In regards to cystic acne, no matter what my diet was like, I would get cysts on my neck, shoulders and back.
It wasn't until I started taking Optizinc 30mg caps twice a day that the cysts virtually dissapeared (although not acne altogether). It made a difference practically overnight.
Then I introduced Maca into my daily routine...1/2 teaspoon in the morning upon waking and 1/2 teaspoon in the evening. It has seemed to help regulate my hormones somewhat. I still get acne on these problem areas but it is significantly less and heals quicker. I use the NOW brand of Maca powder. I stumbled upon its acne-benefits on accident cause I started taking it to improve my muscle-building workouts.
I should also add that at around the same time of the Maca, I stopped using soap on my problem areas when showering and only use water (soap for all the rest of my body). Also, I started concentrating on not drinking significant amounts of water/beverage when eating. I usually will wait a minimum of 20-30 minutes after drinking to eat (for the liquid to exit the stomach). After eating, I wait a minimum of an hour to have anything to drink again. I had heard this has helped some people, but I am unsure exactly if it helps me or if its the Zinc and Maca.
I find stress is DEFINITELY an irritant, and possibly the cause. I've been reading up on this herb called "Ashwagandha" which is likened to Indian ginseng. It is supposed to be a potent adaptogen herb, which means it causes the body to react positively in dealing with stress. It also is said to balance any hormonal imbalances. It supposedly gives stamina as well as a calming effect on the mind. It is also well known as a libido enhancer. It is considered very safe and can be taken indefinitely, unlike most other herbs. I encourage everyone to research this on their own.
I have heard that OptiZinc form (not brand) is best cause it's most easily absorbed. It is the kind found in ZMA but I think it is also sold separately. Don't exceed 100mg in a day and don't take it with any kind of calcium or calcium rich food as it will decrease absorption.