What I wish I knew during my cystic acne breakout and how I finally got rid of itIt is not meant to be taken as wcne advice. Consult with your doctor or dermatologist before beginning any course of treatment. I corticosteroid cream cystic acne got pimples as a teenager. At worst, I had minorly oily skin that a toilet seat blotter could easily handle. Like, painful under the skin large red bumps all over my jaw and chin!
Hydrocortisone on Cystic acne
It is not meant to be taken as medical advice. Consult with your doctor or dermatologist before beginning any course of treatment. I never got pimples as a teenager. At worst, I had minorly oily skin that a toilet seat blotter could easily handle. Like, painful under the skin large red bumps all over my jaw and chin! I went crazy buying all sorts of acne washes, masks and creams from drugstore brands to top-tier stuff at Sephora.
I used this black tar thing that was supposed to coax out the zit. I used these ridiculously expensive alpha beta peels. The desperate trial and error phase went on for about a year. In the meantime, my skin was covered in red bumps and was flaking off from all the salicylic acid I was dousing it in.
Finally, I got health insurance and saw a real dermatologist and learned that my cystic acne was especially affected by my hormones. All of these are just suggestions of what worked for me, ultimately bring them up with your doctor. Spironolactone is a drug that helps rid your body of unneeded water and is usually prescribed to people with too much fluid build-up. However, taking this drug requires monthly or tri-monthly blood tests before you can get a refill.
The major side effect is an increase of potassium in the blood. You also cannot attempt to get pregnant while taking spironolactone. If your acne is really bad and you think it could be hormonal, ask your doctor about spiro before they start suggesting heavy stuff like Accutane. My favorite antibiotics for acne are doxycycline, minocycline, and erythromycin. Some dermatologists also like to use bactrim. A word about antibiotics: BeforeAndAfter the photo on the left was taken the day I started Minocycline, the photo on the right is months of it, and about one month of Spironolactone.
It has changed my skin for the better! Predniose is a corticosteroid that will reduce the inflammation surrounding the pimple. I did a one-week round of prednisone and it completely cleared up a breakout I was having. I wanted to use it all the time but my dermatologist told me that too much of it can lower your immune system and refused to refill my prescription.
Hydrocortisone injections are injected directly into the zit to reduce inflammation. They are a lifesaver for the large cystic zits that appear to have no head and are so painful they have their own pulse. After injection, swelling should go down in a couple hours. However, if you inject an area too often or with too much of the cortisone, it can leave an indented scar, which often happened to me.
Birth control that ONLY contains progesterone can actually make acne worse. So far, there are three birth control brands that have been FDA approved to treat acne. I tried to go off it and four months later my skin started breaking out again, so unfortunately I had to go back, which sucks because I hate trading in clear skin for mood swings, meltdowns, and general hormonal insanity.
My dermatologist made her own brand of face wash that was anti-bacterial and contained salicylic acid. Once I stopped breaking out, I switched over to a very cheap and very basic Cetaphil cleanser with no salicylic acid. Once the breakouts stopped, I basically only had to use very basic cleansers and moisturizers which meant I was saving a lot of money. Sulfur based spot treatments: Sulfur dries out the skin, is anti-microbial, and sloughs off dead skin cells. Benzoyl peroxide burns my skin.
Salicylic works okay, but to cover the actual zits, I caked my skin in a sulfur based spot treatment. I love it when my clients get excited about using their products and send me a picture! This client here is using our Eradikate spot treatment.
Punish those pimples girl! Toners are supposed to rid your skin of any lasting dirt or impurities after washing but because most are formulated with alcohol, they can be incredibly drying. My derm prescribed a very drying toner that I mixed with crushed-up antibiotics. I once had a facialist tell me to just wash my face twice and skip toner altogether. My skin is now…normal.
I still have to take spironolactone every day and am still on birth control, but otherwise I maybe get one or two zits a month. Trentinoin is used for treating active acne, post-acne marks and as an anti-aging cream. Once my acne was gone, I got a Trentinoin prescription to help speed up the skin cell turnover process which in turn would help eradicate the indented scars AND the red marks.
It basically makes your skin make new skin way faster than normal. I still have a ton of red marks and to be honest, I feel like the trentinoin is making my skin so photosensitive it might actually be worse in the long run. So I stopped using it after a year. I was told by a dermatologist who specializes in laser treatments that in order to get rid of the indentations on my face and the broken capillaries I would need a series of IPL photo facials.
IPL photofacials use intense pulses of light to stimulate collagen production. They were very expensive and they definitely got rid of all the indentation, but did absolutely nothing for the redness and the broken capillaries. I also think it made my skin so sensitive to light that I now have a lot of sun damage on my forehead. I got five IPL sessions but really I could have, and probably should have, stopped after three.
However, IPLs are very expensive and should really only be administered by a dermatologist. Remember, all of the above advice was stuff I learned when I finally saw a doctor. Madison Vanderberg March 28, The photo on the left was taken during a more "mild" breakout. That wasn't even the worst. The photo on the right was taken a week ago with no makeup on.
You can see I still have red marks three years later. Giggles in your Inbox Subscribe to our daily newsletter and get the latest updates on fashion, beauty, style, and more.