cystic acne

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a disorder of the skin with eruption of papules or pustules; more particularly, acne vulgaris.
acne congloba´ta (conglobate acne) severe acne, seen almost exclusively in males, with many comedones, marked by suppuration, cysts, sinuses, and scarring.
cystic acne acne with the formation of cysts enclosing a mixture of keratin and sebum in varying proportions.
acne ful´minans a rare form of severe cystic acne seen in teenage boys, characterized by highly inflammatory nodules and plaques that undergo suppurative degeneration leaving ulcerations, fever, weight loss, anemia, leukocytosis, elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and polyarthritis.
acne indura´ta a progression of papular acne, with deep-seated and destructive lesions that may produce severe scarring.
keloid acne keloid folliculitis.
acne necro´tica milia´ris a rare and chronic form of folliculitis of the scalp, occurring principally in adults, with formation of tiny superficial pustules that are destroyed by scratching. See also acne varioliformis.
acne neonato´rum acne vulgaris in infants, usually in males before 3 months of age, chiefly characterized by papules, pustules, and open and closed comedones on the face; it is thought to be due to hormonal stimulation of sebaceous glands. The affected child may be predisposed to more severe acne in adolescence.
acne papulo´sa acne vulgaris with the formation of papules.
acne rosa´cea a form of acne in which the skin around each pustule is a rosy red; it is usually seen in persons over 25 years of age and is often psychogenic.
tropical acne (acne tropica´lis) a severe type of acne vulgaris seen in the tropics when the weather is hot and humid, characterized by large painful cysts, nodules, and pustules that lead to the formation of rounded abscesses and frequent scarring and tend to localize on the back, nape of the neck, buttocks, thighs, and upper arms and usually sparing the face. It tends to affect those who have had acne vulgaris at an earlier age.
acne variolifor´mis a rare condition with reddish-brown, papulopustular umbilicated lesions, usually on the brow and scalp; probably a deep variant of acne necrotica miliaris.
acne venena´ta acne produced by contact with any of numerous chemicals, including those used in cosmetic and grooming agents and in industry.
acne vulga´ris a chronic skin disorder usually seen in adolescents and young adults, in which there is increased production of sebum (oil) from the sebaceous glands and formation of comedones (blackheads and whiteheads) that plug the pores. Noninflammatory acne produces plugged follicles and a few pimples. Inflammatory acne is characterized by many pimples, pustules, nodules, and inflamed cysts. The lesions are found on the face, neck, chest, back, and shoulders.
Treatment. The noninflammatory lesions often respond to over-the-counter creams and lotions, but inflammatory lesions may require intensive and individualized medical treatment under the direction of a dermatologist. Acne is treated by both topical and systemic drugs; the one most frequently recommended is benzoyl peroxide in a 5 or 10 per cent concentration. It is applied to the skin daily or as frequently as necessary to produce mild dryness of the skin. A mainstay for treatment of inflammatory acne continues to be oral tetracycline, which is effective for most cases and safe even when taken for years. A relatively new systemic drug for severe, treatment-resistant acne is isotretinoin (13-cis-retinoic acid). It inhibits the secretion of sebum and alters the lipid composition of the skin surface. Isotretinoin is a teratogen; hence it is not given to pregnant women. It can also cause bone changes. Minor side effects include dry mouth and dry eyes. Another agent used against acne is tretinoin (all-trans-retinoic acid), which is applied topically to reduce the number of comedones and to prevent formation of inflammatory lesions.

Acne therapy can continue for months and even years. Patients who conscientiously follow the prescribed regimen greatly increase their chances for improvement and the prevention of permanent scarring and pitting of the skin.

When acne has left permanent, disfiguring scars, there are medical techniques that can remove or improve the blemishes. One method is planing with a rotary, high-speed brush. This removes the outer layer of pitted skin, leaving the growing layer and the layers containing the glands and hair follicles. New epithelium grows from the layers underneath; it is rosy at first and gradually becomes normal in color. The technique has also been used successfully in removing some types of disfigurations resulting from accidents. This so-called “sand-paper surgery” or dermabrasion is recommended only for selected cases of acne and results are not always satisfying.
Patient Care. Because patients with acne often have a lack of knowledge about the nature of their skin disorder, patient education is a major component of care. Additionally, the disorder often affects young people at a time when they are deeply concerned about their appearance and acceptance by their peers. Adolescents need to know that their concerns are taken seriously. Even though the disorder is not life-threatening, it can adversely affect one's self-image and self-esteem.

Laypersons often are misinformed about the cause and effects of acne. It is not a contagious disease, nor is it due to uncleanliness or poor personal hygiene. It is not caused or made worse by lack of sleep, constipation, masturbation, venereal disease, or by anger or hostility. Dietary indiscretion can sometimes contribute to the appearance of lesions, but there are very few people who can find a cause-effect relationship between certain foods they have eaten and the appearance of acne lesions. In general, cola drinks, chocolate, and fried foods need not be restricted or eliminated from the diet in hopes that acne can be avoided or cured. A well-balanced diet is all that is recommended for the management of acne.

Scrubbing the skin and using harsh soaps is not recommended because this only serves to damage the skin and predispose it to breakdown. A mild soap is as effective as special medicated soaps. If the hair is excessively oily, it may help to shampoo regularly and keep the hair off the face.

Pimples and pustules should not be squeezed. This can press the sebum and accumulated debris more firmly into the clogged duct and increase the chance of inflammation and the spread of infection. Blackheads and whiteheads are best removed by applying a prescription medication that causes peeling of the skin.

Since the management of acne can go on for years, requiring periodic evaluation by a dermatologist, patients and their families will need continued support and encouragement. Patients taking prescription medications will need to know the expected results, any adverse reactions that might occur, their symptoms, and to whom they should be reported.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

cys·tic ac·ne

severe acne in which the predominant lesions are follicular cysts that rupture and scar.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
A rare autosomal dominant [MIM 64416] condition characterised by the acronym PAPA:
pyogenic arthritis
pyoderma gangrenosum and
cystic acne
Lab Hypogammaglobulinaemia, elevated tumour necrosis factor-alpha
Management Intra-articular corticosteroid therapy, methotrexate, colchicine
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.

cystic acne

Mutilating acne Dermatology A form of acne vulgaris which may affect teenagers, 2º to bacterial infection of clogged sebaceous ducts deep in the skin Management Antibiotics, isotretinoin Prognosis Untreated CA may result in scarring. See Acne vulgaris.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

cys·tic ac·ne

(sis'tik ak'nē)
Severe acne in which the predominant lesions are follicular cysts that rupture and scar.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012
Enlarge picture

cystic acne

Acne with cysts containing keratin and sebum. See: illustration


Isotretinoin, a vitamin A derivative, has been effective in treating this condition. For Caution concerning its use, See: isotretinoin

See also: acne
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners

Patient discussion about cystic acne

Q. would bipolar and severe cystic acne have anything to do with the other? I am 22 years old and was diagnosed with bipolar about 3 1/2 years ago and have been on and off meds since then. Since 5th grade I have dealt with acne. I have had stages where it has cleared up and then come back. For about one year now it has been cystic and now it's worse than it has ever been. It is extrememly painful. What the heck is going on?

A. cystic acne is an out come of a sever skin infection. lithium (if this is what your medication you are taking) doesn't known to inflict acne. but it doesn't matter if it's connected or not- ask your Dr. if you can start a treatment in Isotretinoin. it's a very aggressive medication you take for a period of 6-8 months and it has 90% success. but you have to check it has no synergistic affect with your bipolar medication.

More discussions about cystic acne
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Patients with previous cystic acne would prefer Fractional CO2 to treat the pocked marks and deep scars left behind by the years of suffering acne.
Zamo's company Z Skin Cosmetics, was started just last year, as he began to make products to combat his cystic acne and hair loss issues, he said, “I was tired of trying everything on the market with no results.