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Painful Cystic Acne On Back Interfering With Daily Life

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Hello everyone,

I am new to this forum, apologies if I did something wrong here rolleyes.gif

I suffer from severe cystic acne on my face and back. The acne on my face has subsided for the most part (i dont know why) but when I used to have it my cysts would get so large that they would all join together and create one huge massive cyst on one or two cheeks. My face would look swollen and lopsided and it would be extremely painful if I were to press on it.

Recently this acne has begun to cover my back, and my chest too. The one on my back would decrease my mobility with my arms bacause the acne would hurt if I were to stretch my arms out neutral.gif Sometimes, my pals would slap me on the back (not knowing I had acne) out of affection or whatever and I would cringe in pain. The acne is so bad that I cannot rest on my back for activities like bench press or even lying down in bed. The acne on my chest would prevent me from lying down on my chest sometimes.

Lucky for me, the acne on the face didnt scar too much eusa_pray.gif. The story is different for my back, however. In the year that I have suffered with the acne on my back, huge red scars are present.

I went to my doctor (I think he only saw the acne on my face) and he prescribed tretinoin and doxycycline. Ive stopped using doxy and

I believe I have developed resistance to it =(

Retin a, when applied to my back, makes the whole thing extremely itchy, and sometimes I can't sleep because of it. Ive just started using the tretinoin again in hopes that it will pay off in a few month's time.

Psychologically, I am not very affected rolleyes.gifrolleyes.gifrolleyes.gifsurprised.gifsurprised.gifsurprised.gif but the acne can be super painful when I take a shower etc because it is extremely painful when I try to dry it with my towel.

I am currently watching my diet, and I am taking omega 3 krill oil as an anti inflammatory agent

My shirts would be stained with pus, etc by the end of the day.

My grades might be getting worse due to acne due to the fact that I cant even rest my ba ck on the chair when I do my HW.

The physical pain caused by the cystic acne is excruciating! crazy.gif I have to keeps my arms and shoulders stiff when I walk, and I have to be careful that I dont bump into anything. I applaud you if you have taken the time to read this far hifive.gifhifive.gifhifive.gif

Suggestions/ treatments would be GREAT (I am absolutely NOT taking accutane). I am visiting my dermatologist in a few days.proud.gif

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I agree about the bumping shoulders and arms into objects. I always bump them into doors or people etc. I wonder if this can cause scarring?

Anyhow, good luck

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Try tea tree oil or something with that in it. If it's really bad, go to a doctor. You don't even have to go to a dermatologist - your general practitioner can prescribe things to you.

Also consider that it might be folliculitis and not acne - in which case acne treatments won't help.

One thing I did last year that really helped my cystic back acne (why I'm not doing it now, I have no idea; I must be an idiot) is to alternate days of washing with BPO and washing with pyrithione zinc. BPO kills acne bacteria; pyrthione zinc kills the fungus that causes folliculitis. So between the two, you're killing both. Pyrithione zinc is the active ingredient in Head & Shoulders, but you can buy stronger pyrithione zinc bars online.

So you wash one day with a pyrithione zinc bar (leaving it on for at least 2 minutes before rinsing), then wash the next day with 10% benzoyl peroxide bar (PanOxyl makes one that you can get in drugstores), and so on, it might work well for you. You can try using head and shoulders first, but I recommend getting the zinc bar on Amazon or something instead, because the shampoo is only 1% and has other crap in it that's meant for your hair; the bar soaps are much stronger and formulated for skin.

Once it's clear, you can maintain it by keeping that up. Or, you can cut back to just the BPO soap and get a BHA or AHA lotion to apply post-shower. Dan's AHA works really well, and so does Paula's Choice weightless body lotion, which is BHA (I talk about it in my acne.org blog if you want to see more). I use that right now. I'm still washing with PanOxyl because I had a breakout last month I'm trying to kill. But try the routine I outlined above.

There's also apparently some kit out there by a dermatologist named Dr. Bailey that contains a bottle of BPO wash and a bottle of zinc wash and some special cloth that she put together for body acne sufferers. I haven't tried it myself, but I hear good things about it and used that alternating days principle she recommended when coming up with my own.

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@cysticacneispain I have nearly the exact same thing as you except on my chest is only normal zits but my back is so bad I can't put on a shirt fast without it hurting or turn my head without being in pain. Since this post was 2 years ago and if you have found a solution to this horrible stuff please post on what you did and how long it took you to get rid of it! 18 yo m

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I used to get at least one new cystic acne spot on my back (after quitting pill) every other day. I was so sick of trying stuff from the derm that didn't work so I tried acupuncture and it has been amazing. I got three in a month and the ones that do come disappear much faster and do not scar. She has also treated the scars. It's amazing!!

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been on accutane since February and I tell you it's a miracle medicine.   Nearly completely acne free.    The dry skin it so worth it!! 

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