How To Get Rid Of Under The Skin Pimples aka Cystic Acne

Ever felt a skin bump that didn’t have the classic whitehead looks of a pimple but was tender to the touch and hurt when you applied gentle pressure on it? If you are in your teens or you have a history of adult acne, then it is quite likely cystic acne is forming.


Under the skin pimples, painful as they can be sometimes, can be calmed down by cooling the affected area using ice and thus reducing the inflammation of the area for relief.  No known topical treatment can penetrate the layers of skin to deal effectively with the deeply seated pustule and I would not suggest wasting money on creams that have unbelievable claims about their efficacy. However, having said that, some creams can help with cystic acne that isn’t too deeply seated under the skin, so you can have success with the products I talk about below.

“People are looking at my face with envious glances because of my acne-free skin, and I’m loving every bit of it…”– click to find out that one simple trick.

However not all is lost! You can seek help from a dermatologist where they will usually do the following:

  • Give you direct cortisone injections into the affected areas with a very fine gauge needle
  • Put you on a course of accutane-class of medication to address a hormonal issue in order to reduce your body’s skin oil production
  • Prescribe a course of antibiotics such as doxycycline or erythromycin if the doctor does not think the acne is hormone-related
  • Or you can choose to alter your diet and save your money (read below)

Modifying Your Diet To Beat Cystic Acne – My Journey

What I would do, if your case isn’t a severe (clusters of cystic acne appearing) is to double down on keeping your skin clean as well as to alter your diet immediately with foods that boost your body’s immune system. Cystic acne takes time to develop, so in any case, a likely cure or method would also require some level of patience.

What has really worked wonders for me is to actually be patient and to alter my diet that would allow my body to respond over the next few days and weeks. I actually audited everything thing that I have been eating on a regular basis when my cystic acne appeared.

I’m quite a healthy-eater, and I stay away from processed sugars as well as fried foods and snacks so I couldn’t quite figure out what was causing my cystic acne.

After some time, I realized that I was particularly intolerant to dairy products, especially cream cheese, I would get a little bloated after my meals and based on that decision alone, I decided to cut that out and see if my body would respond.

As expected, as soon as I cut out my dairy intake, I noticed that my cystic acne beginning to calm down and no new spots appeared. I felt I was on the right track.

Feeling a little more confident I decided to take my cystic-acne busting program to the next level and incorporated apple cider vinegar (I drink a tablespoon of it diluted in a glass of water) as well as very potent pro-biotics. What happened next really shocked me.

My Cystic Acne-Busting Revelation

Getting rid of anything that my body disagrees with, in this case, dairy, actually stopped further outbreaks of cystic acne. Not just cystic acne, by the way, but also the regular acne started to calm down and few acne appeared.

What really stopped the cystic acne was my regular intake of apple cider vinegar and probiotics and eliminating the allergens that I was consuming.

With that simple adjustment of my diet the clusters of cystic acne slowly faded away and disappeared within a week.

What You Need To Know About Cystic Acne

Cystic acne more often than not is a result of hormonal changes, which leads to overproduction of oil and creates an environment for acne to appear. Cystic acne usually appears near the jawline and around the top of the neck.

Cystic acne is caused by bacterial activity which causes inflammation under the skin. Unlike your standard pimple or zit, these are essentially similar but are located in the deeper layers of your skin, which makes it little harder to treat because topical medication takes longer to reach the layer of inflammation.

Childhood horror stories – Some things my mother told me when I had pimples

My mom, would recount tales of people who tried to forcefully pop a cystic acne on their face and forced the bacteria into other internal areas of the head which would then finally end up in the bloodstream and reach the brain, which then later, allegedly killed the pimple popper.

Whether true or false, the point is that such tales seem quite plausible and scary to think of. But applying pressure on a cyst can and may cause the bacteria to spread and push the infection even deeper and cause even more pain.

And as an ignorant teen, I decided not to test fate, despite my deep resentment towards any form of acne and my passionate quest on how to get rid of under the skin pimples.

Is it okay to pop my pimples? No. Never Do That.

1. Don’t pick at them
2. Don’t try to pop them because it will cause more scar tissue and darker blemishes.

What causes cystic acne?


Hormonal imbalances such as going through puberty, pregnancy and menopause is known to disrupt hormone levels and the production of androgens. Androgens can cause skin pores to become blocked which then leads to deeply seated acne to develop with greater regularity.

Men appear to be affected more severely if cystic acne occurs which leads to more scarring. This is why many men have “moon crater” skin surfaces if they suffered from many under-the-skin pimples.

Women on the other hand, appear to have cystic acne appear only on the lower-half of their faces.

Oral Antibiotics

Much as I would like to recommend natural remedies and avoid antibiotics at all cost, to stop an infection spreading, you may need to take a course of antibiotics as prescribed by your health professional. This can be broad-spectrum antibiotics like doxycyline or augmentin.

Not my go-to option because antibiotics stay in your system months after the treatment is over and we actually don’t know how toxic in may be in the long term.

Isotretinoin (Accutane / Roaccutane)

This was what I had to take in my mid-twenties for my severe acne condition that was making me visit my skin doctor over 2 years and had to undergo repeated cystic acne injection treatments. Accutane is usually a course of medication prescribed over a two to three month period to deal with severe acne and is known to put additional load on the liver.

I had to go for regular blood tests during my treatment to ensure that it wasn’t affecting my kidneys and liver. Thank God it didn’t affect my long-term health and I’m glad to say that it was the treatment that worked best to keep the acne away.

Part of me still wonders if some of those chemicals are still circulating in my body after so many years. But I’m glad it did the job or getting rid of the acne and repeated back-to-back outbreaks that was decimating my social life and personal self-esteem.

Oral Contraceptives

Women may take oral contraceptives as part of their regulating menstrual cycles and also as a effect, help regulate hormone imbalances. This helps also prevent sever cystic acne from developing.

Topical treatments you can try

There are some really non-pharmaceutical treatment options available for use that you can get for yourself, here are some personal recommendations that I have tried and attest to their effectiveness. I’ve had really good success with some of these for less deeply-seated cystic acne, but there’s something a better and more complete system I’d like to share a the end of this post.

But for immediate treatments, you could try these.

TreeActiv Cystic Acne Spot Treatment


6 Month Supply Secret Tea Tree Oil Keeva Treatment

The root cause of acne is blockage of the sebaceous glands. Tea Tree Oil, (melaleuca oil) naturally disinfects pores and dries out whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, acne, scars and other blemishes that people have on their face or back.

See the Results:

Mighty Patch Hydrocolloid Acne Absorbing Spot Dot

Hydrocolloid acne stickers protect blemishes for faster healing overnight, each pimple patch acts as a protective cover and prevents picking or touching

Non-Chemical Based Treatment: Zit Warming Treatment


Stress makes you get pimples

If you are are faced with stressful circumstances at work or home, this can also trigger your body to create cortisol to deal with the conditions. You body, if left in a prolonged stressful conditional will then begin to become more susceptible to infections and tissue inflammation.

If not for your acne breakouts, do it for your mental health and avoid being in constantlystressful situations that put a toil on your mind and body.

Some people recommend activities like mindfulness, meditation, yoga. I recommend that you find ways to get rid of the source of stress where possible. For example, if you are dealing with toxic relationship and people, you might want to leave that and find better friends and better relationships.

Ever noticed that acne and pimples can appear on your back and neck as well? This could be due to the body responding to stress. You can read my other in-depth article “How to Get Rid of Body Acne.

My simple plan that eliminated my cystic acne

As shared earlier in my journey, the 3 biggest things I did that helped with my cystic acne instead of running off to the dermatologist for injections and medication was:

  • Getting rid of foods I was very mildly allergic to (dairy, in my case)
  • Taking apple cider vinegar everyday with water
  • Being religious about consuming high-grade, high potency probiotics such as Hyperbiotics and 1MD Complete Probiotics

I hope that the information I’ve provided helped you in understanding more about what cystic acne is and how to get rid of under the skin pimples. I know what works for someone, may not necessarily work for everyone. But after trying all the usual remedies and creams, I still find my go-to solution works great as long as you are patient.

A long term system that fights acne and gets rid of it for good

I actually have experienced using a proven system of dealing with acne called “Acne No More” (you can read my in-depth review here) which has essentially been a skincare game changer for me. After going through the simple medication-free course, I don’t have to deal with worrying about when my next acne outbreak will occur, because I have learnt how to prevent it effectively.

It was always disheartening to find a new pimple appear and then another one appear just a day after and start worrying that the massive breakout will occur anytime. This really made my life miserable because I felt I was living with a ticking time bomb of the pimple nature on my hands.

But there’s great news, I am totally free from this worry now that I found the Acne No More system! If you want to find out more, please read my personal review of Acne No More.

I hope it will make a significant change in your skin-health, as it has, mine.

Thanks for reading as always, and God bless.

“People are looking at my face with envious glances because of my acne-free skin, and I’m loving every bit of it…”– click to find out that one simple trick.


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