I started developing severe cystic acne when I was 20. They were huge red cysts with three heads each that would grow on both cheeks (almost symmetrically), and wouldn't stop being inflamed for two weeks at a time. It was ugly and really painful, and they left marks that would not go away for atleast three months and scars that are still on my cheeks. As I went from acne-free to covered in horrible red acne and scars on my face I became depressed and lost five kgs. I also started to *lose my hair* and had *dry flaky skin on my palms and face*. The skin on my palms would peel off and my hair would fall in clumps. I noticed a decrease in the *quality of hair, which became extremely dry, frizzy and lost its overall shape and texture*. I felt like I had a different person's hair on my head. I went to several doctor's who could not help me, and I got hormone and thyroid tests done which did not tell me anything. After studying my acne and symptoms over a year I self-diagnosed myself with hypothyroidism. Self-diagnosis can be dangerous, but sometimes it's about reading your body's signals. As I took measures to deal with hypothyroidism, my acne went away and I have been cyst-free for six months now. Here is what helped and what didn't: What did not help: Cutting carbs : Helped with weight-loss but acne kept coming Drinking lemon water in the morning: Good habit but cysts continued Burdock Root: did not take full dose and suffered from horrible purging breakouts over jawline on both sides of my face Green Tea: Helped with overall health and skin but cysts continued Vitamin A and D :Helped with overall skin but did not do anything for cystic acne What really helped: Calming myself down: stressing about my cysts made them worse Makeup and concealer: You can always conceal redness; it took me a while to discover this and I have been at peace since then, cysts or no ALOE VERA: This gel is magic and will speed up scar healing so much, and make your skin glowy. Tip: Keep it on overnight, on full face. Zinc: I started taking 15mg of zinc daily because it can support your thyroid. This was the key to being cyst-free. It might not work for everyone, but my hair and skin only returned to normal once I began to take zinc. Don't take too much! [I take 15mg Zinc Gluconate daily from Holland and Barrett. I've been taking one every day for a year now with no side-effects. No nausea or hair loss; my hair is almost too thick right now.] Selenium: I eat one brazil nut everyday. I have not had a single cyst or even big pimple since. It can really support your thyroid. Try it! It's magic. From my experience, zinc is not enough, but in combination with selenium I have almost zero acne issues. Magnesium: I swam in the ocean for a week, and when my skin and hair drastically improved, that's when I suspected I might have thyroid issues. I don't know whether it is the magnesium or zinc or whatever mineral that is present in sea water that did it, but it changed my skin health soooo drastically (just a week!) that it was insane. So try magnesium sprays, tablets, or a swim in the ocean! It's depressing to deal with acne but try and listen to your body. Don't go gluten and dairy free without ruling out hormonal or thyroid and other endocrine issues. Two years ago I was in a horrible place, and was constantly sad about my skin. Today it's something I think about maybe once a month, and only if I can see my scars. Otherwise I can get away without washing my face, eating like crap, being stressed, getting no sleep, having sex, etc. without it showing on my skin! It's only because I know my body needs certain nutrients. If you have any of these symptoms, try what I did! I hope I help someone.