Can OTC Medication Treat Cystic Acne? When To Consult Your Dermatologist

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Treatment For Cystic Acne

Cystic acne is not like any other type of minor acne. Pimples form due to an accumulation of bacteria or dead skin cells in the skin, resulting in redness and inflammation. Cystic acne develops deep under the skin and is characterized as large, red, painful, and pus-filled pimples. The good news is that treatments are available. Although minor acne can be treated with over-the-counter (OTC) medications, cystic acne usually requires a prescription-strength approach.

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Causes of cystic acne

The main reason for this type of acne is not entirely known, but some factors may play a role. One cause may be hormonal changes that occur during the teenage years, pregnancy, menopause, and during menses. Other causes of cystic acne include skin products, medications, and high humidity.

Prescriptions for painful acne

Cystic acne is mainly treated with prescribed drugs as advised by a dermatologist. The main medications used are oral and topical antibiotics and retinoids. Other useful drugs include birth control pills, steroids, and aldosterone antagonists. The dermatologist will prescribe the right medication based on the severity of the cystic acne.

The likelihood of scarring

Cystic acne has a higher chance of developing scars. One best way to reduce the risk is by avoiding touching and picking the cyst. Secondly, if the existing treatment does not work or worsens the acne, inform the doctor immediately. In addition to medication, the dermatologist may suggest other treatment options such as dermabrasion, laser, and chemical peels.

When to seek help

A patient needs to recognize the importance of when to consult the doctor before the acne worsens. Cystic acne almost always requires the medical help of a dermatologist. Seek medical help when pimples appear red, swollen, and painful. Other reasons to get medical help include a sign of infection or any recurrence of cystic acne.

Simple tips to know

A daily skincare routine is essential to prevent future breakouts. Skincare tips include washing the face twice daily, avoiding touching the face, keeping hair clean, and avoiding picking pimples. Some people may also benefit from avoiding junk food, maintaining a healthy diet, and engaging in physical activity.

Questions to ask

When consulting the dermatologist, asking questions and clearing doubts are necessary to get the best treatment. Some questions include the benefits and risks of various treatments, acne causes, and preventive methods. Also, ask about how to take care of cystic acne and how to reduce the chances of complications like scarring.

Outlook for cystic acne

Most patients with this type of acne have a good prognosis. Early diagnosis and treatment by a dermatologist can lead to a better outcome. Cystic acne gets better with age when hormones tend to stabilize. Although OTC acne medications are available, cystic acne will benefit most from prescription treatments.

Prescription Refills

For added convenience download our app for Android or iPhone. RxLocal is an easy-to-use app that allows pharmacy customers to manage their entire family’s prescriptions, communicate with the pharmacy via secure messages, order refills, set medication reminders and find pharmacy location information.

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