Normal acne is already a pain, but although you can sometimes feel a particularly large whitehead, they’re seldom painful. Sometimes, they can be when you pop them, but for the most part, normal acne takes a hit more on your self-confidence than anything else. Cystic acne on the other hand? This does hurt. Even if you don’t try to pop cystic acne, it can still be painful, especially if you accidentally touch it. And if you do try to pop it… More likely than not, you’re well aware of just how much this worsens the pain.
Why is this? What sets cystic acne apart from your more run-of-the-mill whiteheads and blackheads? Why is this type of acne so much more persistent, longer lasting, and painful?
Here’s what you need to know about this type of acne and why it tends to hurt so much worse than other types of acne. Let’s get into it!
What Is Cystic Acne?
Cystic acne is a type of acne where the pimples form deep under your skin. It is the most severe type of acne, and is more likely to result in acne scarring than whiteheads or blackheads are. Like whiteheads and blackheads, acne cysts form when your pores become clogged with bacteria, oil, dead skin cells, and other such things.
Why Are Acne Cysts So Painful?
You know how your typical acne can be painful, especially when you go to pop it? This is due to inflammation. Acne cysts are so much more painful than your typical acne pimples because they have more inflammation. They are also deeper under the skin and closer to your nerves. The larger the pimple or the cyst, the more inflammation there is, and so the more painful they are likely to be.
Since acne cysts are generally much larger than your standard whitehead, it’s no wonder that they hurt so much more! Especially when they do not come to a head but stay under your skin.
Why Does Trying To Pop Them Make Them Hurt Worse?
As much as we know we shouldn’t, many of us are guilty of popping pimples. After all, why deal with a white dot on your face when you can simply pop it? Wouldn’t popping pimples help them to heal faster?
In truth, popping pimples and trying to pop acne cysts can actually make them worse – both pain-wise and acne-wise. This is because when you get acne – whether they be pimples or cysts – this is your body trying to get rid of buildup in your pores. The acne is the result of your body trying to push said buildup out.
When you pop a pimple or try to pop an acne cyst, what you’re doing is reversing the progress that your body has made. If the pimple has come to a head, this might not seem so obvious – after all, you just got some of the pus and gunk out. However, that’s only part of the buildup. Popping or attempting to pop acne cysts pushes at least some of the buildup back down into your skin, which worsens the infection – and your pain.
What Can You Do To Make Acne Cysts Hurt Less?
You’re going to hate us for this, but you already know one of the most important things you can do to help your skin clear up: don’t pick at it! If you find yourself struggling to break the habit of picking at pimples and acne cysts, you may consider popping a pimple patch over them.
These come in a variety of colors and shapes and many are clear, so that you can wear them out and about. Not only do these cover your pimples and acne cysts up to prevent picking tendencies, but they also help to draw the buildup out.
You will also want to practice proper skincare. This means cleansing your face and moisturizing your skin. If you struggle with acne, especially cystic acne, it can be tempting to overdo it on the skincare, as it would appear to make sense that the more you cleanse your skin, the sooner the acne will be gone. In truth, over-cleansing your skin can irritate it and worsen inflammation – which could make your pain even worse!
You can pop an anti-inflammatory painkiller, both to help with the pain and to bring the inflammation down.
If you struggle with cystic acne and nothing that you do seems to work, it’s important to seek out the help of a dermatologist. This type of acne comes with a higher risk of scarring, so it’s important to treat it carefully.
Intermountain Aesthetics provides a variety of acne treatments. We will assess your individual situation in order to determine the best course of action for you. To learn more about how we can help you with your acne, please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment.