I have acne. In the last 3-4 months it has gotten worse and now I have been told that I have “cystic” acne. The pimples are mostly on my forehead and nothing is helping to make them go away. My periods are very irregular. Could my symptoms be related?

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cold weatherCystic acne (breakouts that are large, red, deep in the skin, and sometimes painful) can occur when pores in the skin become clogged which leads to inflammation and sometimes infection. While acne is common, only about 5% of girls will get “cystic” acne.  Over the counter medicine that usually works on mild acne typically doesn’t work on “cystic” acne. Prescription strength topical lotions, antibiotics, and other medications are needed to treat cystic acne. It is important that you don’t squeeze or pop the pimples as this can leave permanent scars.

Irregular periods and acne can be symptoms of a condition called PCOS which is short for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. PCOS can happen when a woman’s hormones are unbalanced. Acne is also a common symptom with this condition and is often improved with taking birth control pills. We suggest that you make an appointment with your health care provider and talk to her/him about your irregular cycles and cystic acne.