More severe cases of acne tend to be characterized not just by the presence of pimples and blemishes, but also by the formation of nodules or cysts. Acne that involves the development of cysts is called cystic acne.
A cystic acne lesion is much larger than a regular pimple, sometimes 5mm or more in diameter. These lesions can be hard and painful. Cystic acne lesions are filled with pus but should not be squeezed. Squeezing a cystic lesion can lead to a worse infection and inflammation. The lesions are prone to scarring and should be taken care of by a dermatologist, who often uses procedures to reduce swelling and to lessen the likelihood of scar formation.
In severe cases of cystic acne, it may be a good idea to consult a dermatologist about treatment. But there are many holistic remedies and preventative measures one can take against cystic acne. An alternative medicine practitioner should be consulted about some of these holistic remedies, while other more common procedures can easily be performed at home with no medical supervision.
Many dermatologists and alternative medicine practitioners believe that cystic acne can be controlled to some degree through diet. Cystic acne is often the result of an unknown allergic reaction to particular foods.
The first step in controlling cystic acne through diet is to experiment with the systematic elimination of certain foods. It is also helpful to add certain foods to your diet that are known to help in the recovery of severely acne prone skin.
Sugary foods and foods that contain milk or dairy products are commonly the trigger for cystic acne. As you experiment with eliminating these food types, be sure to read package labels closely so that you are not ingesting sugar and dairy products unknowingly. Be aware that it may be several weeks before you notice a change.
Foods containing trans-fatty acids are also a common irritant to skin prone to cystic acne. Foods like margarine, shortening, fried foods, salty snacks, soda, and meat contain trans-fatty acids and should be avoided.
Many people who suffer from cystic acne find that the addition of fruits and vegetables high in Vitamin A carotene can help to ease their condition. These foods include dark leafy vegetables, and yellow-orange vegetables and fruits such as carrots, yams, and squash.
It is also helpful to drink up to four quarts of purified water a day to eliminate toxins and to help the transportation of essential nutrients to the skin.
Cystic acne can also be aggravated by stress. Alternative medicine practitioners often suggest making yoga, breathing exercises, and meditation part of your daily activities. These activities can help to reduce stress levels, thereby decreasing the skin's tendency to produce cystic acne lesions. Getting enough sleep is also essential in holistic therapy treatments.
Sufficient and appropriate cleansing is also an important part of holistically taking care of skin prone to cystic acne.
To clean your skin effectively, wash it gently twice a day using warm water. Do not scrub or use harsh cleansing agents that are abrasive or high in Ph, which can aggravate the condition. Mild soaps are more effective. To dry your skin, pat it gently with a soft towel.
If you are considering treating cystic acne holistically, these tips are a good place to start. You may wish to consult an alternative medicine practitioner about further herbal and holistic therapies.