How To Tell If You Have A Cyst Or Pimple

We can all agree that having acne sucks with a capital S. It's especially frustrating when you have no clue what's on your face. A whitehead? Blackhead? Pimple? Now, there's even talk that a pimple isn't always a pimple, but maybe a cyst. Know that you're not the only one scratching your head, confused on these different acne terms.

According to Very Well Health, not all pimples are the same (nor do they look like it). A common form of acne, cysts are severe inflamed lesions filled with pus or blood. Think of the term cystic acne. Per Allure, it's the most severe case of acne, as it takes weeks to heal and is the most likely to cause scarring (Yikes!).

Everyday pimples, however, are just small pustules or papules (a fancy word for bumps) that are filled with pus, per Medical News Today. Not only are they easily treatable, but they also don't last as long as cysts, nor do they have a high risk of scarring.

How to treat cysts and pimples

For treating pimples, there are various natural methods that'll clear up your bumps in no time. Healthline recommends spot treating your zits with some tea tree oil or other essential oils such as peppermint or lavender. Just don't forget to do a patch test. The worst thing that can happen is that you have an allergic reaction (and damage your skin even further).

The outlet also recommends applying green tea to the acne or using some aloe vera. These solutions are not only natural but easy to do. Within a week or so, your face should be cleared!

As for cystic acne, well, the treatment is a bit harder. First, under no circumstances should you pop your cysts, even if it's really tempting, Allure reported. "Unlike pustules — little pus-filled pimples — and blackheads, under-the-skin pimples usually do not contain a core of dead skin or pus," Ife Rodney, Maryland-based board-certified dermatologist, told Allure. "When you try to squeeze a cystic pimple, the result is trauma and more inflammation, leading to scarring and skin discoloration."

According to Allure, using ice is a perfect way to reduce inflammation and the size of the pimple. You should also begin washing your face in cold water, as the temperature will help constrict blood vessels. Lastly, use a cleanser that contains salicylic acid, as it purposefully targets cystic acne.