Cystic Acne Demystified: Triggers, Fixes, and Remedies

Cystic acne is a pretty serious skin condition that can get worse if left untreated or if you treat it the same way you’d treat regular acne. The good news is that there are a number of home remedies that can help you treat cystic acne effectively and with relative ease.

In this post, we will go over how you can identify if you have cystic acne and, if you do, what you can do to easily treat it with home remedies.

A Brief Overview of Cystic Acne

Let’s start off by going over what cystic acne is. As the old adage goes, a good diagnosis is half the cure and can prevent the condition from worsening.

What Is Cystic Acne

Cystic acne is a skin condition that does not easily go away on its own. It looks a lot like regular acne and zits but does not pop. The same way a scrape or injury on any part of your skin gets red and infected, cystic acne is an infection of the skin. It is rooted deep inside the skin tissue and can cause scarring if left untreated.

It can develop on the arms, back, chest, face, and shoulders. In women, the cysts often tend to be on the lower half of the face. Cystic acne can affect both men and women but the condition is more common in men. While teenagers and people in their early twenties are more likely to get effected, cystic acne can develop in youngsters as young as eight years old and can also develop in the elderly.

What Causes Cystic Acne

Hormones play a large part in cystic acne development. In men, a hormone called androgen increases in the teen years and that can cause cystic acne to develop later on.

In women, the condition can occur due to hormonal changes. These can be caused by menstrual cycles, menopause, pregnancy, or other medical conditions.

It is believed that diet may also play a part in the development of cystic acne. While the exact cause remains unknown, it is widely understood that the condition can be countered effectively.

Types of Cystic Acne Scars

Atrophic Scars. These are dense scars that are raised higher than the surrounding skin. They form a depression due to damage to below skin tissue, fat, or collagen.

Ice Pick Scars. Cystic acne can cause inflammation in the tissue which in turn disrupts the production and structure of collagen. This results in a loss of collagen and fibrin in the inflamed area. The lack of collagen and fibrin cause the scarred tissue to sink in into the skin and that causes ice pick like marks to form on the skin.

Box-car Shaped Scars. Oval, round, and u-shaped depressions in the skin over a wider area are called box-car shaped scars. They have well defined walls and can be caused by a number of reasons including cystic acne.

5 Tips for Getting Rid of Cystic Acne

These techniques can be used by everyone in order to treat cystic acne.

Tip 1: Clay Mask

Clay masks are a tried and tested home remedy for cystic acne. They can clear the face fast and also aid in getting rid of scars.

Explanation of Technique and Why It Works

In order to use clay you have to mix it with milk, oil, or water and make a paste out of it that can be applied to the skin. The mixture should be applied to the affected area and left on till it dries. You can remove the mask by gentling rubbing it off by using a wet towel.

Clay acts as an absorbent. It can absorb impurities, toxins, and other excess materials off your skin by acting like a sponge. Clay masks improve blood circulation and also clean out the pores in the skin. It may feel as though the acne is getting worse in the beginning but that is just part of the healing process.

They type of clay to use depends on your skin type.

Tip 2: Honey Mask

This golden nectar not only tastes amazing but is an age-old home remedy for taking care of skin conditions. You will notice that many skin care products such as lotions contain honey and will emphasis it as a selling point. In addition to providing treatment for skin conditions, honey is also a major component for many skin beauty products.

Since honey is all the rage, why not give the liquid gold a try?

Explanation of Technique and Why It Works

Using honey as a cystic acne home remedy is as simple as spreading honey on toast. Only for this case, instead of toast, you spread honey over your face and that is pretty much your honey mask.

It is an effective remedy because of its antimicrobial properties that prevent skin infections. It is also sticky which helps in pulling away dead skin and dust from the skin when the mask is washed off.

Tip 3: Aspirin Mask

Aspirin is a common household drug. Even though we don’t really recommend taking an aspirin at the first sign of a headache, these pills can be used as a topical application for cystic acne.

Explanation of Technique and Why It Works

All you have to do is simply crush an aspirin and mix it with a few drops of water to form a paste. It can be mixed with honey or aloe vera for supplementing your mask.

This paste can be applied to the affected area and washed after 10-15 minutes.

Aspirin masks work due to the presence of acetylsalicylic acid in aspirin. This chemical is great for reducing inflammation and pore size in addition to cleaning the skin.

Tip 4: Change Towels, Pillowcases, and Comforters

This is one of the most important things when it comes to dealing with acne. It’s a simple means of preventing the acne from spreading and helps in speeding up the recovery.

Explanation of Technique and Why It Works

Your towels, pillowcases, and comforters, along with any other object that may be in constant contact with the infected area should be cleaned and replaced as often as possible. It can seem like a laborious task but it yields many long-term benefits.

Though it may seem counter-intuitive, towels are some of the dirtiest objects that come in contact with the skin. Similarly, pillowcases and comforters are also in contact with the skin for long periods of time.

Bacteria find moist environments a suitable host and that can impair your skin healing process. In addition to housing bacteria, towels also gather dead skin and dust which, along with germs, can be bad for the skin.

Tip 5: Foods to Eat

What you eat can be a major factor contributing to developing acne. The good news is that your diet can also be a deterrent for the condition and can potentially help you recover faster.

Explanation of Technique and Why It Works

As a general rule all high-sugar products should be avoided. You should eat:

  • Probiotic rich foods
  • Zinc-rich foods
  • Vitamin A-rich foods
  • Fiber-rich foods
  • High quality protein foods
  • Liver-supportive foods

11 Home Remedies and Natural Cures for Cystic Acne

Baking Soda

A common household item and a great home remedy for cystic acne, baking soda can be a great agent for getting rid of cystic acne.

Why It Works

Baking soda helps reduce swelling because it contains anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also an exfoliating agent due to its texture and that helps in removing the dead skin particles that get buried. All of this makes baking soda a very effective skin cleanser.

How to Use It

You can mix half a teaspoon with your skin cleanser or face wash and massage the affected area gently for half a minute before washing off. This is helpful in getting the skin accustomed to the baking soda. You can also make a paste by mixing it with some water and apply as mask on effected area for at least 15 minutes.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a cure for many ailments and can do wonders for your skin in addition to solving the cystic acne problem.

Why It Works

It is a natural antiseptic and also has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antiviral properties. All of this helps fight off the infection from spreading, killing bacteria, and removing dead cells from your skin in addition to rejuvenating it. It also creates a protective layer over the skin which helps protect it from external damage.

How to Use It

Apple cider vinegar yield lots of benefits if diluted in water and consumed daily. For a more direct approach you can mix it with water and apply gently on the skin with cotton. This can be left overnight for a thorough treatment but you can also wash it off after 15 minutes if you must do it during the day.

Egg White

These bundles of protein can do more than be part of a delicious and balanced breakfast. Egg white is great for skin and can help clear away acne.

Why It Works

Egg white has many useful properties such as containing lysozyme, an enzyme that fights bacteria. It also acts as an antibacterial and antiviral agent in addition to being rich in amino acids, proteins and vitamins. Vitamin B in egg white accelerates cell repair and promotes healthy skin.

How to Use It

You can make a simple mask by separating 3 egg whites and whisking them. You can leave the mask on overnight and repeat the process once or twice a week.


This method is not highly recommended but can work as quick fix. No matter what the circumstances, if you find yourself in a place with nothing available other than toothpaste then you can use it to treat your acne.

Why It Works

You need to ensure that the product you are using is a tooth “paste” and not “gel”. Many brands contain a chemical called triclosan which has antibacterial and antiviral properties that help clear the cystic acne.

How to Use It

All you need to do is apply the paste on the affected areas and leave it overnight. You can wipe it off gently with a warm wet cloth in the morning.

Aloe Vera

Time and time again aloe vera becomes the plant for treating your skin. Beauty and skincare products are sure to have the contains aloe vera label in bold on their packaging and who can blame them? This plant is just that good!

Random fun fact: There are over 500 types of aloe. Aloe vera is just one very common type of this versatile species.

Why It Works

The plant contains glucomannan, polysaccharide, saponin, and over 70 other active compounds. These compounds give aloe vera its antibacterial and antifungal properties in addition to contributing towards overall better skin health and recovery.

How to Use It

You can apply fresh aloe vera to the affected area. This should be repeated twice a day, for as many days as necessary.


The king of fruits is a great summer treat and can also help refresh your skin.

Why It Works

Mango is rich in vitamins A and C and this makes it a very effective anti-oxidant in addition to acting as an anti-cancer agent. It also moisturizes the skin and contains collagen which keeps the skin smooth.

How to Use It

Take a mango and extract all of its pulp. Mix the pulp with water to form a paste and apply over affected area. Leave the mixture on for at least 10 minutes and gently wash it away.

Lemon Juice

This refreshing summer delight can be used all year long to treat acne. Lemons are easily available and have a variety of properties that make them effective for clearing acne.

Why It Works

The vitamin C in lemons gives it its antioxidant properties. It also contains astringent, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that are very effective in combating skin conditions and speeding up the recovery of skin. It is acidic which helps remove excess oil and the juice helps shrink the pores on your skin to avoid clogging.

How to Use It

You can mix lemon juice in water to make a refreshing drink and also to detoxify the body from inside. It can also be applied to the affected area topically with cotton and left overnight. Wash it off in the morning and repeat the process daily.


Those delicious french fries are not the only blessing this gift of nature has imparted on us. What if we told you these potatoes could help speed up the acne recovery process?

Why It Works

Potatoes contain minerals and acids that help remove excess oil and rejuvenate the skin.

How to Use It

For a quick and easy home remedy, you can slice a potato and lay it down on the affected area. If you are up for putting a bit of effort into it you can grate a peeled potato in order to make a paste out of it. This paste can then be applied to the affected areas and should be left on for about 30 minutes. Repeat the process twice daily till you see improvements.


This spice can do wonders for clearing up acne. It is a simple and effective home remedy that can be used by pretty much everyone.

Why It Works

Turmeric contains many health boosting properties such as being an anti-inflammatory agent, antiseptic, antitumor, and astringent. It helps clear the acne by drying it out, removing the pus, and reducing the inflammation.

How to Use It

Mix 1-2 teaspoons of turmeric powder with water to make a paste. Apply the mixture to affected area and wash it off after an hour. This process should be done twice daily till the acne clears off.

Neem or Margosa Leaves

Margosa (Azadirachta indica) leaves have many medicinal benefits and clearing skin is one of them. You can use the leaves directly to treat cystic acne.

Why It Works

Margosa or neem is an antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, and astringent agent. It reduces inflammation and redness of the skin and also acts as an exfoliate for drawing out toxins from the skin without any abrasion.

How to Use It

Margosa or neem can be used by making a paste of crushed leaves and applying to the affected area. The paste should be left on for 30 minutes and then washed. This process should be repeated daily.

You can also infuse the leaves with water and spray the mixture on the affected areas using a spray bottle twice every day.

Coconut Oil

Though it can feel a bit counter intuitive to use oil for a condition that can be caused due to excess oil, there is a proven method to do it right.

Why It Works

Coconut oil contains healthy fats that improve your skin’s health. It also contains caprylic and lauric acid which allow it to act as an antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial agent. It is also an antioxidant in addition to being a natural skin moisturizer.

How to Use It

You can simply apply the coconut oil to the affected area and wash it off gently with water after 15 to 20 minutes.


That wraps up our list of the best home remedies for treating cystic acne. We hope you found this post to be useful and are able to get rid of your cystic acne once and for all.

Do you know of any other home remedies that can be used to treat cystic acne? Share with us in the comments below!

If you’d like any topics elaborately covered by our BloggInc. experts, leave your petitions in the comments as well.