Natural Remedies for Cystic Acne

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Cassi2 (Houston, TX) on 05/26/2009
5 out of 5 stars

i have had adult cystic acne for years and have tried everything the doctors have thrown at me. Well I don't know if it was all the ACV or what. I have a drawer ful of prescription and over the counter topicals and also antibiotics that i've tried over the years along with birth control pills. of course none worked completely and all had their drawbacks or side effects. about a week ago i had the biggest, baddest, most painful cyst i've ever had on my chin. i usually get one at a time but not this time - another popped up just under my lip line and another on my jaw line. i was so embarassed and in so much pain. my face was swollen all over the place. so i gave up all my prescription stuff and decided to go all natural.
i started with the all natural organic ACV cocktail three times daily for three days with 2 teaspoons ACV mixed with local dark honey to sweeten to taste and about 8-10 ounces of water and a couple ice cubes. i also took straight acv and soaked a cotton ball in it and held it to each cyst for about 30 seconds to a minute. i did this for three days, twice a day. then i used a ACV toner of 50/50 pure water and ACV and wiped it on my face twice a day for three days. i also cut some fresh aloe vera and would wipe it all over my face at night after all the cleansing. i used my regular cleansers - either pevonia or origins. its taken a week but only the biggest chin cyst is still there a bit but all the redness is totally gone. my face did get a bit dry but i put it into shock mode i am sure - that's why i only did the shocking part for three days and then moved to a maintenance. the skin around the cysts dried up and flaked off and i did have a scab where i was stupid and HAD to pick because i was in so much pain. but there are no scars and no more redness at all. my face looks great already. i am now on a maintenance of the cocktail twice a day, and toner only in the evenings with the aloe as my night time moisturizer. i am using aveeno for a daily moisturizer/sun block which is supposed to help with redness and calm your skin.

i am also taking a good B complex vitamin as that is good for stress and also i take tumeric capsules as they are good for acne and cleansing from the inside also. i haven't changed my diet but that was my next step if this didn't work.

i do hope this helps someone else out there - i really was too uncomfortable and embarassed to even go out and had to pile on the makeup.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Janet (Kerr, Tx) on 02/27/2011

Beware of minocycline... Its is linked to drug induced lupus which can attack the skin. We had three miserable years with my teenage daughter. We are still have outbreaks but nothing like we had.


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Ann (Seattle, USA) on 04/10/2009
5 out of 5 stars

When I was a teenager, I had terrible cystic acne. No medications helped me, but eventually I "outgrew" it. Now that I am perimenopausal (age 51) I seem to be getting it again. In desperation, I tried birth control pills. It helped with the acne, but the side effects were miserable. I quit the Pill a month ago. Last week I could feel the beginnings of a deep pimple on my chin (it wasn't terribly visible yet, but I could certainly feel it). I applied ACV with a cotton swab for two days mornings and evenings. It's gone! Before, there'd been nothing to do but wait for a deep lesion to surface and evetually go away (a long, painful and unattractive process!) Never has anything worked as well or as quickly as the humble ACV!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Ann (Seattle, US) on 04/12/2009

Hello, Ann in NY. All I did was saturate the end of a cotton swab with ACV and apply it to the lesion in the morning and again in the evening (after washing my face). In the morning, I just allowed the ACV to dry before applying moisturizer and makeup. That's it! I hope it works for you, too!


Dietary Changes
Posted by Elisabeth (Belfast, Ireland) on 04/08/2009
5 out of 5 stars

My son's SEVERE cystic acne has improved WONDERFULLY since he eliminated DAIRY products from his diet. Previously had been on antibiotics but as soon as he stopped these, the cysts returned. PLEASE share the good news with others.


Vitamin C
Posted by Monica (South, Georgia) on 10/16/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I had a big problem with cystic acne. I tried every remedy on this site and nothing worked. I changed makeup, used prescription and otc products. I prayed and prayed and kept trying different products and foods, cleanses etc. Then someone in my office got sick with a cold so I started taking those grapefruit effervescent cold immunity tablets. I noticed I didnt get any new cysts on my face. So I increased the dosage and used selson blue as a facial wash to dry up the lesions already there. My answer to prayer had finally come. I just wanted to share this in case there is someone else out there who has tried everything it wont hurt to try one more thing. This could be the answer for you as well. The box dosage is 3 tablets a day but Im taking 4-6 a day. I hope this helps.

EC: WARNING: This is an Airborne product which contain sucralose (aka Splenda, an artificial sweetener)... not advised for those with the herpes virus! Read the ingredients here.


Multiple Remedies
Posted by Robert (Naples, Florida) on 01/20/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Robert's Fungus Saga - Vicks Update

Part One: Feet

Q. Do the ingredients (camphor, eucalyptus, thymol, menthol) work?

A. I've applied the solution on my nails as well as to my entire foot to get rid of all the fungus that might eventually cause a reoccurrence. The results were obvious after 4-5 days: first, the athlete's foot symptoms between my toes rapidly got better and were healed in about a week. Then, at the seven-day point lots of skin started sloughing off all over my feet where the fungus was obviously in hiding -- including the heal callus. I was surprised to see so much sloughing of the skin around the base, sides and top of the toe nails -- this area apparently had been deeply affected by the fungus, but just looked like tough skin that I had become accustomed to expect. Within 2-3 weeks the unaffected new toe nails could be seen at the cuticle. Now, several months later, there is a clear line of demarcation between the old fungal nail, and the new clear nail. I expect that it will be 3-4 more months before all the old nail has grown out and gone.

Q. Is the formulation the right one?

A. After much research and playing kitchen chemist, I learned that coconut oil is a good anti-fungal as well as a great emollient. DMSO doesn't need to be at 25% concentration. 10-15% is sufficient. Oregano Oil is composed of Thymol and University of Western Australia research proved tea tree oil's anti-fungal capability, so I added it as well. The essential oil amounts are at least or a little more than what bio-chemists call the Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC). The formulation I like and use now is:

Revised Formula
1 part Menthol oil
1 part Thymol oil or Oregano oil
1 part Camphor oil
1 part Lemon Eucalyptus oil
2 parts Tea Tree Oil
2 parts DMSO
12 parts Virgin Coconut Oil

There is probably a synergistic (i.e. harmonious working together) effect of anti-fungal herbs, which has been demonstrated in several studies. In one test of ten plant species whose oils were anti-fungal, researchers noted that "combinations of the anti-fungal essential oils increased their activity remarkably." In a similar study, researchers stated that "in all the oil combinations, the anti-fungal potency was found to increase over individual oils."

Part Two: Adult "Acne"

This is where the "saga" starts to get interesting. After my adolescent acne should have cleared up 35 years ago, it got slowly worse. All over the bearded part of my face, what appeared to be sacs of hardened oil under the surface of the skin had been forming nodules. These didn't get infected,'each just grew larger. Over the years I've seen dermatologists who said, because of my otherwise great health, "you're just a middle aged adolescent," blaming it on high testosterone, etc. The apparent acne problem continued and worsened.

I've seen doctors, dermatologists, pharmacists, herbalists, laser specialists, and spiritual healers. I've bought every acne ointment known to man. I took pills, vitamins, and herbs. I changed diet. I get plenty of exercise. Nothing worked. I had extensive surgery to correct the problem three years ago, and within 18 months it looked just as bad as before. As a public speaker and author in my profession, the skin condition was emotionally upsetting and stressful.
Having conquered toe nails, I started researching down the path that maybe the acne was caused by a fungus (although the symptoms didn't look like my feet). Was I surprised when I found:

" Tinea barbae is a superficial dermatophyte infection that is limited to the bearded areas of the face and neck and occurs almost exclusively in older adolescent and adult males. Symptoms include inflammatory, deep, kerion-like plaques and noninflammatory superficial patches and lumps resembling bacterial folliculitis. The hair breaks off below the skin surface. It is caused by several dermatophytes. Trichophyton species are most common. Infection of bearded skin may be the result of autoinoculation from tinea pedis or onychomycosis."

In other words, the mess on my face that had caused me so much grief and been misdiagnosed for decades was caused by the same fungus that gave my feet a problem. Apparently the dermatophytes enter the hair follicle (nails and hair are similar biological structures), then attack the sebaceous gland, feeding off the body oil; then the body's immune system reacts with scaring and hardening the facial oil, leaving an oil nodule. The dermatophytes then migrate to the next follicle, and eventually dozens of affected follicles link as a nodule the size of a pea.

Now it became obvious what had happened: The athlete's foot I got as a teenager went to my toe nails, and, because I was ignorant of the relationship of using a towel on my face that might have been used on my feet or crotch, the fungus got transferred.

Not a single dermatologist who examined my face ever bothered to ask the question: "Do you have toe nail fungus or athlete's foot!"

Using the same solution on my facial outbreaks as on my toe nails (the revised formula with coconut oil), the facial condition is clearing up. Just like with my feet, skin is sloughing off and the nodules are beginning to eject. This is the best result I've seen in years. I expect it will take a few months for the problem to be cured, as the fungus is down below the level of the base of the hair follicle in the sebaceous gland.

Part Three: Chronic Sinusitis

For the last 15 years I've had chronic sinusitis, post nasal drip, clogged nose, etc. I was constantly clearing my throat, and sometimes coughing. I snored a lot, which my wife didn't appreciate, and the snoring actually would wake me up in the middle of the night, leaving me tired in the morning. I seemed to catch colds more easily than before, but I attributed this to my very frequent plane travel.

Doctors prescribed antibiotics, but I they did not fully cure the problem and when I stopped the treatment, every symptom returned. (And I just don't like unnatural treatments.) Others said it was allergies.

I wondered: Could my sinusitis be a fungal problem? More exploring on the internet found the answer:

In 1999 Mayo Clinic researchers found the cause of most chronic sinus infections to be an immune system response to fungus, and that this may kick off a secondary bacteriological infection. It is not an allergic reaction, but an immune reaction.
Again, I felt betrayed by the medical profession. Why hadn't anyone told me this?

I went to the health and vitamin store to look for an anti-fungal nasal spray, and nothing met my requirements or budget ($10-15 for a one ounce bottle of ingredients seemed way out of line.) Here's the formula I "invented:"

1. Rinse out a 1 ounce nasal spray bottle
2. Add one eye-dropper (approximately 1 ML) of Oregano Juice (NOT Oregano Oil -it's too strong and will not dissolve in water)
3. Add a pinch of salt (approximately - ML) (Iodized salt is OK - iodine is a good anti-fungal)
4. Fill the rest of the sprayer with distilled water, and shake well until the salt is dissolved.

Spray as frequently as once an hour until symptoms subside. For me, this solution began working within an hour; most symptoms were gone in three days. And the price of the ingredients per bottle is just a few pennies.

If the oregano/saline solution is too strong for you, dilute in half with water. If you want, you can add a drop of eucalyptus oil with - ML of glycerin, (which will bond the oil to water). I now spray once or twice a day, just to prevent any recurrence.

A very dear friend, who is 75, has had awful sinusitis for years. He heavily cleared his throat every minute or two. I told him of this simple formula, and two days later he called me to say it was working. He then said with amazement: "I don't believe it, we've been talking for over 15 minutes and I haven't had to clear my throat once!"

There are articles and books that claim that some cancers are caused by fungus. If this is true, taking action on fungus early may be very beneficial in the long run. It's time we gave fungus a deeper analysis.


Dietary Changes
Posted by Kelly (Toronto, Canada) on 12/14/2007
5 out of 5 stars

Eat lettuce! I have suffered with acne since childhood and always believed it was diet related. After many years of drugs to treat (including accutane) and experimenting with diet, I do believe it is food sensitivity. To make a long story short, corn caused my cystic acne (especially popcorn) and chocolate. I have eliminated all corn from my diet, including corn oil and have no longer get large painful boil like acne. Chocolate tends to cause the small white or blackheads. If I relapse (popcorn just smells sooo good!) it comes back immediately. My friend also stopped eating popcorn and his cystic acne was eliminated. If only I had know this 30 years ago, life would have been so much better! I guess better late than never, eh? I found eating lettuce daily will make an outbreak heal up quickly and gives a nice glow to the skin. I will add ACV and see if my complexion can even get better! PS. Also, a natural clay mask will draw toxins out of the skin. Thanks so much for this website!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Jessica (Lady's Island, SC) on 09/04/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I have been suffering from cystic breakouts and chronic constipation most of my adult life. These issues seem to only have intensified with age. Mind you, I eat an organic, almost-vegetarian diet and am always sure to get my minimum fiber intake. Before ACV, I was lucky if I had a bowel movement every other day and always felt "backed up" and suffered from terrible gas! My face would suddenly erupt in cystic acne lesions that took weeks to heal. After spending literally thousands of dollars on products in an attempt to rid myself of both conditions, I am now able to throw out more than half of the things in my medicine cabinet. I take 2 tbs. ACV morning and night, straight-- I don't even mind the taste. I also apply it topically to my face every morn-- seems to brighten my complexion and tone my pores. If you have sensitive skin, you might want to consider dilluting it, as it is pretty strong. My skin has never been better and I am completely "regular" now-I only wish I had tried this sooner and imagine the years of suffering I could have saved myself. If something ails you, try it-- it certainly can't hurt!

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!


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.


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: http://roberttisserand.com/2013/02/lavender-oil-is-not-estrogenic/


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

Thank 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!

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.


Vitamin B
Posted by Queen (North Carolina) on 03/19/2014
0 out of 5 stars

Better But With Side Effects

WARNING!

Be very careful with using B5 for Cystic Acne. Its been a year now and although my face cleared up, I've lost all my hair in the top of my head. I noticed a few months into taking the B5 that my hair was thinning but didn't put two and two together. It wasn't until it got really bad that I decided to pull out my diary and see when it started. I remember before breaking down and taking it because my face looked horrible, I had read about a woman who suffered major hair loss from this supplement. I wish I would've listened because now my hair is falling out at an alarming rate. There are tons of stories about similar experiences with this vitamin. Can someone help me please? And only herbs and while foods, I am done with supplements!!!


Dietary Changes
Posted by Crankybanana (North Carolina ) on 08/07/2013
5 out of 5 stars

I have had cystic acne for over 15 years, always worsening right before my period. My skin was pretty clear overall except for one or two large cysts on my chin coming or going at all times. Long story short, I found that eliminating dairy has almost completely resolved the problem. I can still have small amounts, like the occasional slice of pizza, but when I let loose on a milkshake, it shows a few days later.

My esthetician told me that the acne profile of cystic zits on the chin and clear skin elsewhere is a good indication that the acne is hormonal. Not everyone has this reaction to dairy, acne can be caused by many things, but it has worked really well for me and a friend of mine. It is quite sad to have to dramatically reduce my dairy consumption, but it's worth it if it works.

Dietary Changes
Posted by Wendy (Columbus, Oh) on 08/08/2013

There is absolutely NO reason to be "sad" when eliminating dairy. There are so many alternatives these days to dairy: e.g., almond milk is yummy and can be used in cereal and in your coffee and for smoothies. You can get coconut milk ice "cream" which is amazing! Just be careful not to eat a whole pint at a time or you may get diarrhea! (Yeah, this happened to me).


Honey
Posted by Andrea L (Glendale, Ca) on 07/22/2013
5 out of 5 stars

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!


Lavender Oil
Posted by Miracles (Santa Monica, Ca, United States) on 07/11/2013
5 out of 5 stars

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!


Honey
Posted by Jack (Atlanta, Ga, Usa) on 06/18/2013
5 out of 5 stars

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.


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 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 Suseeq (Sydney, Australia) on 12/01/2015

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



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