"Oh-My-God-What-Is-That?" Skin Emergencies
Should you dig at it? Or rush to a derm? See photos and skin care tips for sensitive skin issues
Skin Emergency: Cystic AcneSymptoms: A large nodule that looks like a pus-filled whitehead, but is substantially bigger. Cystic acne is typically caused by a triad of bacteria, hormones and sebum (oil).
Treat it: To unclog the pore, wash the area with a cleanser containing acne-fighting glycolic or salicylic acids, (like Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser/Mask, $7.39). A warm compress can also help to steam "open" the pore and loosen trapped oil and bacteria. More severe cystic acne should be treated with oral antibiotics, oral isotretinoin like Accutane, lasers or other pro-grade medicine. See your dermatologist if cystic acne appears more than once a month.
Prevent it: Wash daily with a salicylic acid-based cleanser to exfoliate the top layer of skin, thus keeping pores clear -- and use an oil-free moisturizer (like Olay Total Effects Moisturizing Vitamin Complex, SPF 15, $18.99) or (Lexli Aloe-Based Day Moisturizer with SPF 15, $58).
SEE NEXT PAGE: Skin Emergency: Hives