Natural Remedies for Cystic Acne

| Modified on Jun 10, 2023
Manuka Honey, Turmeric
Posted by SR (Duluth, MN) on 08/15/2022
5 out of 5 stars

Never had cystic acne before but I began getting this lump on my cheek that was brewing for over a month. It was very hard and just growing larger. I finally figured out what is was and came on here to find remedies today because it started sticking out quite a bit more and the skin looked like it was breaking and was yellowish deep under the skin and soo red around it but nothing came out but liquid. I didn't want to mess with it too much.

After looking though the comments I decided to try organic turmeric powder (from my spice cabinet) mixed in Manuka honey (Kaimai Gold 100+moc, I got it from TJ maxx of all places). Anyway, I mixed it up, applied the paste, then stuck a bandaid on it in the afternoon. By bedtime I went to wash and it off and change it, took the bandaid off and right away thick pus came out. I couldn't believe it! Washed it good then put more paste on and am keeping it on overnight. Truly amazed it worked so quickly. Hoping this on overnight will help pull out whatever is left. If I ever have to deal with this again it will be my first go-to remedy and now I'll be able to treat it much sooner.

Oregano Oil
Posted by Claire (Worcestershire) on 04/23/2022

Essential oils and water don't mix. Being that oregano oil is super strong and banned in places due to people overdosing on it, it cannot be taken with water. The concentrated oil would be harmful to the body. However if it was mixed with a thick liquid, and stirred in, it would be safe.

Niacin Therapy
Posted by Panem et circenses (Atlanta) on 12/07/2021
5 out of 5 stars

About 8 years ago, I began taking pure niacin for anxiety. I followed the protocol of Dr. Andrew Saul who was taught by Abram Hoffer. I started with 25mg 3x a day and slowly worked my way up to eventually 6500mg per day in divided doses. If you watch the documentary Food Matters, Dr. Saul discusses a woman with severe depression who benefits greatly from 13,000mg per day.

Anyway, as I was increasing my dose, I discovered that my cystic acne was going away. Up til then I had horribly painful deep cysts that would persist longer than regular acne. I also noticed that the cysts I had once developed on my upper thighs and even sometimes my armpits were COMPLETELY gone. I have not had them since. And like I said, that was 8 years ago when I started.

Now, PLEASE do your research about niacin first. While I have never had any issues with it (aside from accidentally taking time release niacin which raised my liver enzymes and caused my ankles to swell - very scary. Once I stopped it, all went back to normal), it does cause a flush. This flush can be anywhere from a slight warmth to feeling like a bad sunburn. It can take 15 minutes to an hour to pass. That is why I started at a VERY low dose and very gradually worked up.

I took the 25mg 3x a day and increased by 25mg per dose every 2-3weeks. I only started flushing when I started taking 50-100mg each dose. I believe it detours the liver and that may have something to do with it getting rid of the acne. I RARELY even have a pimple now when prior to starting it, I had a horrible pizza face with redness and discoloration from the scarring.

My scarring is 95% gone too. I'm sorry for the long post but felt this was a good one to share. Again, I ONLY use pure niacin (flush niacin), not niacinamide and definitely not time release niacin. Those two are dangerous to the liver from what I've read.

B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
Posted by Ellie (Santa Cruz, CA) on 05/30/2021
5 out of 5 stars

I battled with painful cystic acne throughout my life. It went away when I was on birth control, but came back when I went off.

A year ago at the age of 33, I finally found the answer that cured my acne- high doses of vitamin b5 pantothenic acid. I started out by taking about 8 500mg tablets a day. I learned about it from a mom on a YouTube video who cured her son's acne this way. I couldn't believe that it worked. Within about 1 month all of my acne was gone. This had never happened in all of my adult life! Now about a year later, I still take it but around 3-4 tablets a day and my skin is 100% clear. Once in a blue moon, I will get a small pimple pop up and I notice if I take a high dose of vitamin b5 it goes away in about 1-2 days.

This has never happened to me before, even with I was on birth control I still had a pimple here and there. And also I tried EVERYTHING you could imagine - even went 100% vegan and mostly raw for 6 months and it barely changed a thing. This supplement is the only thing that finally cured me. I hope that helps!

Lemongrass and Olive Oil
Posted by Long Nguyen (Vietnam) on 02/02/2019
5 out of 5 stars

An effective remedy for cystic acne or even Staph boils is Lemongrass & Olive Oil Soap with Salycylic Acid. I get one formulated in France, it's sold in Pharmacies here in Vietnam. This has been the most effective solution to cure skin problems I have ever used. And I've had acne as a child and adult.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Rock (Rio) on 07/23/2018

Take it like a man. Cry now, smile later. Youll get used to it.

Posted by Jessica (Hawaii) on 11/28/2017

What kind of water ionizer were you using? do you have a recommendation of a good one? I can't decide which to purchase

Posted by Jrp (New York, Ny) on 05/04/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Turmeric changed my life! I took 2 pills a day..I had horrible cystic acne for 2 years that wouldn't quit. I then developed Rosacea...My cysts would go down within 24/48 hours after I took Turmeric. I also started using natural face washes with no chemical products in them and got prescribed a Rosacea cream...all acne creams would irritate my face or dry out my face and it would flake...and then sometimes they even made the cysts worse after a few days. With Turmeric it cured my acne almost 100% Don't give up! This really works!

Coconut Oil and Tea Tree Oil
Posted by Jeff (Nairobi) on 12/28/2016

Thank you.

Vitamin A
Posted by Stephanie (Napa, Ca) on 12/08/2016
5 out of 5 stars

Cystic Acne - I tried everything! Vitamin A is the winner, hands down. I have been giving my son 30mg of zinc for months but it wasn't until I added vitamin A (20,000iu) to the routine that we started to see some real progress. No more cyctic acne!

It took about 5 days to start seeing a noticeable difference, it's been 20 days and it's almost as if he never had the problem in the first place. Purchased the Vitamin A capsules from a major health food store, just research and purchase the best brands and you will see results.

Posted by Siren (West Tisbury) on 11/03/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I had a large cystic pimple that developed on my chin 3 days ago. It was showing no signs of improvement and I know these kinds of pimples tend to stick around. Ya can't pop em because they don't come to a head and if you try to squeeze them they just get bigger and more painful.

So, like I always do when I have a health concern, I came to this site and read the rave reviews about Turmeric. Last night I made this concoction:

  • 1 tbs. turmeric
  • 1 cup of hemp milk
  • 1 tbs. raw honey
  • a dash of black pepper.

I drank it around 8:00 pm. When I woke up this morning, the pimple had gone down by 2/3. The bump is much smaller and flatter. I dosed myself with the same concoction today around 12:00 pm and I expect it will be nearly gone tomorrow. Pretty amazing. I don't get cystic pimples very often but when I do they can last for weeks. It seems that the Turmeric zapped it almost completely within 24 hours. Highly recommend!

Tea Trea Oil
Posted by July (Milwaukee, Wi) on 10/08/2016

I heard that tea tree oil may cause big breast for male users..has anyone else heard this?

EC: Here's the commonly quoted 2007 article from the NIH suggesting Tea Tree and Lavender Oils are endocrine disruptors and can increase breast size in boys.

Here's another opinion:

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Chiara (Hampton Roads, Va) on 09/13/2016

It can tingle sometimes.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Margaret (California) on 06/06/2016

I know this is an old post, but I wanted to reply anyway. I was a big fan of African Black Soap for washing my face, and recently made the connection between my dehydrated oily skin and the alkalinity of the soap! Because ACV is a way lower ph, applying it afterward may be responsible for the tingling (especially as the alkaline cleanser has likely damaged your moisture barrier). A low ph cleanser is more skin-friendly!

Dietary Changes
Posted by Happy (Northern California) on 04/10/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I had cystic acne for more than 30 years. I did not grow out of it. A medical provider that I went to wrote down the following items to not eat.

  • Wheat / Gluten
  • Whey
  • corn starch, syrup, anything with corn
  • rye
  • caisen
  • dairy (eggs ok - thank goodness)
  • oats
  • peanuts

I had been eating this and no rice or all the other products that don't have these items in them. It's a different way of eating and for some may feel like an outcast at get togethers. A bit frustrating as many people don't want to care or understand. But for me I'd rather have that than severe painful cystic acne.

After the Medical provider gave the list to me went home and that is all that was in fridge so went to the store right away to start.

I can safely say that nearly all the boxed sweets, Daiya cheese ( have to watch every product closely as they said they had an improved cheese and turns out they added corn starch.

Btw. Corn starch is in nearly everything. Before I got rid of the last bit I checked and th pharmacist worked with me to get the prescriptions with no corn starch fillers. After that life became wonderful.

This took a long time to get the poison out of my system as we are what we eat and every cell in my body had to be replaced with the non poison.

For now I haven't tried to add anything back as I prefer not to intentionally eat something just to see. Had those 30 years of acne and the reaction can be delayed. I do have this to say DON'T CHEAT. It may be difficult at first when you still have bad stuff in your system, but it will be soooooo worth it. There are so many foods to replace the old its actually incredible. $$$

Not sure if this work on everyone but other than food costs being a little more why not try it and see how things go after one month then two three etc...

I still don't know about corn fed chicken and beef.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Kiana (Atlanta, Ga) on 02/17/2016


Can you post the recipe? I'm having a hard time finding the original post. Thanks!

EC: Here is her original post:

[YEA]  I am a 43 yr old woman. About ten years ago I started suffering from terrible cystic acne. I am taking testosterone blocker and minocycline. Nothing worked. I also use Duac gel which is an antibiotic and peroxide. Still nothing worked. Tryed thousands of combinations of medications and home remedies. Yesterday I read this blog on apple cider vinegar....thought what the heck. I will try it. I took 2 tablespoons in a glass of water and dabbed some on the exsisting cysts. Then that evening did the same thing only using the cider as a toner.

Today my acne is almost completely clear. Why, I do not know. But be assurred this is no joke. My dermatologist is going to freak out. I am very active in the gym etc. Now I can go in and strut my stuff with confidence.

My regime is:

Morning: Wash face with Oil free cleanser
use apple cider vinegar as a toner with cotton swab
(smell will go away in a second) drink 2 tablespoons in an 8 oz glass of water
afternoon 1-2 tablespoons in a glass of water)

night: Wash face with Oil free cleanser
use apple cider vinegar as a toner with cotton swab
(smell will go away in a second) drink 2 tablespoons in an 8 oz glass of water

Kroger or walmart vinegar works great.....

So for $3.49 I cured my acne or at laest kept it at bay I was spending

$99.00 month minocycline
$68 month aldactone
$70 month duac gel
$20-60 month on every over the counter thing I could find and thought would help

You may contact me if you need advice etc.

Happy in the Sun
Sandra D Grnwd, In

Multiple Remedies
Posted by Kelsea (Ventura, Ca) on 01/29/2016
5 out of 5 stars

Guys, after dealing with cystic acne for 3 years I have finally found something that works for me... and possibly you too! I know this is a long entry but I swear to you it works.

I had clear skin all through high school and began getting cystic acne in college. I am 24 years old now and my skin is finally clear.

I have experimented with SO many different things hoping to find a cure: yogurt facial masks, grapefruit seed oil extract, lavender oil, vitamin E oil... nothing ever reduced the inflammation, soothed the redness or reduced scaring like the regimen I am about to share with you.

For one, I have completely eliminated Sodium Laureth Sulfate from my shampoos, body washes, face washes, washing detergent, etc. It is a harsh chemical that gives most products the bubbly lather. Key word: it is HARSH!

Second, I have eliminated all dairy from my diet which has helped immensely. Dairy is full of hormones meant to raise calves, it combined with our own is overhaul for our bodies.

Lastly, I want to share the ALL NATURAL things I've been using that have cleared my face 100%.

I use a gentle face wash every morning and follow it with Apple Cider Vinegar as a toner, and lastly coconut oil as a moisturizer.

Every other night I switch off with a home made coffee facial scrub and manuka honey mask + a tumeric/honey spot treatment.

Apple Cider Vinegar toner- equal parts water and ACV on a cotton swab all over the face.

-this evens out the PH balance on your face ridding of blemishes and uneven skin tones.

Coconut Oil- about a teaspoon should cover your entire face... I let it set until its almost dry then wipe off the remaining.

- I know, adding oil to your already oily face is scary.. but it tricks your face into not creating as much oil and also has antibacterial properties all the while moisturizing it

Home made scrub- I took a 1/4 cup used coffee grounds, 1/4 cup coconut oil, 1-2 drops of lavender essential oil an 1-2 melaluca (tea tree) oil and mixed these all together.

Scrubbing your face very gently for a minute every other day gets rid of all the excess dead skin cells that may block your pores and trap oil under the skin, leading to build up, and eventually.. acne.

When you rinse off this scrub your face feels SO soft.. wipe off the extra coconut oil and wah-lah.

Manuka Honey Mask- I genuinely think this portion of my face regime has been the most impactful.

Manuka honey helps with inflammation and scars. It has antibacterial properties and does a good job moisturizing as well. This specific honey is extracted from the tea tree plant and is extremely raw. It is a bit pricey but worth the money. You simply take this and smear it all over your face. Leave it on as long as possible! Seriously, I'd leave it on over night if it wouldn't get all over my bed. When you rinse it off.. your face feels so refreshed and rejuvenated.

The last thing I'll share is a quick spot treatment that SERIOUSLY works.

Simply take a small amount of honey and add the tumeric spice until you've created a paste like consistency and add it to any incoming, inflamed or ongoing acne. The tumeric will instantly reduce inflammation and redness and speed up the healing process.

Tumeric has been my saving grace..

Be warned though that it does stain your skin slightly, nothing that wont come off with a little facial cleanser though!

PLEASE, give this a try.. you can buy most of these products at most health food stores.


DIM (Diindolylmethane)
Posted by Lori (Oklahoma ) on 01/03/2016
3 out of 5 stars

Have you noticed after taking for a year that the dosage needs to be adjusted at all? I take 2 a day as well and sometimes feels like I get too much or not enough and end up with the cysts again. Finding the right balance is key. I just noticed this started happening after a year of taking it. Almost like body has built up a tolerance.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Suseeq (Sydney, Australia) on 12/01/2015

Hi Bee, try using Apple Cider Vinegar with tea tree oil topically, twice per day.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Bee (Singapore) on 12/01/2015

Hi, I have been using apple cider vinegar for 1.5 months now. Haven't seen much improvement. I still get new cystic acne every other day. Not sure if this is purging or what. Can I know if ACV works for you, how long until you seen the improvement?

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Myra (Camden, New Jersey) on 11/13/2015

I just read all of the post and I'm excited about trying out the ACV. I have been just diagnosed with Cystic Acne today, I have been affected by this for the last two months. I have tried using a-lot of products but so far it only made it worse. I never heard of such serious acne. When I was young er I had acne., but never this bad. I'm 29 yrs old and this year alone I have experienced major changes with my body, and this serious acne is one of them. I just recently within the last year got of birth control. My primary DR. just prescribed me a anti-body gel to put on my face. I don't want to use it. But I feel helpless in this situation right now. I'm going to get me some ACV and use that with the gel. I hope everything works out. Wish me luck please.. ???? Is it ok to coconut oil??

Posted by Linda (Raleigh, Nc) on 10/17/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I started getting cystic acne about a year ago. I tried several home remedies. The paste of baking soda and epsom salts worked some, but as soon as I got rid of one, another would pop up.

I started taking ginger tincture drops (for a different ailment) but after approximately 5 days, my cystic acne has completely disappeared. I started taking 15 drops, 3 times a day. After a couple weeks, I dropped down to once a day (morning) and have not experienced any relapse at the smaller daily dose. I am now 5 weeks straight of no acne! (ginger is known for helping inflammation, as well as other things).

I am so happy i wanted to share it, in case it might also work for others.

Vitamin C, Zinc
Posted by Kathy (Smyth County, Va) on 06/26/2015
5 out of 5 stars

My teen son had really bad cystic acne on his face and shoulders, where it's not just a simple pimple, it's a huge bump! An older friend confided in him that he had the same problem when he was a teen, and after the numerous prescriptions, etc failed, the Dr told him to try vitamin c --- and it worked!

So my son took the following each day:

2000 mg of C (we use timed release)
1 zinc (recommended by another friend)
1 A&D (great for inflammation, and make help heal the scars)

To reduce the redness on new pimples, he would apply the following:

1-2 Drops of Lavender & Tea Tree Oil with Diluted ACV (sprayed on back & shoulders)

Oh, and he also started using Castile Soap, just to be sure he wasn't using anything that would irritate it.

Within a few weeks he was very pleasantly surprised to have his acne disappearing!!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Charlotte (Dallas, Tx) on 06/04/2015

Be careful with the baking soda masks; always remember to re-adjust your external pH with a slightly acidic toner, because baking soda has a very alkaline pH, which can destroy your natural "acid mantle", over time, if left unbalanced. The acid mantle is a defense against bacteria entering pores.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Charlotte (Dallas, Tx) on 06/04/2015

Be careful with the baking soda masks; always remember to re-adjust your external pH with a slightly acidic toner, because baking soda has a very alkaline pH, which can destroy your natural "acid mantle", over time, if left unbalanced. The acid mantle is a defense against bacteria entering pores.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Janet ( Philadelphia Pa) on 05/16/2015

I'm so glad to view your post because it is important to recognize cystic acne as possibly a symptom. If you Google "problems the gut relative to acne" you can gather information about use of antibiotics causing imbalance in the intestine which is indicative of the acne. This problem for me has gone on for years and I began 2 tablespoons raw, organic apple cider vinegar and organic probiotic yogurt daily and use coconut oil to wash face along with vinegar as toner. The turmeric mixed with milk (to bleach discoloration of skin) I use as a mask and this calms down the sebaceous glands oil production. Turmeric and sugar and milk mixed to exfoliate. The coconut oil used with very hot water to massage face and drain pores and effective as antibacterial it rods those little white bumps as well as drain the cysts and prevent. Turmeric is antinflammatory as well as antibacterial. I am looking to buy vitamin c ester to make my own serum because this prevents acne, repairs skin and reverses wrinkles, and acts to prevent harmful rays causing damage. I want the synthetic ester. Stability and skin absorption is important as well as light exposure. I have been gathering info for almost one year and feel confident about the validity .. I just don't have resources or time to articulate ; however, this should get anyone started with a final resolution hopeful. The gut problem should be explored due to cancer risks and for me two family members passed away from colon cancer and I tested positive for the gene and it strikes me hard to have left myself an invitation and so looking forward with optimism and very pretty skin.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Gadzuchs (Toronto) on 04/09/2015

Thank you Linda! I have recently developed a cyst between my nose and eye. It seems to have gotten worse, even with cider vinegar, and I just realized that I had eaten a lot of mustard in the last week and a half. It never would have occurred to me if you had not posted that. Going to check it out now.

Dietary Changes
Posted by Mmsg (Europe) on 02/12/2015

Ashley, two thoughts:

1. Have you tried swapping vegan for dairy-free?

2. An interesting read: a few Ebook called Skin Deep by Grossbart. Google it.

Dietary Changes
Posted by Ashley (Canada) on 02/11/2015
1 out of 5 stars

Doesn't help everyone. I'm vegan, gluten free, sugar free, eat 100% organic and natural foods, nothing processed, exercise daily, use only natural skincare products... I have beautiful soft skin on my body, untreated long glossy hair, strong hard nails... But when it comes to my face? Disaster zone.

Coconut Oil and Tea Tree Oil
Posted by Active Mom Of Monmouth County (Marlboro, Nj) on 02/10/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I have been using coconut oil for 11 months now (previous post march 2014). Coconut oil soothes the acne and brings the toxins to the surface but does not cure it necessarily. I found after combining tea tree oil and coconut oil, and simultaneously applying topically to the acne, it cures it. Tea tree oil is too strong on its own. 2-3 times a day was enough and of course, the earlier the better. As soon as I feel it starting, if I apply both, it never even fully appears. Hope this helps cystic acne sufferers...this is not a fun condition and wreaks havoc on the self esteem.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Mary Louise (Lee's Summit, Mo) on 01/11/2015

I am 62 and always had acne. Just had a bad flair up after returning from Colorado. Researched and found out traveling was the cause and because of the change in humidity. Also, it is the middle of the night and I am so grateful to find out that I can get up in the morning and use ACV especially for my first huge chin cyst. Thanks to all of you!

DIM (Diindolylmethane)
Posted by Courtney (Miami, FL) on 08/28/2014
5 out of 5 stars

I have been dealing with cystic/hormonal acne since the end of college (about 5 years). Like clock work, I would get 1 or 2 very painful cystic pimples right before my period. And we all know these pimples can last an entire month, so by the time I finally got rid of one another was already appearing. This is due to the increase in testosterone levels in your body which cause your pores to tighten and acne to develope deep below the surface. I read about DIM online (which has a ton of good benefits) and started off taking just 1 capsule a day or sometimes 1 every other day (recommended dosage is 2 a day). I have now not had any cystic acne for 2 months since taking DIM-Plus. And remember I have gotten them EVERY month for about the last 5 years. Research DIM (Diindolylmethane) and find out all of the amazing benefits from this estrogen balancing supplement!

Apple Cider Vinegar, Turmeric, Honey
Posted by Amber (North Carolina) on 05/28/2014
5 out of 5 stars

I suffered with cystic acne for 10 years before I found anything that worked. I tried everything short of oral medications and injections. Turns out what worked for me was in my kitchen cabinets the whole time.

The routine was based on my daily routine, it can be tweaked as needed. Everyone's skin responds differently to different things.

AM: Was face with equal parts apple cider vinegar and hot water. Liberally apply pure aloe.

PM: (Right before showering) Wash face with hot water and an organic oatmeal based facial soap, I use Grandma's Acne Bar. Mix equal parts honey and turmeric, I use a table spoon of each. Apply to face. Then I jump in the shower and let the steam do it's thing while I wash, washing my face last with hot water and a wash cloth. Pat face dry, rinse again with vinegar/water. Liberally apply aloe.

I always started both the am and pm treatments by laying a hot wet washcloth on my face for about 5 minutes. Don't know whether that makes a difference, though.

I seen a reduction in the size and soreness of bumps the first morning after I tried this, the redness persisted for a few weeks. I found that my skin was a little sensitive at the end of the first week just from the vinegar, only slightly though, nothing compared to the painful bumps. I pureed a cucumber and mixed it with a little green tea and left this on my face for about 20 minutes. Made a world of difference.

You may have to adjust the frequency of treatment depending on your skin's sensitivity to vinegar and the soap. Also, turmeric will stain clothes and skin. Supposedly the turmeric stain can be removed from your face with a mild toner but I never leave it on long enough to find out, usually just the 15 minutes or so that I'm in the shower. I would suggest starting the honey and turmeric on a weekend so the stain goes away if it happens. Everyone's skin will absorb the color at different speeds, so just be cautious at first.