Image via Instagram (@mrshayre).
The worst offender of the lot? Cystic acne.
Also known as “nodulocystic acne”, cystic acne often surfaces later than other forms and is actually quite common on other areas of the body too.
What causes it?
“It’s different from other acne as it’s often triggered by hormonal changes (like puberty) but it can also be triggered by some hormonal treatments, your environment and much more,” explains Darlene O’Gara, National Training Manager at Australian Skin Clinics. (Post continues after gallery.)
“When sebum becomes trapped in follicles beneath the skin, bacteria can increase which subsequently becomes infected creating a cyst of infection leading to cystic acne,” she says.
“The pressure of this built up sebum can cause cell walls to breakdown, leading to the infection to spread sideways underneath your skin.”
Attempting to squeeze it is the worst thing you can do.
How can you treat it?
“Never try to squeeze the cyst as this will increase the likelihood of infection spreading through the deeper tissues,” says O’Gara.
According to Associate Professor Greg Goodman of the Dermatology Institute of Victoria, a consultation with your doctor is essential. They might recommend you take sustained oral treatments such as antibiotics or Isotretinoin (RoAccutane) to treat it effectively.
"Sometimes even oral cortison is required. Injection of cysts with cortisone as well as drainage of the cysts on occasion in severe cases," he says.
If hormones are a contributing factor for females, O'Gara says the introduction of contraceptive pill can often stabilise or regulate hormone levels and help reduce cystic acne.