The vast majority of humans will experience pimples in their life. Whether during the hormonal teenage years of adolescent puberty or later during adulthood, pimples and spots are relatively common. However, when especially severe and resulting in hard, painful lumps on a recurrent basis, acne flare ups can be incredibly debilitating not just for pain thresholds but for confidence too.
So, if you’re currently battling with severe acne where your pimples resemble hardened lumps, keep reading to discover more about dormant causes, how to obtain a seasoned diagnosis and the most effective treatment options you can initiate.
What Actually is Cystic Acne?
Also referred to as nodular acne, this condition features buried acne lesions underneath the skin. Commonly affecting the face, back and chest, this is a very severe form of acne and can cause great pain to the sufferer. Typically furious red in color and hard to the touch, the presence of this condition can be chronic with nodular breakouts lasting as long as several weeks – even months in particularly lousy cases.
Contrary to popular belief, cystic acne can occur in adults in addition to teenagers. Whilst more prevalent in those under 20, this strain of acne can appear in adults up to 50 reliant on skin type.
What Causes Hard Pimples?
The exact cause of such pimples is relatively unknown, as every respective nodular acne case is different. However, it’s commonly accepted that clogged pores are a major culprit of kick starting this condition. Excess sebum (our body’s natural oils) gets trapped within pores alongside dead skin fragments. This clogging action then combines with bacteria to forge infection, which affects deeper skin layers and causes nodules to sprout.
Unlike other spots and pimples, nodular acne is characteristically hard and painful because it’s commenced deep within the skin’s layers. The vast majority of regular pimples only affect the skin’s surface, making them pretty easy to clear-up and heal without intervention. But hardened pimples are much more complicated, meaning medical treatment is often necessary.
Can I Squeeze a Hard Nodular Pimple?
Unlike regular, supple pimples that ultimately develop a pus head able to be squeezed between fingers, harder pimples are regrettably not that straightforward. Typically, these spots don’t develop heads due to their deep location. Therefore, squeezing them to aid healing will likely make things worse. Almost certain to aggravate the pimple and escalate inflammation, it’s resolutely recommended not to prod, squeeze or try to drain such lesions.
How is Nodular Acne Diagnosed?
Even if you’re 100% this is the condition you have, it’s always best to consult a professional. Ideally, you should visit a qualified dermatologist who can implement expert, tailored skincare advice along with a diagnosis. But if unavailable, simply visiting your doctor is likely to still yield a qualified verdict. They’ll not only carefully examine your skin, but will ask an array of detailed questions regarding symptoms to establish confirmation.
Do I Need Professional Treatment to Cure Nodular Acne?
Whilst everyone is different, the basic answer to this question is yes. It’s highly unlikely nodular acne will fully subside and calm down without at least some degree of medicinal input, with an array of professional treatments available for you to try.
One of the most popular mechanisms of action is antibiotics, as infectious bacterial overgrowth is likely to be a major culprit into why the condition has developed in the first place. Your doctor will probably prescribe a short course to eradicate bacterial overflow, which inhibits its ability to further clog pores and cause future breakouts. However antibiotics aren’t considered a long-term solution, as they can only be taken daily for up to 10 days before causing potential harm to your body.
Other Medical Treatments for Hard Facial Pimples
If you’ve suffered with acne for a while, it’s likely you’ve heard the name Accutane. A branded name for the drug isotretinoin, Accutane is an extremely strong prescription medication used to treat acne of maximum severity.
Somewhat controversial, your doctor is only likely to prescribe this if your condition is seriously relentless, as this drug often causes unpleasant side effects. These often include intense dryness of the lips and eyes, increased sensitivity to the sun, migraines and even bleeding noses.
Home Remedies for Hard Lumps Under Skin
In addition to medicinal routes, it’s highly recommended you administer some topical remedies at home to aid the curing process. There’s a wide variety of treatments you can try, but one of the main points of advice given is to adopt a meticulous skincare routine to keep your skin as fresh and clean as humanely possible. It’s essential you wash your face twice daily, ensure to thoroughly remove all traces of makeup at night, avoid touching your face throughout the day and use lighter moisturizers as opposed to richer, thicker alternatives.
Alternating between warm and cold compresses is likely to help reduce pain and inflammation, and topically applying either tea tree oil or apple cider vinegar is thought to be beneficial due to their impressive antibacterial properties.
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