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Usual Methods of Treating Cystic Acne & the Best Antibiotic To Get Rid of Cystic Acne

A severe type of acne in which the pores on the skin get blocked due to inflammation and serious bacterial infection is cystic acne. Mostly cystic acne develops on the face but sometimes it can also grow on your upper arm or back.

The sebaceous glands under our skin release sebum which usually protects the hair follicles but when too much of sebum is released, the area becomes a thriving atmosphere for P. acne bacteria to grow. This infection leads to the growth of acne. Cystic acne is formed when the blocked pores cause inflammation and rupture the hair follicles. The rupture could also occur due to scrubbing hard and the rupture leads to further inflammation. The plug remains within the blister in the form of pus and finally the cystic acne on your face becomes painful. Even though there are different types of medicines for treating cystic acne, antibiotics are proven to be the best for cystic acne.

What are the Usual Methods Of Treating Cystic Acne?

When you think of treating cystic acne, always consult the best skin doctor. It is only with the help of a dermatologist you can remove the cystic acne and prevent it from scaring your face. The usual medications that are used by the patients suffering from cystic acne are:

What are the Usual Methods Of Treating Cystic Acne?

  • Use of benzoyl peroxide. This can be found in any medical store. You can apply it on your skin to kill the bacteria off immediately to prevent the acne from worsening further. Presently benzoyl peroxide is mixed with amounts of water or alcohol to make products suitable for various types of skin.
  • Taking in birth control pills which have less oestrogen content. Avoiding any kind of pills that can raise the level of progesterone or androgen.
  • Using salicylic acid to dry up the affected area and peel off the dead skin.
  • Using steroid injections to reduce inflammation without leaving scars.

What is the Best Antibiotic for Cystic Acne?

The best way to treat cystic acne is with antibiotic. Usually the antibiotics prescribed are topical in nature. Most of these antibiotics can be taken orally. The antibiotics such a clindamycin, erythromycin, tetracycline and doxycycline are useful while treating cystic acne.

Other topical antibiotics for treating cystic acne which is of the retinoid group like the tretinoin, adapalene and tazarotene help fight acne. One such topical antibiotic cream is azelaic acid or azelex.

Isotretinoin which is an oral retinoid is used highly for treating cystic acne. Under the brand names of Absorica, Claravis, Sotret, Myorisan and Amnesteem, you can find Isotretinoin which effectively treats acne. The antibacterial function kills the bacteria thriving on your skin by making conditions unfavourable for it to survive. Since the life of the bacteria is only 48 hours, the energy that was spent by the bacteria to reproduce now is used to protect the layers of its body. In the same way, the pores get cleared and the swelled area dries up.

Isotretinoin is the most effective antibiotic for removing the cystic acne but it has a lot of side effects. The medicine is not good for the unborn child. No dermatologist prescribes it until all other antibiotics fail to treat your cystic acne. The usual dosage of Isotretinoin prescribed is 1 milligram per kilogram of your body weight. Such has to be taken once every day for at least 16 to 20 weeks.

The most common side effects noticed while you are on Isotretinoin antibiotic are:

  • Drying of the eyes
  • Drying up of the genitals
  • Chapped lips
  • Higher lipid levels
  • Pain in the joints
  • Liver dysfunction
  • Depression.

The worst effect of Isotretinoin antibiotic for treating cystic acne occurs if you are pregnant. Even a small dosage of Isotretinoin can cause miscarriage, premature birth, defects in the child or death of the new born. You should take this medicine only if you are prescribed by the doctor.


  1. Healthline – “Cystic Acne: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options”: Get insights into the causes and treatment options for cystic acne, including antibiotic use. Healthline – Cystic Acne
  2. WebMD – “Cystic Acne: What Is It and How Do You Treat It?”: Learn about the treatment methods for cystic acne, including the use of antibiotics. WebMD – Cystic Acne

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 23, 2023

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