Are you tired of battling persistent cystic acne, desperately seeking a solution that goes beyond surface-level treatments? You’re tired of relying on creams that work only for the time being…just for the embarrassing acne to come back.
If you're weary of the endless cycle of topical treatments that only offer temporary relief, it's time to delve deeper into the realm of functional medicine.
This personalized approach recognizes that cystic acne is more than just a superficial issue—it's a reflection of internal imbalances and systemic factors that need to be addressed for long-lasting results.
Let’s dive in and say goodbye to band-aid solutions and embark on a holistic journey towards clear, healthy skin.
What is Cystic Acne?
Cystic acne is a severe form of acne characterized by deep, painful, and inflamed lesions that develop beneath the skin's surface. It typically appears as large, red, and swollen bumps, often filled with pus. Unlike milder forms of acne, such as whiteheads or blackheads, cystic acne lesions penetrate deeper into the skin and can cause significant discomfort and scarring.
This type of acne occurs when hair follicles become clogged with excess oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria. However, unlike other forms of acne, cystic acne involves a more profound inflammatory response in the skin.
What Causes Cystic Acne?
Cystic acne is primarily caused by a combination of factors that contribute to the development of deep, painful, and inflamed acne lesions. Some of the key causes of cystic acne include:
The Limitations of Traditional Acne Treatments
The treatment of acne often involves traditional approaches such as topical treatments and oral medications. While these methods can be effective for mild to moderate forms of acne, they have limitations when it comes to treating cystic acne.
Oral medications, including antibiotics and isotretinoin (commonly known as Accutane), are prescribed for more severe cases of acne, including cystic acne. Antibiotics help control bacterial overgrowth, while Accutane is a powerful medication that targets sebum production and acne formation. While these medications can provide significant improvement, they also come with potential side effects and drawbacks.
One of the limitations of antibiotic use is the development of antibiotic resistance over time, which can render them less effective. Additionally, antibiotics can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the body and cause gastrointestinal issues. Accutane, while highly effective, can have potential side effects such as dryness of the skin and mucous membranes, elevated liver enzymes, and mood changes. It is also contraindicated for pregnant women due to the risk of birth defects.
Another drawback of traditional acne treatments is that they often target the symptoms rather than the underlying causes of cystic acne. They may provide temporary relief and control over acne lesions, but they may not address the hormonal imbalances, inflammation, or other internal factors that contribute to cystic acne development.
A Comprehensive Approach to Addressing Cystic Acne
Skin issues, including cystic acne, can often be a sign of deeper imbalances within the body. The skin is the body's largest organ and serves as a reflection of our overall health. When imbalances occur internally, they can manifest on the skin's surface in various ways.
Functional medicine recognizes the interconnectedness of different body systems and understands that skin health is influenced by factors beyond the skin itself. The approach focuses on identifying and addressing the underlying causes and imbalances that contribute to skin issues.
For example, hormonal imbalances, digestive problems, inflammation, immune dysregulation, nutrient deficiencies, and oxidative stress can all impact the health and appearance of the skin. By assessing these factors and addressing them through personalized treatment plans, functional medicine aims to restore balance in the body and promote optimal skin health.
By adopting a holistic approach that looks beyond the surface-level symptoms, functional medicine practitioners seek to understand the root causes of skin issues. By treating these underlying imbalances, not only can the skin improve, but overall well-being and vitality can be enhanced.
Functional Medicine Approach to Healing Cystic Acne
With naturopathic and functional medicine approaches, we get to the ROOT of your acne and skin issues. Instead of handing over a topical cream or prescription medication, we complete a comprehensive evaluation and assessment of each individual.
This may involve specific functional medicine lab tests to identify underlying imbalances and triggers of your acne flare ups.
For example, we can see what kind of gut bacteria overgrowths are occurring within your body, your levels of inflammation, which hormones are out of balance, and even your body’s ability to detoxify. This way, we can create a customized plan of action to address your imbalances and dysfunctions.
Functional Medicine Treatment Plans for Cystic Acne
Functional medicine treatment protocols for cystic acne may include:
10 Tips to Address Cystic Acne
If you're tired of battling cystic acne and seeking a holistic approach that goes beyond surface-level treatments, functional medicine may hold the key to your breakthrough. By addressing the root causes of cystic acne and taking a comprehensive approach to healing, functional medicine offers a personalized and integrative way to restore skin health.
If you are dealing with cystic acne and are tired of it messing with your self esteem, please book a one 30-Minute consultation with Dr. Jamie Ahn via In-person, Zoom or phone. She is a Functional Medicine and Naturopathic Doctor in Norwalk CT that welcomes in-person and virtual patients. She would love to talk to you and give you a new sense of hope and answers you’re looking for so you can feel confident in your body again!
Dr. Jamie Ahn is a Board Certified Naturopathic Physician based in Norwalk, Connecticut.