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A worried, pale skinned girl pointing her finger at a big pimple on her chin.

Home Remedies for Cystic Acne – Natural & Permanent


Acne is an overproduction of sebum in the skin. When our body tries to eliminate it, it blocks some pores, mainly in the face, shoulders, back and chest areas. This article will share not only home remedies for cystic acne but analyze its root causes and list most of the commercial solutions to mild, moderate and severe cases of acne as well.

Acne becomes a problem when these blockages get infected. A problem that experience about an 85% of kids and young between 12 and 25 years although it can happen in adults as well.

The more common causes are inadequate diet and hormonal changes. It is not a chronic inflammatory disease as some groups pretend just to justify the use of medication and hide the fact that you can revert it with simple home remedies for cystic acne.


1 What Is Acne and How It Relates with Comedones
2 Correct Prevention
2.1 Through a Correct Diet
2.2 Achieving a Correct Hormonal Balance
2.3 Causes that Also Contribute To Acne
3 How to Treat Your Existing Acne
3.1 Restore Your Hormonal Balance
3.2 Treatments to Apply On Your Skin
3.2.1 Steam Baths
3.2.2 Dermalux
3.2.3 Surgical Cleansing
3.2.4 Chemical Peeling
3.2.5 Laser Therapy
3.3 Treatments That Heal Acne Through The Whole Body
3.3.1 Food Intolerance Detection
3.3.2 Medicinal Food Therapy
3.3.3 Metal Poisoning Detoxification
3.3.4 Resonant Frequencies Therapy
4 Final Words

A diagram showing the general structure of the skin

What is Acne Really?

It is not a disease nor an inflammatory pathology nor is necessary the use of medication, just simple home remedies for cystic acne can revert this problem… In some isolated cases where a poor diet or hygiene is the cause of an infection.

Acne is an obstruction of skin pores caused by an overproduction of androgen (male sexual hormones) both among males and females.

These hormones stimulate an overproduction of sebum that the body tries to cleanse. These same hormones, most of the time but not always, increase the thickness of the keratin found in the walls of the follicle narrowing it. The sebum can’t evacuate the follicle properly and obstruct it, when this cap darkens it become what we know as pimple or comedone.

This should be harmless unless it becomes infected by lack of hygiene. Poor hygiene caused by a breakage of this cap, by trying to extract it with the nails or by other non-hygienical method. Three bacterial families then take advantage and try to access the follicle infecting it and originating the papule.

Diagram comparing a normal pore with a whitehead and blackhead, cystic acne is a more severe version of these. Home remedies for cystic acne will help you prevent these stages.

This is called papular acne. If the infection worsens producing pus it becomes pustular acne which it can produce scars. If the infection keeps worsening sore nodules can appear becoming cysts and originating cystic acne (or microcystic acne if the cysts are small).

As a summary we classify acne by the severity of its lesions as mild, moderate or severe. At this point we must firstly ask if it is possible to prevent acne and secondly how to treat it if we haven’t been able to prevent it. Here we will present uncommon home remedies for cystic acne; not diy creams or masks but rather a change in lifestyle and diet which will focus on correcting hormonal imbalances that are at the root of most acne problems.

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Correct Prevention

A chinese young woman preparing her face for applying the snail filtrate extract mask
1.Clean your face with warm water

Correct hygiene: never touch your face with dirty hands during puberty or in severe acne cases. Clean the most vulnerable areas with mild, 100% natural, hydrating soaps (ordinary soaps are drying as manufacturer extract its glycerin during production). Don’t use cosmetics or skincare products that aren’t 100% natural.

Do not obsess about it as an aggressive or too frequent washing can worsen the acne as the oil glands can react to an excessive hygiene producing more sebum. Do not rub your face with the towel, use a clean towel or a paper tissue and give slight touches to dry.

Avoid your hair touch your face, especially if you have oily hair or is not clean, covered in foam, fixing gel, conditioner, etc.

Help the detoxification of your body: drink at least two liters of water per day (don’t substitute with other beverages). A cup of hot water with a teaspoon of lemon juice and organic apple cider vinegar diluted first thing in the morning will immensely help your body to get rid of toxins.

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Correct Diet, One of The First Home Remedies for Cystic Acne

  • Avoid saturated or hydrogenated fats, avoid fried foods, sugars, milk and dairy products or refined carbohydrates. Increase fruits and vegetables in your diet, steam or grill your meals more often. Here’s why most home remedies for cystic acne fail, they do not focus enough on the diet. It’s very hard for people to identify all the foods that can be harming their health because, as time passes, more and more prepared foods contain some kind harmful ingredient or additive and buying raw, fresh, unprocessed foods is becoming increasingly difficult and expensive.
  • Carefully read the ingredient label of the products you buy and, as a rule of thumb, try to do your groceries like your grandma used to do. Buy 90% raw, unprocessed foods and buy ecologic, pasture raised if you can. If it is too expensive for your budget try to grow your own food or seek guidance in local community orchards. As Hippocrates said let your food be your medicine.
  • A 2003 study at the University of Colorado by Loren Cordain concluded that a high consumption of processed foods raises the production of insulin and its growth factor IGF-1, two substances that worsen acne because an increase of insulin can increase the production of male sexual hormones as well. IGF-1 stimulates the production of keratinocytes which narrow the follicle obstructing the pore eventually.
  • Avoid preserved foods – especially canned – given their artificial ingredient contents.
  • Avoid taking medication, especially corticoids and hormonal treatments. Nowadays, for any illness, there are more effective therapies without dangerous side effects.
healthy foods to eat broccoli and carrots
Sauteed broccoli and carrots

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Correct Hormonal Balance

Sebum production depends on gonad or adrenal androgen. They control the size of the oil gland and the quantity of sebum it produces. The beginning of the menstrual cycle diminish the sebum secretion but it increases during the half of the cycle which worsen acne lesions. Contraceptive pills and pregnancy decrease or increase the sebum production randomly.

Too much androgen

As mentioned, developing insulin resistance (very common among people with western diets) produce high levels of insulin which can cause acne. This is because insulin stimulates the production of an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase. This enzyme turns normal testosterone into di-hydro testosterone DHT a much more powerful version of this androgen.

So even though females produce an average of 10 times less androgen than men this relatively low level can cause acne in both genders. These androgen produce high sebum, increase the size of the oil glands and increase skin cell production inside the follicle.

If you’re female and notice you have your acne on one side of the face it may indicate your left or right ovary is producing too much androgen. This is caused by Policystic Ovary Syndrome PCOS which is caused by again high levels of insulin. Its main symptoms are; acne, hair loss (alopecia) or facial hair and deeper voice.

Too much estrogen

There’s many causes that can produce a high level of estrogen but the most common is a liver dysfunction. The liver is not detoxifying the bad estrogen in your body. There’s an enzyme, similar to 5-alpha-reductase, called aromatase that turns the testosterone in your body and turns it into estrogen and this can happen in both genders.

The most common types of liver dysfunction are fatty liver, which many people has, or scar tissue in the liver, also called, cirrhosis caused by inflammation, bad eating, alcohol or a virus like hepatitis. Even a fatty liver prolonged in time can degenerate into a liver cirrhosis.

The symptoms we have explained are not isolated and can cause each other. For example, an untreated insulin resistance can cause a fatty liver so the acne would be a symptom of something less obvious but more severe underneath that must be addressed.

Other causes of high levels of estrogen which are not liver related can be:

  • High Blood Pressure Medication. Especially calcium channel blockers.

  • Antibiotics.

  • Alcohol. Very estrogenic.

  • Heartburn medication.

  • Anti-depressants.

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Contributing Causes

Emotional causes

Stress can modify hormonal secretion, increasing androgen production and originating a flareup.

Natural Remedies for Anxiety: how to lower stress

Environmental causes

Cosmetics – especially oil and petroleum based – can obstruct and contribute for acne to appear. It makes no sense preparing home remedies for cystic acne like diy cream & masks if you’re applying toxic commercial makeup on your skin later.

Humid and hot climates increase sebum production and encourage bacterial proliferation among the population. Winter decreases sebum production while summer increases it, other factors during summer like an increase in a healthy sun or seawater exposure can help decrease acne appearance.

Notice that some anti acne medication can increase the skin photo-sensitivity. In this situation, sun exposure can produce skin burns or lesions.

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Correct Treatment for Existing Acne

First do not let yourself be swept by TV ads and search for a good professional besides doing these home remedies for cystic acne. Most of the best selling creams in commercials are ineffective and full of harmful, artificial ingredients. There are several choices for treatment.

Restoring Hormonal Balance

Too Much Androgen

Handle the insulin resistance: follow diets which lower refined carbs like a ketogenic diet and combining it with intermittent fasting. These two changes in your eating habits can correct an insulin resistance very effectively.

Address vitamin A deficiency: this usually causes a high level of 5-alpha-reductase enzyme. Start taking a high quality cod liver oil which is not refined or filtered if possible. You can easily find the extra version of this oil in sites like Amazon. It a bit more expensive but is really good for your skin.

Vitamin B5: works with vit. A in synergy and reduces acne.

Zinc: it lowers the reductase enzyme as well.

Too Much Estrogen

Cruciferous vegetables; kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, etc.

Stinging Nettle Root: a plant with a powerful effect lowering the aromatase enzyme we mentioned in case you have any type of undiagnosed liver dysfunction.

Milk Thistle: an amazing plant with great liver protectant properties. Very helpful in case of liver dysfunction.

healthy foods to eat brussels sprouts
Boiled brussel sprouts

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Topical Home Remedies for Cystic Acne

Ordinary commercial creams, gels, lotions, etc. are recommended for the mildest acne cases due to their artificial ingredient content. They claim to inhibit the formation of pimples, to be antiseptic and antibacterial but actually they provide scarce results and dry your skin, making it flaky and irritated.

They tend to be formulated with retinoids (molecules derived from vit. A), benzoyl peroxide, azelaic acid, antibiotics like clindamicin or eritromicin. Among these, the benzoyl peroxide is as effective as antibiotics and ten times more affordable while having less harmful side effects.

For topical use the only way to avoid harmful side effects is to use natural products. Products like Aloe Vera, Red Seaweed or Tea Tree Oil. These three products have shown very good results in the treatment of mild or moderate acne thanks to their antibacterial, skin purifying properties. My natural acne treatment cream although commercial and not considered among the home remedies for cystic acne we are mentioning, is formulated with two of these natural ingredients working in synergy with all of its 100% natural ingredients. For people who want a full skin treatment which not only addresses acne but restores the skin youth and health I have an acne natural skincare 3 step pack which has four different creams and masks that you can apply in 3 steps so they work with each other to restore a healthy balance in the skin.

Also dermatologist agree that, for existing acne, extracting its sebum and pus content improves the healing rate of acne, as it extract the infection producing bacteria. Also prevents scars and blemishes as the infection and inflammation is under control much faster if you safely and aseptically know how to extract the pore’s content. I offer a smartly designed acne extraction toolkit which allow an easy and quick extraction of existing acne so the people do not use their nails which only worsens the infection and eventually produce scars.

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Full Body Steam Baths

A picture of the wooden interior, a traditional wellbeing therapy and among the best home remedies for cystic acne. A Finnish sauna... notice how there are very few Finnish teenagers that suffer from acne.

An effective method to purify the skin and safely open its pores. It help the body to detoxify; relaxing the muscles, stimulating glands and lymphatic system. Increases blood flow and clears the sinuses.

If you add medicinal herbs to the water this bath is more effective. If you have dry or sensitive skin you should use; lavender, rosemary or mint. If you have oily skin; rosemary, lemon or eucalyptus. For acne use; green tea or thyme.

Dermalux Anti Acne Lamp. A Commercial at Home Remedy for Cystic Acne

Tony Chu MD, a dermatologist at the Hammersmith Hospital in London invented a therapy called DermaLux to treat acne. This lamp uses two different light waves:

  • Blue light: it kills the propionibacterium acnes.
  • Red light: promotes and improves the skin healing.

Chu confirms it has no harmful side effects and it only needs 15 minutes daily between one and eight weeks. He published his results in “The Lancet” proving how 31 adults reduced their mild and moderate acne by half with only a daily lamp session after three months. Dermalux Anti Acne Lamp Site

Phototheraphy lamp, one of the commercial at home remedies for cystic acne

The next three topical treatments are not considered home remedies for cystic acne but will add valuable and effective options to healing your skin, even in the most severe cases, making them a worthwhile investment.

Surgical Cleansing not Among The Home Remedies for Cystic Acne but Very Effective

Microcystic acne are small fatty pouches unable to evacuate their content. This method punctures them with a scalpel and, once clean of their content, the doctor applies a disinfectant which both destroys germs and sears the skin helping its healing without leaving marks. In two months, with one weekly session this therapy can control this type of acne.

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Chemical Peeling

A superficial microdermabrasion using substances like glycolic acid, or more in depth, using substances composed of phenols which are used to treat acne scars.

All of them exfoliate the most superficial layer of skin to get rid of dead cells, balance the work of the oil glands and improve the distribution of collagen throughout the dermis. The results and their duration depend on the substance used and after each treatment the patient can notice a renovated skin without traces of acne or oily skin.

Laser Therapy. Another Out of Home Remedy for Cystic Acne

A close picture of a red laser beaming on the cheek of a woman wearing eye protection, not among the home remedies for cystic acne

By Alice Pien, MD Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia

It can treat acne and its scars. The most common Smooth Beam system destroys acne causing bacteria while the heat it emits atrophies the oil gland. The duration of treatment goes from 6 to 20 sessions, one session per week. It is not among the home remedies for cystic acne, making it more uncomfortable and expensive but it has the advantage of treating the most severe cases of acne and correcting scars which is not something to do at home and should be done by a professional.

Its use to repair scars depends on its type. Dermatologist use Vbeam laser to bleach red blemishes. For bigger scars doctors use microdermabrasion with a CO2 laser. It exfoliates the most external layer of the skin while the heat stimulates collagen production in the deeper layers which rejuvenates and smoothens the skin.

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Systemic or Holistic Home Remedies for Cystic Acne

If the topical treatment is not enough dermatologists tend to prescribe broad spectrum antibiotics; tetracyclin, minocyclin and the ones mentioned above. They have dangerous side effects – especially in pregnant women – so can only be used under strict medical supervision. Same happens with anti-androgenic or contraceptive medication some doctors prescribe to reduce sebum production.

In severe acne cases, cystic acne, doctors prescribe isotretionin which produces a temporal but complete atrophy of the oil glands producing side effects like skin and mucous membrane dryness. Its major risks are that it can cause irritable bowel syndrome and birth defects. After you suspend the treatment with isotretionin the acne will come back eventually making this option very spectacular in the first months but not good as a permanent solution. We have shared some topical home remedies for cystic acne that, despite being less spectacular are more permanent and address the true causes of your skin problems. The next treatment will complement the topical remedies working in synergy with each other to heal your skin.

Food Intolerance

Food intolerance is not the same as an allergy. An absence of certain intestinal microflora species, chemicals or enzymes that help with the digestion of certain foods is what causes food intolerance. Its symptoms can be diverse and one of them is skin reactions and acne. Unfortunately medical science doesn’t understand food intolerance well enough yet and it’s hard to find tests that accurately identify which foods may be causing symptoms. Today there are many methods available such as Cytotoxic testing, MRT testing, Elisa Testing and Microarray Elisa Testing. Allergy US reviewed these methods and Microarray technology appears to be the most reliable among them. [1] This option is not among the home remedies for cystic acne we are mentioning but will prove invaluable for many acne sufferers who can’t find the cause of their acne among what we have already mentioned above.

Man grabbing his stomach in pain

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Medicinal Foods

Fruits have a known detoxifying activity. Specifically lemon which is antibiotic and alkaline while you can apply its juice topically.

Fermented soy contributes to restore the hormonal balance because of its content in phytoestrogens. Do not consume unfermented soy products as they have a mild toxicity despite being marketed as safe.

Whole grains: fiber content improves acne.

Vegetables: high in vit. A which reduces sebum production.

Wheat germ, nuts, avocado, brewers yeast: high in vit. E, acts very effectively in synergy with vit. A to reduce acne.

Supplements: vit. A (cod liver oil), B5, B6, E, Selenium, Zinc, Chrome and essential fatty acids. Note that accutane is a synthetic form of vit. A which is why it is effective in acne treatment. Quality cod liver oil is a much higher quality form of this vitamin and will provide many other beneficial nutrients.

To avoid: animal fats, milk and dairy products and hydrogenated oils, fried foods and sugary drinks.

For more details refer to “Correct Diet” above.

Flax seeds

Metal Poisoning Detoxification. Among the Longer Term Home Remedies for Cystic Acne

Heavy metals are any metallic substance that has a high density. This is not a severe poisoning but mild to moderate ingestion, via the skin or oral, of these substances which are hard to detect for modern medicine. Some of these heavy metals are stored in fat tissue or eliminated, to some extent, by our body. In higher quantities or prolonged exposure can cause damage to our health. These metals include arsenic, cadmium, mercury, nickel and lead but other lighter metals can have toxic effects as well.

As I mentioned, the body cannot easily detoxify these heavy metals after absorbing them; either by ingesting, inhaling them or through contact (jewelry). These have a cumulative in the tissues, immune system, brain and kidneys, causing mild to serious conditions, including acne. An additional method that could be included among these home remedies for cystic acne is the oral chelation treatment which is too long to cover in this article.

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Resonant Frequencies Treatment

Discovered by Dr. Hulda Clark it works even in the worst cases of acne. This therapy uses device, called Zapper, emitting a small resonant electrical current to destroy the acne causing germs. A current so small the patient doesn’t feel anything during the 5 min. sessions twice a day.

And, best of all, the current is applied on the wrist or any part of the body that the patient feel most comfortable. This is because the current does not kill the bacteria directly but it stimulates the activity of white cells present in the blood which help fight the cystic infection. These type of devices can be found in stores for as low as $6 and they are very easy to use, making them a perfect addition to your home remedies for cystic acne arsenal.

Have Patience

Any effective treatment needs perseverance, confidence and patience from the patient. It is relatively easy to find home remedies for cystic acne in search engines which work poorly or not at all because they don’t address the root causes. Fixing these causes requires time as your body restores its balance. You have to keep a healthy diet (not only to prevent but to treat the acne) and keep applying the recommendations a good professional gives you.

Remember, avoid touching your face with dirty hands, do not pop your pimples or blackheads with your nails and don’t despair, with patience and perseverance you will help your body detoxify what it needs and gradually your hormonal imbalances will start to disappear.

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