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Acne Advice

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These things are mean and nasty, and you're in for a world of hurt and embarrassment if you go about it the wrong way.

Let me say this for the millionth time, If you get a puss-filled cyst, DONT try to poke and prod trying to get the sebum out.

For the love of pete, it's not gonna work. If you can't feel any sort of rise in the cyst where the head is eventually going to be, that sucker is super deep. Don't make it worse. Don't press on it, pressing on it just pushes the bacteria deeper into the pore, taking it longer to come to a head and heal. Don't stab it with a needle like your digging for gold and hope that's the right spot, because it won't be. You're just poking holes in your face for more bacteria to get into, my friend, and your face is going to scab over from the lesion and scar. Now you have a scab and a cyst. Not pretty. But there are a couple things you can try.

Your goal is to bring the cyst to a head, so...

Hot Compress

Break out the cotton balls. Get some epsom salt and mix it with hot water on the stove until it's liquified. Dip the cotton ball in it and press it gently to the cyst. The heat will help emulsify the sebum and bring it to a head, and epsom salt works wonders in bringing that bacteria to the surface. Cotton balls are hard to keep warm though, so be prepared to re-soak often. After doing this for a good 30-40 minutes and nothing has changed, call it a night for the compress.

Drawing Salve

Run your butt to Walmart and pick up some Prid drawing salve. It's in a little orange box. Good cheap stuff. Get a Q-tip and splat some on your cyst, cover it with a bandaid, and sleep in it. It's brought several of my cysts to a head.

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay

THIS STUFF IS AMAZING. I use this all the time.

Mix equal parts clay powder with equal parts Apple Cider Vinegar, mix well, and you've got yourself a kick-BUTT facial mask.

Sure, its green and it smells like apple cider vinegar, but I'm not kidding, it's a Godsend.

It quite literally sucks all of the gunk out of your pores. You can feel your face pulsating while its working!

Just leave it on for 20-30 minutes (or until it gets firm, or dry) and wash off.

To use as a spot treatment for acne cysts, just dab on a thick amount, wait for it to dry (or harden) and peel the clay off, then reapply and repeat the cycle until the cyst has come to a head. Just last monday I used this for a cyst that was coming up, and it had come to a head by the end of the day!

**Usually these occur because your skin isn't being exfoliated enough....so exfoliate more often!

Hormone/Trauma Induced Cysts

First of all, you'll know you have one of these bad boys if you gently press the cyst and feel no pain. No pain = No infection = No puss.

The only way (the best way) to get rid of a fluid-filled cyst is to keep it clean and wait. NO TOUCHEY. AT ALL. And in a week (maybe week and a half depending on the size?) they flatten on their own.

Like I said, they are hormone or trauma-induced, and after getting a million of these during puberty, that's honestly the best remedy I've found.

However, if you're desperate, I've tried a few things that seem to help, but don't expect a miracle, because I'll tell you, the ONLY vanishing act you're gonna find is by getting it sucked out by a dermatologist. So don't freaking mess with it, you'll make it worse.

The goal isn't to bring anything to a head so you can extract puss out (cause it ain't gonna happen, jack), it's to get the lymph (swelling) to go away. So, heres what you can do if you're wanting improvement.

-To prevent this from happening:

-Follow the skin regimen I posted previously

-If you're a girl, get on birth control!

-Don't be too rough when exfoliating.

-Don't pop pimples! Ever!

If the cyst is hormone/trauma induced:

-Use a warm compress:

Get a wash cloth, put some water on the oven, get it hot (obviously not boiling hot or scalding. The trick is to get it hot, but not so hot it burns your skin. You do NOT want any trauma of any kind on the cyst!), ring out the washcloth, and hold it (Gently! Don't push!) to the cyst. When you're rag cools down, repeat the process. The warmth of the compress should help drain the lymph. Keep in mind you're not going to get anything accomplished by being rough with this thing, so be easy.

You can try putting a wet rag in the microwave to warm it, but it gets extremely hot extremely quickly, and cools down just as fast. You'll be running back and forth to the microwave like a madman (or in my case, madwoman) to get it heated up again..If you do it that way, the trick is to not microwave it for long (like 5-10 seconds tops), otherwise your rag will be waaaaay too hot. I like the oven because I can control the temperature.

What NOT to do:

Don't get desperate. I get it. It's frustrating. But there is no easy fix for this. Your body thinks it needs to protect you from infection. That's what lymph is for. So when it shoots to your skin and swells, it's looking for infection or trauma, and it gets stuck there. It WILL go away! So don't mess with it! Pressing, poking, flicking, whatever. And no makeup if you can help it. Just clean and dry.

This seems obvious to me, but "don't mess with it" is kind of a general rule for having a cyst like this (or any cyst, for that matter).

And hey, don't get frustrated when the warm compress isn't magically making it disappear. It won't be gone in a day. Smaller, yes. Gone? No. So don't get loco and run to the medicine cabinet looking for every cream and ointment to put on this thing. You'll just dry your skin out and cause even more problems, and it won't help.

Lastly, for these cysts there is NO point in trying to lance it (poke it with a needle) because there is no puss. There is not and will never be a head on this thing. You're literally stabbing lymph. Lymph that is going to get really pissy and call all it's stupid lymph friends to make it an even bigger party if you even try. Respect the lymph.

In summary, be nice. Kindness will be repaid. If you're nasty, plan to mark out a month on your social calendar.

These are ALL the products I use to keep my skin clear:

Wexler Resurfacing Microbrasion Step 1: Resurfacing Cream - $35

Wexler Exfoliating Glyco-Peel - $45

Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner - $18 -

Mario Badescu Healing and Soothing Mask - $20 -

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion - $17

Clean and Clear Popped Pimple Relief Drying Paste - $6-7

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay - $5

Prid Drawing Salve - $4

Body Images Body Benefits Loofah Bath Sponge - $3

-All Wexler products can be found at BathandBodyWorks or www.bathandbodyworks.com

-All Mario Badescu products can be found at Ulta or mariobadescu.com

-All other acne products can be found at Walmart.


1. Wash face with Wexler Resurfacing Microbrasion.

*(Use your facial sponge!)

2. Use Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner

2. Apply Wexler 10% Glyco Peel, wait directed time.)

3. Apply Wexler Skin Neutralizer

4. Use Aztec Healing Clay 2-3x/week

5. If you're like me and get hormonal breakouts, get on the pill!

Use all other products as needed.

Using this, my face went to oily, bumpy, and cystic, to clear, and I've stayed that way for 8 months!

Wexler Resurfacing Microbrasion Step 1: Skin Resurfacing Cream

-This facewash is awesome. At $35, It's a little on the pricier side, but worth it. It has teeny little crystals that slough away the dead skin cells and bacteria from the day, leaving you fresh and clean. You can buy online or at Bath and Body Works.

Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner

Mario Badescu has an entire line against fighting cystic acne...but It has never worked for me, short of two or three products (which I will be listing). One of them being the Glycolic Acid Toner. After washing your face, put some of this Toner on a cotton ball and wipe any excess debris. It costs $18, and I order mine online. I believe the line is also available at Ulta.

Wexler Exfoliating Glyco-Peel (2-3x Week)

-This box contains two steps, 1, a container (30 days worth) 10% glycolic peel pads, and a container of Skin Neutralizer pads. Costs in my opinion, the most important steps in the whole routine.

*The glycolic peel pads sound scary, but trust me when I say it won't make your skin peel excessively or anything. It's not drastic, but very, very effective. In fact, it's my second favorite skin-care product, ever. It round-house kicks pimples in the face.

*The Neutralizer pads are important. It counteracts the Gycolic acid, and balances your skin's Ph.

**The directions say to use these pads 2-3X weekly. This depends on how sensitive your skin is. If I feel a breakout coming on, I use them more frequently. If you have sensitive skin, this is your first time with the pads, and you don't want any dry skin to occur, use as directed.

**FOR THE PENNY PINCHER: Word of advice, cut the pads in half! The pads have enough on them to cover your whole face, and you'll save money getting twice the use out of them.

Mario Badescu Healing and Soothing Mask

Exfoliate too hard? Disastrous failure at pimple popping? Skin just generally red and inflamed and unsightly? Yeah, we've all been there.

This is one of those rare gems by Mario Badescu I love. This odd, yellow cream is a Godsend for red and inflamed skin. Not only does it calm the beast, but it prevents spread of bacteria...which is good news if you just lost a round in pimple-popping. And those hideous scabs? Forget about it...this stuff cuts healing time in half.

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

Alright, so once in a while we have one of those areas where we just need some good ol traditional spot treatment. Dip a q-tip into this bottle and onto that bad boy, and poof.

I dab on some of this after I am able to drain a deep cystic pimple.

Clean and Clear Popped Pimple Relief Drying Paste

This is my go-to when I've just popped a little pimple. Just dab some of this blue paste on, and it will turn white when it's dry. It helps with inflammation, spreading of bacteria, and allows your skin to heal itself.

Aztec Secret Healing Indian Clay

THIS STUFF IS AMAZING. I use this all the time.

Mix equal parts clay powder with equal parts Apple Cider Vinegar, mix well, and you've got yourself a kick-BUTT facial mask.

Sure, its green and it smells like apple cider vinegar, but I'm not kidding, it's a Godsend.

It quite literally sucks all of the gunk out of your pores. You can feel your face pulsating while its working!

Just leave it on for 20-30 minutes (or until it gets firm, or dry) and wash off.

I also use this as a spot treatment for acne cysts. Just dab on a thick amount, wait for it to dry (or harden) and peel the clay off, then reapply and repeat the cycle until the cyst has come to a head. I last monday used this for a cyst that was coming up, and it had come to a head by the end of the day!


This is drawing salve, for those really deep, stubborn cysts. Just gunk it up on a q-tip, put on the cyst, cover it up with a bandaid, and wait. Usually if I sleep in it, it's drawn to a head by morning.

Body Images Body Benefits Loofah Bath Sponge

Seriously, go buy these things. They come for a 2 pack at Walmart. The best face-exfoliator in the world. I use it every time I wash my face.

So, before I can give you my regimen, it's probably best that I give you background on my skin type.

I get four types of nearly impossible-to-banish skin atrocities:


The hormone imbalance induced cysts I get that spontaneously arrive, usually not containing puss and not painful, but usually a very noticeable, hard, fluid sac on my forehead or chin...


Those little white clogged pores on the sides of my chin.

They're not red or painful, its a little clogged pore filled with white stuff. Hardly noticeable unless I put my tongue under and push my cheek out. Then it's like 20 little white dots. (Not raised.) And some come out easy, shooting out a thin, stringy, sometimes coiling substance with very slight pressure...and some don't.

Some are at the very surface and take almost no effort for the stuff to come out, and some are a little further underneath the skin and I make the stupid mistake of just pressing harder for it to come out (and it usually does)..and ta-da! Next day, I've got a cyst.

So far I've just assumed they were plain, clogged pores, and there wasn't a name for them...but of course there has to be a diagnosis. I want to put a name to their evil little faces.

And not even because they're highly noticeable like cysts are, but they are hard to get rid of short of squeezing them, which, even though satisfying, is highly likely to lead to way bigger issues. Like a monstrous, puss-filled cyst, which I'll get to next.


The dreaded, painful, puss/lymph filled cyst.

The the kind of cyst I occasionally bring upon myself from trying to squeeze those tiny little white clogged pores I get on my chin...and it turns around and seeks it's revenge. And oh, do I pay the price. Usually these cysts are self-induced (I've gotten better, but I love to squeeze my clogged pores. I'm a squeezer. I get all amateur surgeon on it. Big no-no.)

If I get these from squeezing, it's because the clog was deeper in the skin than I thought, and I couldn't get it out without lancing or tearing my skin up badly...so essentially I just squeezed the clog too hard, pissed it off, and it swelled up into a cyst and it stays there, pouting. Teaching me my lesson, taunting and asserting it's dominance until its made it's point and is ready to apologize and comes to the surface. I just have to wait for it to come to a head, extract the sebum, let heal....

But sometimes these seemingly come out of nowhere. Those deep clogged pores suddenly decide it's time to f s*** up and get inflamed, and there's not a dang thing I can do about it (for several days, anyway).<br />


Yeah, I get open comedones (blackheads) on my nose, forehead (T zone) and the center of my chin. Who doesn't?


Closed closed comedones (whiteheads) on my forehead (and sometimes chin) as well, which look like small, non-inflamed sebum filled bumps covered by a layer of skin that show up on my forehead in my T Zone. No head, just small little barely-risen bumps. They're tough, un-sexy little suckers, especially in the wrong lighting...but easy to get rid of. In fact, comedones are the only skin atrocity I get that isn't a nightmare to get rid of.


*So, as you've read, I get all kinds of nasties on my forehead and chin area.

*My chin and T zone are pretty oily.

*My nose gets blackheads, and the the areas beside my nose get a maybe three or four blackheads and clogged pores (that never erupt)

*My cheeks stay clear and not oily. Always. I think I've had maybe one or two zits on my cheeks, and in each case they were pointy, run of the mill whitehead zits (which never just show up overnight for me.) In that area I do have one thing to be thankful for!

So, if my skin sounds like your skin...,

In my next blog, I'm going to tell you how I made it stop.

I found a regimen that worked for me. I've been completely break-out free for 8 MONTHS now! Wooo! hifive.gif

First Post

So I'm brand new to the site. And I gotta tell ya....

Acne pisses me off.

I mean...aren't pimples for highschoolers and pre-teens? I'm nearly 22, shouldnt it be smooth sailing?

Granted, I don't struggle with my acne anymore like I used to....I used to have BAD cystic acne before I found what worked for me.

Before now I used to be at war with my acne...I felt like I couldn't leave my house without feeling like the I was being STARED AT as if I should be locked in a dungeon somewhere because of the big ol' bastard on the side of my chin or my forehead.

Nevertheless...I found what worked for ME! And I'm going to share it with you, in hopes that it helps someone with similar acne troubles get a footing with the battle against their skin, along with any other advice I've learned after 11 years of battling with cysts and other skin issues.