can help clear you up by helping with the hormonal imbalances that play a major part.

Caffeine can exacerbate cystic acne so cut down or even cut OUT if you can. 


These remedies take time to work but if you are patient you should see some results if you are diligent about doing these things.


For immediate results a dermatologist can do dry ice treatments and even cortisone shots.  I find that a topical cortisone cream can help when i get occasional cystic bumps due to hormone fluctuations - use along with a yarrow tincture (which you apply like a toner, basically) and see what happens.  As it can be drying, i recommend hemp-seed oil afterwards. I make my own cream with it and it is incredibly healing, and doesn't break me out at all - but you can use it straight up.  Just the oil.  


Burdock root is another good one, along with the stinging nettle, to make teas/infusions from.  It helps with purifying the blood from excess estrogen (hence your doc wanting you to go on birth control pills - this is a much milder way of achieving that). 


I had cystic acne for MANY years and these are the things i personally feel are helpful.  I am completely clear now with the exception of one or maybe two bumps every 6 months or so.  

I hope this helps and that you get relief soon!  

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