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Thread: What is recommended topically for the odd semi-cystic acne?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Buster's Avatar
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    Default What is recommended topically for the odd semi-cystic acne?

    Hi,
    I just got two semi-cystic acne slightly under and behind my left ear. If I squeeze one of them it will become more cystic. But when squeezed it opens up and allows benzoyl p 5 % gel to get into it, and kill it. But it becomes a lump and will take a long time to go away.
    What kind of topical will be effective for this? Preferrably something I can get online. Is topical tretinoid a choice?

    I a not considering going on oral antibiotics or accutane for the sake of two cystic acne, but since benzoyl p is less effective for this, and they are pretty red and bigger than the occasional smaller acne, I though I would ask.

    I recently started sun tanning with sun bed a couple of times a week, can this cause more acne? Any experiences?

    Thank you,
    Mads

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    Moderator phlika29's Avatar
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    I used to put retinoid gel on my acne and it did help them so if the cysts are not on your face I would say give it ago. I would not recommend using the retinoid gel on your face as it can aggravate the rosacea. I would also strongly reccomend stopping using a sunbed as in the longterm will only increase your risk on skin cancer and premature ageing. Sorry

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    Senior Member Jordan's Avatar
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    What I do actually is just wash the affected areas with soap daily. I just use a regular body wash, Lever 2000 I believe it is for my neck and back areas, including behind the ear and below the hairline. This is where I usually get cystic acne and what happens is they will either dry out and pop easily or they will go away. At least in my case. Give it a go and see what happens. I don't know your history with Accutane, but that really helped with all my cystic acne when I was on it. Also, it might not be a bad idea to see a derm because they actually do know what they are doing when it comes to cystic acne. lol. Good luck.

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    Senior Member Buster's Avatar
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    Thanks.
    Is there a good retinoid gel that can be bought on the internet?
    As gentle as possible but still effective.

    Hmm. Just washing with soap? Maybe I can use the sensitive skin Head & Shoulders shampoo ?

    I do think I will try a retinoid gel, maybe in the evening and then use benzoyl peroxide in the day?

    As for accutane, I have been on a regular regimen and low dose. It helped remove my cystic acne. I sure hope they are not returning, because I will not go on accutane again.

    Thank you

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    Moderator phlika29's Avatar
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    I have tried Differin? gel and Isotrex but not sure if you can get it online.

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    Senior Member redhotoz's Avatar
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    Hi Mads

    You might want to consider Nasalcrom/Rynacrom (OTC nasal spray) on the cysts. I used Retin A gel and cream in the past but it made the area dry and horrible and no doubt long term negative effects. Sigh! Anyway, the nasal spray on the cysts do help and I have not found any down sides to it. Maybe try that?

    An alternative might be a home made solution of sea salt in water dabbed on to the area. I've also tried this with a commercial brand (with good results) but it could easily be made up at home by dissolving sea salt into a small amount of boiling water and allowing it to cool, then dabbing it on the affected areas. Perhaps putting the solution into a dark coloured glass dropper bottle for storage. The working ingredient of Nasalcrom/Rynacrom is Cromolyn Sodium - salt - in laymans terms (which I am) but even my Dad (Pharmacist) agreed that there would be no harm. For me, it gets back to the discussions on how great our skin can be when we swim in the ocean.

    I have realised that what I thought were bad/deep pustules were infact cystic-type lesions...well...that's my semi-educated guess anyway. Not to be too gross...but the give away for me was the clear fluid build up. A pustule will have white pus. So, this was how I differentiated between them. Yeah, I know...it's gross...but that's how it is. Sigh!

    Not sure about tanning beds really. I wouldn't do it.

    Hope this helps.

    Jen
    Currently trying: Apr 06 Bee Wilder's Candida (natural healing) Diet; May 06 Home made red LED array; Aug 06 ZZ ointment.

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    Senior Member Buster's Avatar
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    That is very interesting. Does this work by mast cell inhibition?

    What effect does this have on the cysts? The thing is they are not cysts until I squeeze them, but they are deeper than the usual acne, it is like a small hard pin a bit under the skin and with a red area that is as large as a pea or so on the surface of the skin.

    Anyways, maybe I will order this nasal spray. I use 5 % benz p gel, but its not overly effective for this. As long as I only have to I can live with it, I hope there wont be more, because I do not intend to take oral antibiotics because it would aggrevate my seb derm and accutane is history for me.
    Ah, I found this in Norway. Seems it is over the counter here as well, but the name is Lomudal. Hope it is the same product or close to the same.
    Do you think I can use it together with benzoyl p? Does it in any way irritate?

    I have come to the conclusion that sun bed are not good, I notice a strange smell on the skin for hours after a session. I do notice that spring and summer sun is good for me, but tanning beds are just not the same.

    Thanks for the suggestions,

    Best wishes,
    Mads

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    Senior Member redhotoz's Avatar
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    Yes, mast cell inhibitor. I read about it on the RSG. I don't find it irritating at all and I suppose you could use it with BP, but I don't know if there would be any 'reaction' between the two? I doubt it?

    Hope this helps.

    Jen

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    Hi Buster

    The cysts you describe are what mine are like when I get them. If I sweeze them then they get deeper and stay around longer (months). They are painful and can itch. They start out with clear stuff inside and then later have pus (sorry...no better way to explain). They are usually the size of a pea or bigger and bright bright red (no make-up exists that can cover them...they're too big and bright). BP alone never quite gets rid of them for me. Nor does any topical...I've tried loads, including natural remedies. I think they're too deep. I have to use some kind of systemic, either antibiotic or hormonal or both if I'm really flaring.

    I know you're against taking a systemic...and I totally understand. I tried to use only BP + natural topical remedies off and on for years but I just can't live with these cysts..they inflame my whole face and make me a recluse! You're lucky you only have them behind your ear...but I can understand your fear of getting them on your face!

    I just can't live a normal life with these things on my face so I researched what would be the least damaging to my system to treat it systemically. Surprisingly Bactrim (...if you tolerate sulfa drugs) is derived from natural sources and rather mild on the body if taken at low doses like I am now. I'm also taking Spiro which blocks androgens. You might be able to help block stress androgens (aggrevates cystic lesions) by doing yoga, eating anti-androgenic foods, etc. Although being a guy this is hard to do since your body is more loaded with androgens!

    Again - you're lucky they're not that visible!
    Bactrim (phasing out), Spironolactone 1x/day, Retin-a cream .05% in the p.m., Neutrogena Cleanser for Sensitive Skin, avoid dairy and usual Rosacea triggers.

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    Senior Member Buster's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input, Claudia.
    I used to have more of these cysts years ago, but then I took accutane, and they went away. But now I have two, but I hope they are the only ones. I think I got them after eating ice cream and stuff for a couple of days, and some other nasty things. My diet has been so good for a long time that my system can not tolerate sugar at all. This is my guess. Stress too is bad, and I have had some of it lately.
    However, it is getting better, and my new girlfriend is helping me remove the stress androgens.

    Thanks and best wishes,
    Mads

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