Cystic acne, sometimes called nodulocystic acne, is a severe form of inflammatory acne that is often extremely painful. Although cystic acne is rarer than non-inflammatory acne or moderate inflammatory acne like papules and pustules, it is still quite common.
Cystic acne forms below the skins surface. A build up of white blood cells, oils and fluids begin to build up causing the appearance of cysts, or pus filled regions, called cysts. These cysts do not just occur on the face, but can also appear on the chest, back shoulders, and arms.
NodulesSometimes the bottom of a follicle will break off, which causes the follicle to completely collapse - this produces a large, sore bump on the surface of the skin called a nodule.
Nodules extend into deep layers of the skin, a fact which means that oftentimes nodules never fully recover, leaving behind unsightly scars. Proper treatment early on in the development of nodules can help to minimize this.