How can I get rid of cystic acne?

“Cystic acne is the hardest form of acne to clear.” so read a recent article in a UK newspaper. This article was emailed to me by a patient who wished to show me the frustration of a Ms Nesbitt from Philadelphia.  Ms Nesbitt was suffering from cystic acne. It was tragic to see that Ms Nesbitt, after using so many treatments felt it was necessary to embrace her acne.

As an acne specialist I want to make something clear – very clear – the only reason cystic acne is difficult for doctors to clear is because they have not conducted sufficient scientific research to understand it.

I get rid of cystic acne each and every week at my clinic because I have conducted the necessary research to understand why the body produces such deep red painful spots.  Most other health practitioners do not look outside of how they are trained – and there lies the problem.


Taken from a UK newspaper article 25 January 2019 – I have noted the corrections in green

Cystic acne – the most severe form of the skin condition – occurs when oil and dead skin cells build up deep within hair follicles. This is incorrect – cystic acne starts within the stomach.

If these become infected, it can cause boil-like blemishes. One spot does not turn into another. Cystic acne is severe because the body is pumping out acid.

Spots occur when a pore in the skin gets clogged, usually with dead skin cells. If bacteria enters the pore, it can become red and swollen. Incorrect. One spot does not turn into another. 

Cystic acne takes place when this infection goes deep into the skin, creating tender bumps that are full of pus. Incorrect. Cystic acne is caused by acid which is why it is the only form of acne to cause scarring.

If the cyst bursts, it can spread the infection, causing more break outs. Incorrect. If a cyst bursts it only contains acid it will not spread and cause other similar spots.

Sufferers are usually in their teens or early 20s, but can be as young as eight or as old as 50. Cystic acne is more common in men. Cystic acne has no relation to age or sex

The face, chest, back, upper arms and should are most often affected. It only spreads to the torso when the underlying issue is out of control

Cystic acne’s exact cause is unclear but is thought to involve the hormones androgen. Cystic acne has nothing whatsoever to do with hormones

Androgen increases during puberty and can result in pores getting clogged. Incorrect. Cystic acne is not caused in any way by clogged pores

In women, the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, menopause or polycystic ovary syndrome can also worsen acne. Yes but this has nothing whatsoever to do with cystic acne. 

Over-the-counter medication that can ease milder acne often have no effect on cystic forms. Because these treatments do not address the root cause of the problem

A dermatologist may prescribe oral antibiotics that control bacteria and lower inflammation. yes because they have no understanding at all as to the cause of these because if they did they would know that the spot does not contain bacteria.

Creams and gels containing retionoid, a form of vitamin A, can also help to unclog pores. Cystic acne is not caused by blocked pores

Birth-control pills may also help women to regulate their hormones. this has nothing whatsoever to do with cystic acne

It is important to seek treatment to prevent scarring.  There is nothing a dermatologist can offer that will reduce scarring. However addressing the root cause of the cystic acne problem will stop spots quickly thus stopping scarring.

Acne sufferers should not pick at their blemishes as this may push the infection deeper and make it spread. Picking cystic acne can certainly cause scarring

They should also lead a healthy lifestyle. Research suggests sugary diets can worsen acne.  Sugar does not cause or worsen cystic acne

The Elaine Mummery Acne Clinic runs with science-based medical research and not from medical theories accepted as medical facts.

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A revolutionary approach to acne

A revolutionary approach to acne

Elaine Mummery Acne Clinic established in 2007 working with over 1000 patients

"The research you are doing is unparalleled, and I've no doubt that it will be very readily received.  There are so many people who suffer these problems and who are never fortunate enough to find a practitioner with the right expertise - and who doesn't peddle pills - to cure it." Fiona, Glasgow

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Elaine Mummery

Elaine Mummery

Having had acne clinics in both Glasgow and Knightsbridge, Elaine Mummery now runs a virtual clinic from her home in France.