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Home Remedies for Cystic Acne

Last Modified on Nov 13, 2015

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Posted by Emilie (Montpellier, France) on 03/08/2015

Hello, I have been suffering from acne for more than 8 years. During my teenage years I assumed it would pass with age, but it's actually gotten worse! I have dramatically changed my diet (I cut out gluten, dairy and refined sugars) and I drink plenty of water, I exercise daily etc. At the moment, I have cystic acne on my lower cheeks, on the sides of my mouth and on my chin. I have read that these areas indicate a hormonal imbalance which makes sense because my period is due in the next few days. I am taking evening primrose oil capsules and zinc every day, taking a tablespoon of maca root everyday and drinking plenty of spearmint tea. Is there any other way of naturally balancing out hormones? I heard apple cider vinegar might help, but I'm confused because it seems to be mainly menopausal women who recommend it and I might have a different kind of hormonal imbalance as I'm 20 years old. I appreciate any advice you can give me! Thanks.

Replied by Timh Donate

E: Black Cohosh and Dong Quai are also indicated for your condition, but you may need to do some heavy metal chelation w/ Celantro & Chlorella. Heavy metals such as Floride, Arcenic, and Mercury are major endocrine disruptors. Sodium Thiosulfate is also good for H.M. detox.

Infared, 125 Watt Clear Lightbulb
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Posted by Bev (Elroy, WI) on 09/05/2007

[YEA]  to respond to the woman with the terrible boils. I suffer from horrific cystic acne. I discovered that if I eliminate all forms of hidden MSG [do an internet search to find all that it is in] that my skin is perfectly clear. I am so sensitive that I cannot even touch anything with citric acid or natural flavor which is a form of hidden MSG and is in most shampoos, liquid hand soap, prepared foods, pop etc. I convinced my husband to eliminate all hidden MSG and his headaches, ezcema and skin rash went away. Now when he has any exposure the itchy, weepy skin rash comes back and today it is back with a vengence. He had mustard on Sunday and it flared. By Monday evening it was drying up and he licked the spoon of the ice cream he served our children and during the night it erupted so bad he could hardly sleep.

A good rememdy for all these skin things is a 125 watt clear infrared bulb. Not only will this clear up the skin but is great for any aches and it healed my son of acute asthma. Asthma requires a one hour treatment 1-2 times daily or more. The more you use it the quicker it heals. The only draw back is having to stay stationary so long. My husband hasn't had time to sit under it the past two days so he is still in bad shape. He started on the vinegar and honey last night to see if a change in body pH will help

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Posted by Kathy (Colosprings, Co) on 05/30/2013

Regarding cystic acne. I saw a show on TV today that discussed this problem today. The show is Your Health With Dr. Richard and Cindy Becker, they talked about Lugol's Iodine helping cystic acne by correcting the hormone problems many people have. The show also said that people with other problems such as low thyroid, hair loss, headaches, keloids, ringworm, and many other ailments could be helped by adding 12.5 milligrams of iodine to our diet daily. They said this could be accomplished by taking tablets purchased at the health store or by painting iodine on the skin. Clear iodine can also be used instead of the red stuff we all remember for wound healing. Some may think that we get all of the iodine we need from iodized salt, but other added chemicals we incure in our diets obstruct the absorption our bodies need. I am going to try this on myself and others in my family and let you know.

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Posted by Earthwoman2 (Memphis, Tn, USA) on 07/12/2013

[YEA]  I have suffered from Cystic acne on my chin since I was in high school (for over 10 years). Anyone who has cystic acne knows that it is painful and hard to cover up wth make up (not to mention the deep purplish colored scars that they leave behind).

I tried every natural topical treatment available and nothing helped. About 5 months ago, my mom gave me her masticating juicer to juice greens (the omega J8004) and I started juicing a few ounces a day (varying between 4-10 oz). After 2 weeks of juicing, my cystic acne, which usually just form into painful mountains on my chin without every coming to a head, starting getting filled with puss (gross, I know- just bear with me) so I popped them (thinking they'd come back in a matter of days). But they never came back! I have been free from my cystic acne for over 5 months and I owe it all to the green juice! I usually juice Kale, ginger, lemon and mix them with other stuff like apples, cucumbers, carrots, brocoli, watermelon rinds or any other veggie I have lying around. I always use organic too.

The scars are fading away too and for that I use a combination of jojoba oil and calendula balm. I know a juicer is a big investment, so maybe start with a less expensive one like this one: breville compact juicer.

I hope this helps someone out there as much as it has helped me!

Lava Soap
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Posted by Skin Reborn (West Coast, Ca) on 11/14/2012

[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]  All my teen years, I had horrific acne. All kinds, tiny specks to giant cysts. All was due to poor diet. All treatments worked for a few weeks, then didn't help anymore. Witch hazel, noxema, aloe, medicated pads, oxy... So, one day I use my two brothers Lava soap they used after working on motors in the garage. That lava soap didn't cure my acne, but reduced it to half what it had been. Best - not a single scar. Photos from before are terrible, from after is skin like new. Today almost 60 yrs old, and still get compliments on baby-like smooth face skin. It didn't burn or hurt, just exfoliated r-e-a-l-l-y well.

Lavender Oil
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Posted by Miracles (Santa Monica, Ca, United States) on 07/11/2013

[YEA]  I thought it was crazy that something as simple as lavender oil could actually work on my cystnic acne - after going to doctors for cortisone injections to reduce inflammation and expedite the healing. But you must try Lavender Oil and put it on your acne as soon as they develop. The swelling will go down immediately and the pimple/cystic acne will come to a head within 24-48 hours. Thank you to Earth Clinic and everybody who writes in for these wonderful cures!

Posted by L (Horsham, Surrey) on 05/09/2011

[YEA]  Get occasional acne cysts and decided to try pure lavender oil, dabbing several times a day rather than leaving on the skin for an hour as per previous post. Have found this has really reduced its size over the last 24 hrs. Will continue until gone. Great tip, thanks!

Replied by Es
Newton, Nj
[YEA]   You can dab it on but the way to really get rid of the cyst is to do the compress method I described. I've tried both ways - I discovered this by accident several years ago and also tried dabbing lavender on which helps some, but the tried and true way to really get rid of them or completely prevent them from growing, is the compress method as I originally posted.

Posted by Es (Newton, Nj) on 12/13/2010

[YEA]  I meant to share this with people for years and somehow never got around to it, but I want to share this because ance cysts are really humiliating - I used to get them sometimes, and sometimes, still do. But they don't cause me the awful grief they used to, including a big ugly cyst that lasts for two weeks, and red marks that last for months if you pick at them. I stumbled upon a way to make them go down instantly and let me tell you, I'd tried a dermatologist and they prescribed a special cyst cream that cost $50 even with my insurance! It was like a $187. Cream that only dried the living cr*p out of the cysts but didn't really help.

OK so the cure is simple. You take a few drops of lavender essential oil, you put it on a little swatch of cotton, and stick it on the cyst. You leave it there for an hour or even two. Here's the deal. Sometimes, before the cyst actually shows up, you feel that little painful spot on the skin, and if you catch it then, that's the best time, because if you feel the cyst coming on, and put the lavender on, you will find the cyst never really gets to develop. Sometimes you might want to do the lavender treatment again the following day for good measure. This stops the cyst before it can really form at all. But sometimes, you don't catch it until it's come up. In that case, you will have to treat a few times, but it will completely reduce your misery. Some cysts are more stubborn than others, but none of them can stand up to lavender essential oil. I ALWAYS keep lavender oil in the house.

So, if the cyst has come in, then here's how you do it:
I just pull a little piece of cotton off a cotton ball, so it covers the cyst completely, and drop the lavender oil on with a dropper. The little cotton patch should be soaked with the lavender oil. Do not dilute, lavender can be used on the skin undiluted. Leave it on at least an hour. That cyst will be beginning to go down from that point. You may need to repeat this treatment once daily for the next couple of days if it's a stubborn cyst and you got it later in the development, but it's ok, it WILL NOT become a big monster, it will not grow, from when you begin treating, it will stop growing and start dying. Every day it shrinks more. This has worked for me every time, and I discovered this trick by accident about 5 years ago.

My handsome younger brother poo-pooed it as nonsense until he got a cyst zit on his nose, and suffered a humiliating job interview where he swears he wasn't hired cause he looked like he was growing a second nose the thing was so big. He said the interviewer couldn't help looking at it. Well, a few weeks later another cyst started coming in, what did I see but my brother, raiding the medicine cabinet for my lavender oil! It worked for him too, so he bought his own bottle (it's cheap and tons of companies manufacture it, very easy to find). He keeps some at home just in case because you may not get them a lot but when you do, they SUCK.

Anyway, my neighbor had a problem with cysts for years, and used to go to her DR to have them drained. I gave her some of my lavender oil and guess what? It worked for her too. She was amazed. So don't suffer with a huge ugly cystic zit on your face that hurts physically, lasts for ages, and causes embarrassment. Either hit your local health food store, or search online for some pure lavender essential oil and give it a shot. Do not put a lavender compress on your skin if you have just put on aloe vera gel (or fresh aloe vera gel from the leaf) - the aloe combined with the lavender compress will burn the skin and leave a scab!!! (Found that out the hard way - using myself as a guinea pig). Good luck. ES

Replied by Lolo
Fullerton, Ca
[YEA]   I tried this compress with Lavander oil since I felt a sore bump in between my eyes 3 days ago. Wow! I was so surprised when the zit never came up and the soreness went away after a day and a half! I've never had anything work this fast! That's one less pimple I have to nurse for a month. No ugly redness and no bump ever surfaced. Thanks for this post! I will be sharing it with everyone I know!
Replied by Cysticzithater
Grand Rapids, Mi
Oh boy. LOL. I laughed so hard at your hiliarious and artful way of expressing yourself about cystic zit dilemmas. I, too, have suffered terribly with the embarassing condition. In fact, I have one on my chin again, which drove me to seek help on the internet today. I love this web site! Last year, I purchased lavender oil but I never thought to use it for a zit. And after looking back, I stopped drinking coffee with cream and other dairy products and noticed no new zits. Thanks for your help!

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Posted by Lidia (Fullerton, Ca) on 12/06/2011

[YEA]  Throughout my life, I've had several bouts with cystic acne. This last one seem to have lingered quite a while (2 mos) and none of my skin care tricks was working (I'm a lic. esthetician).

I then came to the conclusion that it must be caused by something hormonal rather than an overgrowth of bacteria and clogged pores. I started taking 1 tsp of Maca powder in orange juice and in 5 days my skin had cleared.

I got lazy about taking it (it doesn't have the most pleasant taste so perhaps I was avoiding it) and my skin began to break out again. I started back up on my regimen of Maca powder in orange or apple juice and within 3 days my skin had cleared again.

Manuka Honey
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Posted by Jack (Atlanta, Ga, Usa) on 06/18/2013

[YEA]  I have a 17oz jar of 100% raw manuka honey which is a product of New Zealand. It works wonders as an antibiotic for cystic acne. I use this anytime I feel one coming and it is a miracle product. A lot stronger than honey in the US. 17oz will last years.

Replied by Andrea L
Glendale, Ca
[YEA]   I use Makuna Honey for my adult acne AND all other wounds. THE UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) tells you how much healing properties the jarred honey posses. I began with UMF 12 to save a few bucks, but after having success with that one, I splurged for the UMF 16... It works like a dream! I leave it on my face for hours sometimes; it makes my whole face glow! It very moisturizing, while purifying. Manuka honey acts as an antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal treatment. ; it heals nearly anything in record time. It ALSO works great internally (not for acne) and it good just to snack on!

New Diet, Saw Palmetto, Spearmint Tea
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Posted by Drea (Sarasota, Florida) on 07/23/2009

[YEA]  I have been suffering from cystic acne for about 2 years. I went on birth control and that helped, but my skin was very oily, and I was very moody all the time. When I went off it, i developed really bad cystic acne. It was bad one month and then it was better. But it never went away. I came to the site about a year ago and started using many of the remedies but never was consistent to see results. But I was getting very depressed TO see my face the way it was. So I changed my diet, started ACV, cooked only with EVCO. I gave up all caffeine, coffee, started the Paleo diet, drank lots of water. I also started taking some supplements like zinc, omega 3, and evening primose oil. But within a month my face was the worst it had ever been!!! I was so depressed. I was really good about my diet, and I was losing a lot of weight. I didnt know what to do anymore!!! I was just going to stay at home and never go out! I started doing alot of research, and I stopped taking all the supplements, stopped drinking ACV and I wasnt cooking with any oil, I did continue to follow the Paleo diet. Within a week my face was a little better, so I decided to start taking the Omega 3, and Primrose oil again. Acne was back in a few days. So it was the EFA'S that were giving me this terrible acne!!! It was trial and error, but its true. I heard about saw palmetto, and I decided to give a try I take 320mg daily . It started working!!! I read that it helps to regulate hormones especially testosterone. I also read about the spearmint tea and gave it a try two cups a day. It works wonderful. I also noticed that my hair on legs wasnt growing as fast!!! I read that it helps with the androgens and with body hair. I feel so happy, my acne is gone, less body hair. I hope this info helps someone, because it has helped me! I still take the ACV it helps with weight loss cook with EVCO and once a week 50mg of zinc, I only use organic makeup and face cleansers! I stay away from sugar, eat lots of veggies and fruit!

Replied by Thealth
Los Angeles, CA
Hi Drea,

I am happy to know that your acne is much better now and you have a clear skin. I do have the same issue and want to know what is palmetto.. where do i get that.

Thanks a lot.


Most health food stores should carry it...

Replied by Davy
Seattle, Wash
Cystic acne may be contributed to an increase in the androgen hormone which increases as you get closer to your menstruation. Studies show that the androgen hormones decrease when you drink spearmint or peppermint which contributes to decrease in the androgen. So drink a couple cups of peppermint or spearmint tea is worth trying to decrease hormone cystic acne . I do this as well as use tea tree oil on the cystic acne.

Oregano Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar
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Posted by Alicia (Nyc, Usa) on 08/14/2009

[YEA]  Cysts or cystic acne can be treated with one of these two remedies: oregano oil or apple cider vinegar.


For extremely stubborn cysts: Place enough oregano oil on a cotton ball to cover the surface area of the cyst. (You can also use cotton pads whatever you find works for you) Place the cotton ball on the cyst and secure with a band aid or medical tape. The oregano oil may burn but don't worry this means it is working!

The oregano oil will bring all the fluid to the surface and the cyst will turn from the red or pink color it originally was to a greenish / white puss color. Do not be alarmed the oregano oil is pulling all the impurities to the surface. Soon the cyst will start to drain.

Repeat the cotton ball treatment until the cyst is completely drained. Once it is completely drained cease the cotton ball treatment. Keep the area clean with peroxide and allow it to dry so it can scab over.

While it is scabbed over, keep it clean and help it heal by putting honey on it. Honey can be used in place of petroleum based antibiotic ointments. Honey is a natural antibiotic which will not clog pores, unlike petroleum based antibiotic ointments, and will keep the scab somewhat moist to avoid scarring.

This treatment will take about one week to complete. The cyst will become unsightly, so see if you can arrange to stay home that week or keep it covered with a bandage. It will probable result in scarring but so would any other treatment or lack there of.

After the cyst is gone, wash with a gentle, all natural, non animal fat soap. Use a nickel size portion of olive oil with 2-3 drops oregano oil and 4 drops sea buckthorn oil. Rub together in your hands and spread over skin to prevent cystic acne, cysts, and acne. It will give your skin a yellow tinge so you may choose to use this treatment following night time cleansing only. It will not clog your pores and will aid in healing any scars.


Apple cider vinegar can also be used to clear up cysts. I have never tried it in place of the oregano oil in the above treatment but it may work in lieu.

Soak a qtip or cotton ball in apple cider vinegar. Apply to cyst or hold in place for a couple minutes. This is a slower method than the oregano oil but it does not make the cyst look unsightly, it just dries it up gradually.

You can also try apple cider astringent for a daily cleanser.
Let green tea steep in a cup. Measure equal parts green tea and apple cider vinegar and mix. Pour into glass bottle (has to be glass). Use as an astringent and wipe on face with cotton ball after cleansing.

These treatments can be used for cysts, cystic acne, or acne.

Replied by Skep
Charlotte, Nc
[YEA]   Clean your face really well with a mild cleanser... But it must clean off your OIL.. That is what the bacteria likes to eat. Then use a moisturizer with feverfew in it.. By Av**nO. Do this 3 or 4 times a day, depending on your oil production. Take WILD OIL OF OREGANO.. 4 drops in 4 oz. Of water.. 1 or 2 times a day. Stay away from all sweet tasting foods... Even sugar free gum. No STARCHY carbs, no potatoes, rice, but sprouted breads - organic- and low glycemic noodles are okay in limited amounts. NO SUGARS, no vegetable oil fried foods. Just use a little butter to saute, if necessary. I have discovered for my son that he really can't handle carbs and sugars. Just staying away from wheat didn't help him and he still broke out. LOW GLYCEMIC FOODS ARE GREAT! ... DO THIS and you should see a difference... Hope this helps... We have had a horrible 3 years. Light ahead!!
Replied by Sarah
Winnipeg, Mb
I'm 36 and I've been dealing with moderate acne, some cystic, ever since I stopped using birth control pills. For the last week, I've been taking oil of oregano 5-7 drops floated on a shot of water twice a day and applying apple cider vinegar to my face at night with a cotton pad. It's been a rough week, because these two treatments have forced all the eruptions to the surface at once, but it's all healing now and I'm not seeing any new acne developing. Fingers crossed, but I'm really think this is something that's going to clear me up almost completely.

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Posted by Jf Sense (Mobile, Alabama, Usa) on 10/18/2011

[YEA]  I have suffered cystic acne for most of my life, have tryed qall the treatments and dermatologists. I have speent thousands of dollars aand experienced some relief, but it would come back. Have tried the latest remedies and very little success.

Finally after much research, have come across a supplement named;


A pill or capsule that will internally heal the cause of the acne, all these creams do fine, does not stop the cause of the acne, you can buy this online, just type in this name and it will bring you to it, not Panethetic acid, that is not it.

It has given me great success and I have tried everything.

Also watch your diet, stop eating peanuts and foods with oil.

It will not work overnight, but give it a week or 2 and you will see a wonderful difference.

Try this and take it as it states.

Replied by Skep
Charlotte, Nc
Any side effects from Pantethine?? Still using it? Tired of eating so strictly... Paleo is very strict and hard to stay on!! Would love to hear an update... We are going to the store today to buy this.... PRAYING this works...

Red Raspberry Leaf
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Posted by kristen (E-town, oregon) on 05/30/2007

[YEA]  Red rasberry leaf taken internally is absolutely healing. It will take away the cystic acne. choline & inositol work as well and will help the body rid of heavy toxic oils. Also stay away from fried foods and animal fats. Rostoplasty website has some amazing russian salves. Though pricey they heal cystic acne scars after a good baking soda scrub. So does Camellia Oil (oil of green tea leafs). This is a secret Japanese beaty treatment. My cystic acne is cured. Red rasberry did this for me. I got cystic acne @ 24 after my second child. Please give it a try.

Replied by Victoria
Homestead, Florida
I'm 32 tears old and i've been battling with acne since I was 14 and developed cystic acne at 25 years old. So this has been a terrible battle for me. My daughter gets teased and made fun of in class by her peers because of my acne. Makes me feel so horrible. I even get people that stop me in the store to give me advice on how to clear it up. It's that bad for me and embarrassing. I don't like to leave the house if I don't have to. Thankfully my husband is very understanding and he tells me to stop buying crap that doesn't work and let it be. He's starting to get frustrated watching me struggle. I've spent thousands of dollars trying to get clear skin. I've tried the ACV and it didn't help me much. I tried MilkThistle (found in the vitamin isle at the pharmacy) and it helped a little. I did a lot of research online and after doing a few things I've notived 35-40% progress on my skin. I just started 1 month ago and maybe I will have better results if I continue.

This is what I do:

AM: Use warm water to help open pores.

Mix 1 tsp of milk and sugar. Don't vigorously mix it, you don't want to dissolve the sugar. Use your clean finger. It must be a paste like consistency. You may want to add more milk or more sugar. The proteins in the milk will dissolve any dead skin and impurities on the skin. The sugar is used as a natural exfoliant to help scrub the impurities away. Do this 3 times a week. After the first time you will be amazed at the difference in the feeling of you skin.

I use an antibacterial soap on my face after the above step. Dry your face. Once the scrub is done everything you put on your skin can be better absorbed because their is no longer that barrier of impurities. After the soap I use ACV as a toner. Let dry. I then use an oil free lotion. Any moisturizer for you skin type should do fine.


I use the antibacterial soap again. Main thing is to keep the bacteria off your skin long enough not to cause breakouts. Wash with warm water, allows to pores to open. Rinse with cold water, allows your pores to close to stop bacteria from getting in and helps the sabacous glands not to produce too much oil. Which the oil is what bacteria feeds off of and return causes the breakouts. I then use the ACV as toner again. At night I don't use lotion because I've noticed at night is when your face will produce more oil.

I still drink my vitamins everyday:

Once A Day Womans, Milk Thistle (helps clean the liver), Zinc, B12, and I just started using Saw Palmetto (helps lower testosterone levels in woman who get acne along the jaw line and chin). It may be hormonal but I will find out in longer use.

Everything I mentioned above is worth trying. It's not going to harm your bodies.

Even if I help one person, I will be happy knowing I changed a life.

Good Luck everyone on your journey to clear skin.

Saw Palmetto
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Posted by Stacey (Dallas, Texas) on 01/09/2012

[YEA]  Around the age 30 I developed cystic acne concentrated on my chin. It took over 10 years for me to find what worked, spironolactone. Acne concentrated on the chin and jaw line are almost always hormone related. BC pills such as Yaz, Yazmin and Saffryal contain the equivalent of 25 mg of spironolactone. I take 100 mg of spironolactone plus Saffryal. BC pills alone, with spironolactone equivalents may work for some. Spironolactone is a prescription, Saw Palmetto is an herbal equivalent to spironolactone.