Natural Remedies for Cystic Acne

| Modified on Feb 09, 2024
Niacin Therapy
Posted by Panem et circenses (Atlanta) on 12/07/2021

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.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Coloradopnutbutrcup (Aurora, Colorado, Usa) on 06/04/2013

Hi everyone, I found this site approx 4 weeks ago and I'd just learned from a co-worker the various benefits of ACV. The key however was buying a brand that had the "mother" in it as it's unfiltered. I had the chicken pox at age 20 and cystic acne took up residence on my face on and off for the last 20 years. It's hormonal plain and simple. After tons of otc products and optioning against accutane and spiralactone, finally at age 40, I can honestly say I found my cure and ACV works. After reading this site and copying the recipe routine posted by 05/12/2009: Sandra D from Greenwood, IN I began the ACV treatment on my cystic acne and began to see immediate results and now 4 weeks later I'm testifying (with tears in eyes) that it worked. The ACV balances internal PH, aids in digestion and gave my skin a healthy glow. Without let up, I drink 2 tbspns of ACV in 8 ounces of water first thing in the morning and either after lunch or before bed. I don't add honey as I don't mind the bitter taste. I wash my face in the morning with either CeraVe or Dove, and use a cotton swab with the ACV as a toner. Personally, I don't think the smell goes away much but after I put on my Mederma (for scars) and Palmer's Cocoa Butter Fade cream, then Aveeno moisturizer (LOL) I don't smell anything. I'm a flight attendant and facing customers with cystic acne plays on your self esteem big time. Well get this, 4 days ago I didn't wear any make up except lip gloss and got compliments from co-workers familiar with my skin ailments. Thank you all for sharing and thank you for this site. I've also started making a baking soda & water paste to exfoliate my face 2 - 3 times a week which absords oil, and make a mask of mango pulp, fresh lemon juice and water and leave on for 1 hour, then rinse with warm water. My skin in smooth, 90% blemish free 95% acne free. I'm elated.

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

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

Posted by Linda (Raleigh, Nc) on 10/17/2015

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.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Sandra D (Greenwood, IN) on 05/12/2009

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:


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 of apple cider vinegar in an 8 oz glass of water
In afternoon, repeat drinking 1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar in a glass of water)


Wash face with Oil free cleanser
use apple cider vinegar as a toner with cotton swab
Drink 2 tablespoons in an 8 oz glass of water

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

Happy in the Sun

Sandra D Grnwd, In

Posted by Misha (Indianapolis, In) on 12/22/2011

Thank God for this site! I recently developed really bad cystic acne. I started to feel like Quasimodo or the Phantom of the Opera. My self-confidence was really low and I hated having to go out in public. I was dreading the thought of having to go to a dermotologist for expensive treatments or painful procedures that might not even work. So, I googled "cystic acne homepathy" and this site came up.

I read all of the raves about Turmeric, so I stopped at the store a few days ago and bought Turmeric capsules. I took 3 capsules before I went to bed and the next morning my cystic acne had healed at least 70%. I kept taking them (about 6 a day) and one cyst that I've had FOR MONTHS has flattened completely and other cysts are about 80-90% healed.

I tried facials, acne wash/creams, warm compresses, draining, and Turmeric is the only thing that has worked. I've also started putting Apple Cider Vinegar on the cysts and that seems to dry up the oozing.

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions! I can't even tell you how much it's changed my life.

Posted by Siren (West Tisbury) on 11/03/2016

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!

Dietary Changes
Posted by Happy (Northern California) on 04/10/2016

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.

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

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!

Vitamin A
Posted by Stephanie (Napa, Ca) on 12/08/2016

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.

Coconut Oil
Posted by Activemom (Monmouth County, Nj) on 03/12/2014

After each pregnancy, cystic acne would appear. I had no idea what it was. It was like a clogged pore and then after five pregnancies, it progressed to huge cysts that would stay for months and they were all over my body. I avoid people and wear long sleeves all summer, as it has even gone down my entire arm. After five years, after the final pregnancy, I finally saw a doctor who diagnosed me with cystic acne. It has been horrible and such a blow to my self esteem. I just hide most of the time. I started taking oral antibiotics, monodox, and an avar cream, sodium based, which helped, but didn't solve my problem. One cyst on my face in particular that just persists and refuses to go away. It is extremely painful and extremely obvious.

Thank you to the man who suggested coconut oil. I cannnot begin to express in words how you have helped me. Within two days, my facial cyst has gone down to where I can see the healing skin and the reduction of the build up of fluid underneath the skin. It was sitting in my pantry all along.....

After insurance costs have changed and the price of medicine has escalated greatly, I decided to research alternative natural remedies and this site is amazing. I will continue to use this as a first resource in remedies for my family.

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

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!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Lowstomachacid (NY, NY) on 10/28/2012

I just have to tell all of you who are seeing results from ACV, this may be because you have low stomach acid and the ACV is helping you digest fats better so they're not ending up in your blood stream and then your skin. I just began taking HCL supplements and my face is starting to get better. It's not great but finally it's starting to look better. A few years ago I had stomach problems and took Nexium and then had a huge acne outbreak. It wasn't until I googled and googled that I found out that low stomach acid causes acne. I just went off the birth-control pill and I'm finding myself with awful cystic acne all over my chin, cheeks, forehead even above my eyes! And they all hurt. It's been rough. I know the problem is internal and I know I have other symptoms of low stomach acid so I just started this new regimen of a pill with each meal. Using ACV was on the list of other options to use if you have low stomach acid so that may be your problem as well if taking it orally is helping to clear up your face. I'm going to increase my dosage of HCL and also start using the ACV as a toner. Hope this works!

Urine Therapy
Posted by Anonymous (Vancouver, Bc) on 01/16/2012

Before you ignore this you might want to try it if nothing else worked.. I have used this many times and it works quickly.. use a Qtip to catch a bit of your urine, dab it on your new pimple (or old) you may have to repeat this several times but you will notice almost a complete reduction on the first day! (research urine therapy if you think this is way out there. ) - wash your hands well as it gives less of a chance of you giving yourself pink eye on this delicate matter.

Coconut Oil
Posted by Russell (Toronto, Canada) on 04/02/2008

Used many oils including virgin coconut oil in many of my skin care cosmetic formulations. But thats history. My problem has always been cystic acne. In my late forties and it is without a doubt extrmely debilitating. Large cysts would form on my face and it would take weeks for them to subside leaving a purple mark for many months. After My business mail order business went down the toilet due to 9/11. Nobody trusted the mail. I realized I had a klo of virgin coconut oil left in my refridgerater. Literally stumbled on the idea that VCO would help acne. Skeptical about putting straight oil on oily acne skin. I gave it a shot because one of my best sellers of my cosmetic formulations was an oil based, black head removal cream containg organic jojoba oil, actually it is a remarkable oil for rducing large pores. Bottom line is that cysts or leasins would be reduced within 48 to 72 hours. I was stunned to say the least. For two years I have had almost totaly relief from a lifetime problem. I have just started taking it internally since I realized I have had candida, probably for 35 plus years because of the massive amounts of tetracycline, minocin etc. (unconscionably destructive acne anitibiotics) It truly does smooth and soften the skin. My face looks like the moon, from acne scarring, although my wife says I exaggerate but It makes me look younger for sure and for certain. Don't use refined or fractionated coconut oil on your face it must be unrefined virgin oil. It really is miraculous. Cheers all.