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Acne Cysts on Chin

author image Shannon Marks
Shannon Marks started her journalism career in 1994. She was a reporter at the "Beachcomber" in Rehoboth Beach, Del., and contributed to "Philadelphia Weekly." Marks also served as a research editor, reporter and contributing writer at lifestyle, travel and entertainment magazines in New York City. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature from Temple University.
Acne Cysts on Chin
Close up of chin acne Photo Credit Sasa Komlen/iStock/Getty Images

An estimated 80 percent of Americans between the ages of 11 and 30 suffer from acne at some point, according to National Institutes of Health, NIH. Pimples develop when pores in the skin become clogged with oil. Hormones also trigger the glands to produce even more oil during puberty, menstruation and pregnancy. Nodulocystic acne, explains the American Academy of Dermatology, ADA, is a severe form of acne characterized by deep, large, pus-filled bumps that resemble cysts.

About Nodulocystic Acne

The NIH reports that nodulocystic acne, also known as cystic acne, is the most severe form of acne. The large, inflamed bumps are often tender and firm to the touch. The nodules may turn deep red or purple. Cystic acne is also known to cause scarring. While cystic acne more commonly appears on the back, it can affect the chin as well.

Preventing Facial Cysts

Wash your face twice a day with a mild cleanser. Avoid using soaps with added dyes and perfumes. Washing your skin will remove surface oils that can prevent acne medications from penetrating the chin. Apply a coating of 2.5 percent, over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide to your entire chin once a day after cleansing. Benzoyl peroxide will create an environment in your pores that is hostile to the bacteria that cause acne to develop. Once the benzoyl peroxide fully dries, apply an oil-free moisturizer to prevent drying. Look for a moisturizer that is labeled noncomedogenic, which means that it won’t clog pores.

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Avoid Irritation

While sweating and touching your chin won’t cause cysts to appear, it can worsen your acne by spreading your skin’s oils and preventing the pores from breathing. Avoid resting your chin on your hands, holding phones against your chin and wearing helmets with chinstraps.


Daniel Kern, founder of Acne.org, reports that nodulocystic acne can flare-up repeatedly. It’s crucial that you do not attempt to squeeze a cystic lesion. It can traumatize your skin, cause infection, increase pain and cause pimples to persist longer than they may have if left untouched.

Treatment Methods

When cystic acne does not respond to other treatment regimens, the New Zeland Dermatological Society, NZDS explains that more aggressive therapies are needed. A cortisone injection can lessen swelling and reduce the chances of scarring. Cortisone is a steroid that can immediately improve the appearance of cystic lesions.

In 2008, Rajeev Dhir from the Department of Dermatology at INHS Avini in India reported that treatment of cystic acne with oral isotretinoin produced gratifying results. Istotretinoin is a vitamin A-derived retinoid. The NZDS indicates that most people receive a course of the medication for four to seven months. Isotretinoin reduces oil production by shrinking the sebaceous glands. It heels existing lesions and prevents new ones from developing. It limits the growth of bacteria and reduces inflammation.

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