Progressive Health explains that cystic acne can be treated with home remedies, over-the-counter treatments and prescription medication. As Teen Vogue points out, anyone trying to treat cystic acne should approach the treatments in that order, leaving prescription medication or injections as a final resort.
Progressive Health explains that home remedies for treating cystic or severe acne include topical treatment with hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, egg whites, aloe vera, or masks made from honey and baking powder. In addition, taking anti-inflammatory or antioxidant ingredients orally can help fight cystic acne. Some of these include garlic, cinnamon, lemon juice, green tea, spearmint tea, licorice root, tea tree oil, zinc, and the vitamins A, B1, B5, C and E.
As WebMD points out, treatment with over-the-counter remedies such as salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can help in the fight against cystic acne. Teen Vogue also recommends anti-inflammatory anti-cyst treatments based on lactic acids or sonic cleansing systems, which help with lymphatic drainage. Progressive Health suggests that over-the-counter products that contain azelaic acid, sulfur and resorcinol are also helpful.
Severe cystic acne must often be treated with prescription medications, according to WebMD. Dermatologists often prescribe antibiotic and retinoid creams and ointments as well as oral antibiotics and retinoids. In particular, isotretinoin, a powerful oral retinoid derived from vitamin A, is used to treat the worst cases of cystic acne. However, it has potentially dangerous side effects, and its use must be monitored closely.