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Hi everyone,

I've had mild acne ever since I was about 11 years old; I'm now 20, but in the past twelve months or so I noticed that I frequently get very hard and sore lumps under the skin that never come to the surface. More often than not, they occur along my jawline and chin, and sometimes at the back of my neck. The most irritating characteristic of these horrible things is that they crop up at any time, whether my period is due or not. Some nights I go to bed with a relatively clear complexion, and in the morning I'll feel a hard lump forming under the skin.

My doctor has prescribed Dianette as I have also noticed coarse dark hairs growing from my chin, indicative of a slight hormonal imbalance. I don't know if the cysts are made worse by this imbalance, but it might be possible they are somehow connected as I noticed the dark hairs around twelve months ago too.

I use Neutrogena Deep Clean facial scrub (which I have found to be one of the best products for problematic skin) and I moisturise with Nivea Soft Intensive Moisturising cream (my skin is prone to drying and often looks dull; this cream is lovely). I've also tried Avon's new three step system which yielded positive results but none of the lotions and potions seem to have much effect on these cysts.

Any suggestions/advice?
 

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I think proper facials are in order. If you find a GOOD aesthetican they can extract those hard lumps by poking the skin with a clean sterilized needle and then pretty to bring the pus out. If your aesthetican says she can't do it, then she isn't good. Mine does and I have excellent results from it. Avoid the scrubs since they'll just irritate you and cause more swelling. That's the last thing you need right now. Instead use an exfoliant that is chemical based like glycolic acid or Alpha-hydroxy acids in 2%-5% ranges.
 

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If you are talking about cyst, than you MUST work by changing your diet and lifestyle too. Acne products alone will not be able to get rid of acne, period
 

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Going to your Derm or aesthetician to drain acne cysts and boils is the best advice but can be really inconvenient some acne mask can help shrink acne cysts. I have had overnight luck with Pevonia skin clarifying mask containing sulfur to "dry-up" sebum and Booth's Deep Cleaning Volcanic Mask. Wash skin ( I have been successful with Neutrogena's 2% salicylic pink grapefruit wash), dot an oil-free moisturizer on, and then cover cysts with a heavy dab of mask to leave on overnight.
I totally know how you feel - its so frustrating! Good Luck!
 

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They have Pevonia products at the spa that I go to and I've been wanting to try a sulpher mask. That's the perfect opportunity. I'll report back with results.
 

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I have cystic acne as well, and my dermatologist put me on Ortho tri cyclen, a birth control pill. It reduced the amount of cysts I got significantly. You mentioned a possible hormonal imbalance, the pill substitutes for your body's own hormones, and can even them out. Of course, this only applies if you are a woman, which I am assuming you are. Otherwise, I would suggest that you not over exfoliate the cysts. I find that they are far more sensitive than regular pimples, and tend to get angry and irritated in reaction to many aggressive treatments. Don't squeeze, the infection is too far down. They also scar unless you leave them alone. The suggestion of needles makes me very nervous, I have found that to always cause deep, pitted scarring.
 

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I have had my dermatologist perscribe doxycyclin and ortho tri BC pills too and I have had the needle drainage with medicated injections in my cysts and to no avail. I still get them and they still leave marks and the pitted areas where they were are no worse when they are drained then when I suffer the long natural healing process of the cyst. I am on the market for new products, a new dermatologist in the NY queens/ nassau county area. I dont have horrible acne but i always have at least one horrible zit and its usually a big cyst.
 

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Me too...and because I have brownish tan skin I am also rewarded with a nice hyper-pigmentation spot afterward that could last more than a year! I have thought about going back on the pill but I am very particular about putting anything into my body. I had pretty heavy-duty mood swings when I was on BC five years ago.

Working-out has actually helped to balance my hormones. This may sound a bit "esoteric" but I have a lot of "fire" energy. I find that if I am not using it physically... then my nervousness and stress level increase...and what do you know...up pops an evil cyst! It got REALLY bad about three years ago and since then I would break out with two or three cyst the week before my period. Now I am more in the healing and preventative stage.

Since May, I have added running to my daily regimen (now I belong to the gym) along with my Hatha (ashtanga) yoga and a pretty solid cleansing and product routine. I really do believe that the sweating and high intensity of my work-out has helped to balance my hormone levels, preventing the causes of cystic acne . Not that it would work for everyone... we all have our limitations.
 

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Dianette is a contraceptive pill used indeed for hormonal imbalance and particularly for PCOS (i.e policystic ovary syndrome). Long term use of the pill can however cause liver problems, therefore using Dianette is only a temporary solution. In fact, the pill will only mask the problems that you have, meaning it does not work on the actual cause of the problem - the hormonal imbalance. I suggest you see a good nutritionist as well, as you can get great advise on hormone balance diet and supplements/herbs. For example, Zinc is one of the nutrients used for the body for healing and by taking the adequate amount you diminish scaring of tissues. Anyway, hope this helps! Good luck!
 

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Pills can be a problem indeed, but what you need to assess your digestive health and the absorbtion. We should all get by fine with just consuming good food, but unfortunately people do have health problems, do get stressed, don't always manage to eat properly, etc. Supplements are meant for the above mentioned situations and can most of the times help you get on the right track. Best type so far are food state supplements, a bit more expensive but amazing and the are as their name says, food sourced as opposed to lab massive production. Nettle tea is is also absolutely amazing for skin!! And make sure you have you eat plenty of essential fatty acids, yous skin needs them more as much as it needs Zinc!
 

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I'm an Esthetician and we absolutely CANNOT drain cystic acne. You should go see a Dermatologist or put some type of drying agent on the acne. You can also try tea tree oil which is an antibacterial. Do not try to poke or pick at the acne, as it will make it worse and possibly scar.
 

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OK, i tried differin cream, proactive, obaji etc. I am using Clinique acne line with 2%salicylic acid. It's inexpensive and works wonders.
 

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My derm either drains my nodules or injects them with a mild steroid. That usually takes the bump down within minutes. But if you want to avoid those needles, try liquid oil of oregano. I was surprised how well it worked on acne this bad. I use it morning and night, and I find it helps prevent the nodules from getting so bad, then they go away faster. I find a new nodule usually goes away in 4-5 days.
 
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