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How to Get Rid of Severe Acne

Severe acne can be more than unsightly. It can cause pain and deep scarring if not properly treated. Taking the steps to get rid of severe acne can not only improve the health of your skin but treat psychological conditions caused by living with the spots. 

What Is Severe Acne? 

Aside from the obvious enlarged bump, severe acne can be recognized in several ways. These cases are seen with widespread spots across the face and body, redness, inflammation, scars, and painful bumps. 

Inflammation is the main symptom that separates regular acne cases from severe acne. Often referred to as cystic acne, nodular acne, or nodulocystic acne, severe acne can start deep within the skin layers. 

What Causes Severe Acne 


The reason acne makes an appearance in puberty is when the androgen hormone levels increase due to enlarged sebaceous glands. This activity encourages the growth of bacteria, leading to clogged pores and acne. 


Severe acne has been attributed to genetic markers in some cases. Genes related to the function of the sebaceous gland and the overall immune system can be traced back several generations and be hereditary traits.


You lifestyle can cause severe acne to develop. Common products that can lead to acne include makeup and lotions as they may contain oils, sulfates, and silicones that clog pores. Exposure to the sun and certain food products can also cause acne conditions. 


Prescribed medications are needed for serious health conditions and diseases. These same medications can cause severe acne to flare up due to the ingredients, such as androgens, corticosteroids, and lithium.


Studies have shown that stress hormones can be directly linked to cases of severe acne. Emotional and psychological stress can cause clogged pores with excessive oil production from the stimulation of testosterone. 

Treatment for Severe Acne

When looking to treat severe acne, it is recommended to consult with a skincare specialist instead of using unregulated topical treatments. 


Due to the high level of medication, this form of acne treatment is used for severe cases. With the Vitamin A ingredient, isotretinoin helps to lower inflammation while preventing further production of harmful oils within the skin cells. 

Steroid Injections

Steroid injections are a common treatment for areas of the body where enlarged spots of severe acne exist. While these injections are fast-acting for the inflammation, they are used in conjunction with other treatments to address the underlying cause. 

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

Photodynamic therapy is a form of skincare treatment for acne seen in various medical and dermatology clinics. It targets inflammatory conditions caused by severe acne by using the heat generated by light therapy. 


One common treatment for severe acne is the use of antibiotics to reduce inflammation and fight bacteria that leads to pimples. These antibiotics include minocycline, doxycycline, tetracycline, erythromycin, azithromycin, and sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim. 

Creams, Gels and Lotions

Prescribed and over-the-counter creams, gels, and lotions with retinoids are designed to treat mild acne conditions through topical means. This form of Vitamin A stimulates skin cell rejuvenation to prevent clogged pores, scarring, and skin discolouration. 

Chemical Peels

As chemical peels are designed to remove the outermost layer of the skin surface, the underlying acne condition is exposed for treatment. The added exfoliating agents target the delicate acne. 

Birth Control Pills

With severe acne cases caused by hormonal imbalances, some people may be prescribed birth control pills. This form of contraception helps address the higher androgen level with estrogen. 

Acne Removal

There are specialized treatments to remove acne. These can include (but are not limited to) use of corticosteroid injections, acne extraction, and an incision and drainage method. The type of acne removal depends largely on the condition of the skin, the severity of the acne, and reaction to other treatments. 

Dos and Don’ts for Severe Acne



Keep your skin clean

Use harsh products

Avoid going out in sun

Scrub your skin

Choose the right skincare products

Squeeze the acne

Stay hydrated and follow a healthy diet

Eat oily food, dairy products, and sweets 

Follow your treatment plan

Cover acne with cosmetics

Benefits of Treating Severe Acne

Consulting with a professional with provide you with a constructive treatment plan that can help manage existing conditions and possibly prevent future breakouts. 

A skincare specialist will identify the underlying health condition that may be the root cause of the severe acne. This can include genetics, puberty, and hormonal issues. With a personalized treatment plan, severe acne conditions can be addressed as well as any signs of hyperpigmentation or scarring. 

Consult with a Skincare Specialist at Heart Lake Aesthetics 

Improve your skin and reduce your acne at Heart Lake Aesthetics. Our team of skincare experts can create a personalized acne scar treatment plan to help reduce the appearance of your scars and give you smoother, more radiant skin. Call us today at (647) 324-9255 to book a consultation and start your journey toward clearer skin


This article is for informational purposes only and should not replace medical advice from a professional.

Heart Lake Aesthetics

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