What Causes Cystic Acne in Teens and Adults?

Cystic acne occurs when clogged pores filled with dead skin and oils rupture underneath the skin, causing inflammation and infecting its surrounding tissue. Unlike other forms of acne, cystic acne is bigger, reddish in appearance, and is harder to pick because it goes under the skin. But what causes cystic acne?  


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Here are some of the culprits behind painful cystic acne:


  • Hormonal imbalance. High level and excessive amount of the androgen hormone in the body is one of the major causes of cystic acne. It triggers acne outbreaks by over-stimulating the sebaceous glands. This in turn causes excessive oil in the skin that will more or less cause pore blockage that leads to inflammation and furthermore triggers a serious acne problem.


  • Menstrual cycles. Hormonal changes happen days before your monthly period. Thus, there is an increase in androgens, making you more susceptible to an acne outbreak.


  • Puberty. The puberty stage is where bodily changes happen. It is also an indication that our body is starting to increase hormone production including androgen, making acne outbreaks more prevalent during puberty.


  • Pregnancy. Pregnancy also triggers drastic hormonal changes, causing hormonal imbalances that trigger a cystic acne breakout.what causes cystic acne pregnancy
    • Menopause. Another cause of acne outbreak is premenopausal or menopausal stage in life. During this time, there is a gradual decline of estrogen hormones in the body, making androgen more prevalent. This also means a higher possibility of cystic acne occurrence.


  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This is a kind of health condition wherein a woman’s hormonal production gets out of balance. It may cause acne outbreaks, difficulty in conceiving, and period problems.


  • Heredity.  Cystic acne may run in the family so make a family tree check to know the percentage of occurrence in your generation. In this way, you can prepare for it and have an idea of which treatment works best, per prior experience of your relatives.


  • Oil-based cosmetic and skin products.  Your favorite cosmetic products may be containing minerals and oils that might be clogging your pores and encourage an acne outbreak.  It is therefore safer to buy non-comedogenic cosmetic and skin products because these are designed not to clog your pores.what causes cystic acne cream
  • Stress. This is one of the common causes of adult acne. When the body is under pressure, it releases hormones to help us cope with the stressful situation. The downside is, it may also trigger a cystic acne outbreak. Thus, managing your stress may also have a positive effect on your stress-triggered acne problem.what causes cystic acne stress
  • Diet. This is another factor to be considered when tracing the cause of your skin problem. Eating too much fast food and processed food products, which is made from hormone-bombarded animals, can increase your risk of developing acne outbreaks.


Unlike other forms of acne, cystic acne can cause great anxiety to people suffering from it because it’s more painful and difficult to get rid of. It buries deep into your skin, remains there for a long period of time, and causes scar if left untreated. Knowing what causes cystic acne can greatly help you deal with it and prevent further infection and recurrence of it. It may also eventually mean a healthy and blemish-free skin for you.


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