About Skin, Microneedling, Skin Care

What is Cystic Acne? Symptoms & Dermapen Treatments 

Think you have cystic acne? 

While not all people who get acne will develop cysts, if you’re one of the unlucky few who do, it can cause a devastating blow to your self-esteem. And that’s not to mention the excruciating pain of the cysts themselves. 

Just the slightest brush of a fingertip can have you grinding your teeth in agony. 

But what are these aggressive boil-like lumps, and more importantly, what can you do about them? Keep reading to find out. 

What’s Acne? 

Acne is a generic term for a combination of the following skin symptoms: 

  • Open comedones (blackheads) 
  • Closed comedones (whiteheads) 
  • Papules 
  • Pustules 
  • Nodules  
  • Cysts 

It’s generally caused by the clogging of your pores when sebum (oil) combines with dead skin cells. When bacteria proliferate in your skin, this is when inflammatory acne occurs. Cystic acne is one of the most severe types of inflammatory acne. 

The 4 Different Stages of Acne 

Acne vulgaris is the term used to describe generalised acne. However, depending on the frequency and severity of symptoms, acne may be categorised into the following types: 

  1. Comedonal acne (whiteheads and blackheads)
  2. Papulopustular acne (papules and pustules)
  3. Nodulocystic acne (nodules and cysts)
  4. Acne conglobate, acne fulminans (interconnecting abscesses and channels under the skin)

Cystic Acne Symptoms 

cystic acne symptoms

So how do you know if you’ve got cystic acne? 

Cysts are boil-like infections deep in your skin. These painful bumps occur when blocked pores become infected and inflamed. They are filled with pus and soft to touch. Cystic acne most commonly appears on the face and in younger people. Although, you may also get it as an adult or on your chest, upper back, or upper arms.  

Cystic acne can significantly impact your self-esteem and cause emotional distress as it’s a highly visible skin condition. It can be impossible to hide. Beyond the painful cysts, you may also have comedones, papules, pustules, and nodules. 

Risk Factors for Cystic Acne 

People at a higher risk of developing cystic acne are: 

  • Anyone with oily skin 
  • Teens 
  • Women 
  • Older adults with a hormonal imbalance 

But anyone of any age could develop cystic acne. Triggers include hormonal changes, genetics, oily skin products, profuse sweating, and some medications. 

Cystic Acne & Scarring 

cystic acne scarring

You can’t afford to wait for cystic acne to clear up of its own accord. 

Firstly, because there’s no guarantee this will happen anytime soon. But also because this type of acne is most likely to leave you with scars and hyperpigmentation. 

The types of scarring that cystic acne can cause include: 

  • Rolling scars: wave-like undulations in the skin 
  • Ice-pick scars: deep pitted scars that narrow into a V-shape 
  • Box-car scars: deep pitted scars with flat bottom and sides 
  • Hypertrophic scars: raised scars 
  • Keloid scars: raised scars that continue the grow beyond the boundary of the original wound 

Dermapen Treatments for Cystic Acne 

treat acne microneedling

When you’ve got cystic acne, it can feel hopeless. But help is available. 

Thanks to advances in Dp Dermaceuticals Meso-Glides (the serum used during microneedling with potent acne-fighting actives) and with multiple successful case studies, we know that even cystic acne can be successfully microneedled when our strict Protocols are followed. This includes supporting your Dermapen Treatments with a homecare prescription for problematic skin. 

Cystic Acne Meso-Glide Microneedling Serums


treatment for cystic acne

This professional-grade serum includes a potent combination of antimicrobial peptides and biocompatible extracts to help clear acne. The powerful blend contains Niacinamide, Boswellia Serrata Extract, Liquorice Root, Honey Extract, Vitamin C, and Oligopeptide-10. 


product for cystic acne

This specialist corrective lotion helps clear the appearance of problematic skin. It balances oil control and helps reduce the chance of future breakouts. The de-clogging combination of ingredients includes Salicylic Acid and Niacinamide. This product is also perfect as a light, twice-daily moisturiser. 

Skincare Tips for Cystic Acne 

As well as consulting an Authorised Treatment Provider about a Dermapen Treatment for cystic acne, there are some guidelines you can follow to support your skin’s transformation.

  • Avoid touching your face 
  • Keep your glasses and phone clean   
  • Wear breathable fabrics and loose clothes 
  • Use non-oily products to wash your hair. Keep it clean and away from your face 
  • Stay out of the sun. This is particularly important if you’re also taking medication or using topicals for your acne that make you more sensitive 
  • Double up on protection by choosing a quality non-comedogenic (won’t clog your pores) sunscreen. Check out COVER RECOVER for this purpose 
  • Always cleanse your face morning and night and remove all traces of makeup   
  • Don’t squeeze or pick your pimples. This will increase your risk of scarring and pigmentation  
  • Support your skin with a twice-daily skincare routine for problematic skin. Start with the ACNE SKIN SET 

Don’t Wait to Get Help 

If you have cystic acne, know that it’s possible to change your skin’s appearance. Because of possible scarring, you can’t afford to wait. Book your consultation with an Authorised Treatment Provider to take the first step towards clear, glowing skin. 

Disclaimer: Content within DermapenWorld Skin IQ blog is not designed to cure, treat or diagnose disease. Individual results may vary. We try to make sure it’s accurate and up to date, however we can’t guarantee that it will always apply to you. You should seek your own medical advice from your doctor or healthcare professional.