Treating a Cystic Breakout
Cystic breakouts are uncomfortable and annoying. While trying to pop them will only make them worse, leaving them alone doesn’t necessarily mean they will heal very quickly, and you have to let them run their course.
I’d like to offer some tips for caring for a cystic breakout to help it heal as soon as possible. As mentioned, picking or popping will not be effective with a truly cystic breakout. A truly cystic breakout forms a hard, tender, and sometimes painful lump below the skin that does not come to a head, which is why nothing will be released by attempting extraction. The infection is below your skin, which your body will eventually reabsorb.
I recommend beginning to treat a cystic breakout as soon as you feel it forming. When dealing with cystic breakouts, here are 4 steps for care:
Take care of it gently. Gently cleanse and tone the area, but do not get harsh with it. Avoid using harsh soaps, acids, or anything that might further irritate the area.
Drain the fluid with heat. Use a warm compress to thin the fluid under the skin and encourage it to disperse into your lymph system. You can use a washcloth dipped in warm water and wrung out. You can also use a chamomile or green tea bag. Make sure whatever you use is warm but not too hot. Hold it on the area for at least 5 minutes. Doing light massage with your hands or a tool below the breakout in a downward motion can also help encourage drainage.
Soothe inflammation with cold. Follow with a cold compress to reduce inflammation and swelling. This can also be done with a cold washcloth or a chilled green or chamomile tea bag (dip in water, wring out, and put in freezer for a bit). You can use an ice cube, but cover it with a washcloth or some other barrier rather than holding it directly on skin (you can ice your skin directly as I’ve described in other newsletters, but you never want to hold ice directly on your skin in one spot). You’ll want to hold your cold compress against the area for up to a minute, give it a break and repeat a few times.
Spot treat. Again, don’t think harsh will be best, because our skin is delicate. My personal favorite spot treatment is a high quality Lavender essential oil, which penetrates below the surface of the skin and is soothing and antimicrobial. I recommend putting one drop onto a Q-tip and applying to blemish, that's really all you need, it is very potent (note that Lavender is the only essential oil I will ever recommend using without dilution). If your skin is sensitive, dilute the Lavender by putting a couple drops of facial oil onto the Q-tip first. Tea Tree and Geranium EO's are also a possibility, but please always dilute these as directed. Other great treatments from Pink Light include using a dab of Midnight Dew, Rose Petal Enzyme Mask, or Coconut Pearl Powder put on the area and left overnight.
Repeat this cycle as many days as needed to help heal and shrink the cyst. Your best defense is also to look at why these breakouts might be forming and trying to treat the root cause to avoid future breakouts, which I will discuss in future posts. Following these steps and not picking should shorten the healing time of a cystic breakout and keep any scar or mark from being left behind. Hope this helps, let me know how it goes! Feel free to leave a comment below!
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