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Cysts and Abscesses Treated with CutiCareMD® Sulfur Soap

Cysts are swellings below the surface of the skin that occur when the pore of the skin becomes clogged with dead skin or body oils. The body oils can then no longer be secreted through the pores and dilation of the pore wall (follicular wall) occurs and “balloons” into a cyst. Cysts are common on parts of the body that secrete a lot of oil, e.g., the scalp, face, neck, and torso (chest and back). The cyst(s) may be quiescent for months or years but often will become infected from colonization of bacteria on the surface of the skin and in the follicular (pore) wall. When the cyst becomes infected the four cardinal signs of inflammation that we learned in the school develop: redness (rubor), pain (dolor), heat (color), and swelling (tumor). When the inflammation becomes severe enough the abscess forms. An abscess is a collection of pus that is composed of white blood cells, mostly polymorphonuclear leukocytes, or PMNs for short, and bacteria. An abscess may require the expertise of a medical professional who is likely to perform an I&D (incision and drainage) that will relieve the pressure and pain by allowing the pus to be expressed. Sometimes antibiotics are given in conjunction with the I&D procedure.

Cysts are more common in people who have inherited “oily” skin and hence produce a lot of oil (sebum). Ideally, we would like to avoid the formation of cysts and abscesses, to begin with. An excellent way to do this is to shower daily with sulfur soap using a back scrubber and a washcloth for the face and neck. The foam action of the soap with the friction action (exfoliation) of the back scrubber or washcloth will help to keep the pores patent (open) and help prevent cyst formation. The antibacterial action of sulfur soap will help decrease the bacterial count on the surface of the skin and thereby help prevent infection of the cysts. Generally, begin the sulfur soap daily for a couple of weeks, then two or three times per week with regular oil-free soap the other days to maintain healthy smooth skin. However, some people produce such prodigious amounts of sebum that prescription medication is often needed to control their cysts and abscesses. However, be wary not all sulfur soaps are created equal. CutiCareMD® Sulfur Soap is specially formulated to be lanolin-free. Lanolin is sheep sebum and will exacerbate cysts when applied to the skin in the form of soaps or lotions. Lanolin also is sensitizing (allergy-causing) and may cause an itchy rash in susceptible people. CutiCareMD® Sulfur Soap is also oil-free and free of any sensitizing chemicals, such as fragrances and preservatives. CutiCareMD® Sulfur Soap is glycerin based, which is the mildest base known. Be informed and be smart about the products you use on your skin, and feel free to email us at [email protected] with any comments or questions. We are more than happy to help you.