I've had cystic acne since age 13, and wanted to share some of the methods I've used to get rid of it. I will admit that some of the methods I've used are not safe to perform on one's self, but others are non invasive, inexpensive, and quite useful. I am a big fan of DIY because the nearest medical center that accepts my insurance is a hospital, and I do not always have time to jump through the hoops necessary to make a non emergency appointment, or wait for three hours every time I have a cyst, nor do I have the money for frequent trips to the clinic.
My acne did become more mild, though more frequent, when I went on Yasmin for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, as it is hormnally triggered. However, if I mess up and miss a day, or have to miss a month because there's been an error in my pharmacy's paperwork, or I'm late to see a doctor to renew my prescription, it does not hesitate to drop by for a visit. When it does, this is the routine I do. It can, occasionally lead to scarring (which slowly goes away in my case, though I admit I am lucky it does, and it takes a long time), so I must stress the importance of not being aggressive with this method.
Step 1; Lance it: Please note: if the acne is not protruding from the skin, SKIP THIS STEP. You'll only do more harm than good. However, if despite your efforts, the spot looks like it should be "pop-able", and simply grows larger, not coming to a head, this is step one to a quick fix. Basically, taking a sterilized, sharp object, and puncturing the cyst. this allows it to drain some, whilst applying mild pressure, the curved part of a bobby pin works quite well, so that you don't touch the wounded lesion with your hands. Once no more clear fluid will come out with mild pressure, don't fuss with the spot anymore, you could just make it worse. If you've lanced your cyst/nodule, I cannot stress how important it is to continue with the next two steps. if you don't you run the risk of infection, and actually making matters worse.
Step 2; Dry it: Once the cyst has begun draining, I try to further dry it with hydrogen peroxide solution to burn off any excess fluid near the surface, followed by swabbing with witch hazel (rubbing alcohol). It's also a precautionary measure to keep the area clean, as an incision was just made. Remember, swab, don't scrub. This is delicate work, and being overly aggressive will only make things worse, and cause the affected area to scab terribly.
***Step 3; Neosporin***: It is possible to skip the first two, and just use neosporin. I'm impatient, and a little obsessive in messing with the cysts myself. Neosporin allows the area to heal, and reverses the excessive drying from the previous step. It's also an antibacterial topical, so sometimes if the spot is simply red, and painful, and is not "lance-able", or you're smart enough to not puncture your own skin, putting neosporin on top of the cyst/nodule, and covering it with a band aid before going to sleep will actually help to reduce it in size, or draw it to the surface so that it can be treated like mild to medium acne. Of the three steps, I swear by this one.
Post-traumatic skin treatment: Finally, if my skin has been breaking out more frequently, I replace face lotion with olive oil. Simply apply with a cotton ball, and use the other side to wipe off the excess. It effectively stops excessive drying, and has non comedogenic, and antibacterial properties which actually help the skin to clear up. Some chemical exfoliants can also help to make break outs less frequent, I try to do them once a month, right before I know I'm about to break out (being female, it coincides with my menstrual cycle, so that makes preventative measures a little more predictable), and that seems to keep the mild to moderate at bay, if the breakout is not a result of not taking the pill properly.
This method is not fool proof, however, I've been getting rid of my cystic acne this way for 9 years. It is not completely dissimilar from the methods used by professionals, as it is simply drawing out the fluid, keeping the area clean and administering an anti inflamatory. That said, when mine occurs, it has always simply been one, sizeable blemish, not several, at a time. It may not work for everyone, but for those who happen to be as delusional as I am in thinking a doctor shouldn't be necessary for their acne, I hope this is useful. I also reccommend drinking lots of water, as it flushes out toxins in the body, and turmeric makes a great anti-inflamatory, which can be purchased at most health food stores, and possibly in the aisle that keeps all other seasonings in your local grocery store. My old roommate had much worse cystic acne than I, and has even used honey as a topical mask for its antibacterial properties, though that can be quite messy.
The most important thing is don't mess with your skin too much. Trust me, from experience, it makes matters much worse, and you'll wish you left it alone in the first place.