Acne is the most common skincare problem seen by doctors and is often viewed as a rite of passage and a temporary condition. However, those who have experienced acne know all too well that acne can be physically and emotionally painful as well as draining to experience. 

At Nielsen Clinic (Calgary), we treat patients who feel they have tried everything. From dietary changes, antibiotic therapies, light therapy, and skin peels to laser therapy, their stubborn acne remained. Fortunately, not all hope is lost as we can help our patients get to the root of their skin problems. 

Our treatment protocol focuses on finding the cause of your health concern. Through our customized approach in developing your treatment plan we have helped our patients overcome acne (cystic acne). 

Below are sections offering information for common questions as well as various elements of acne (cystic acne).

+ What is acne (cystic acne)?

Acne shows up on your skin as red pimples and can appear on your face, neck, chest, shoulder and back.

Cystic acne is when acne becomes infected and goes deeper into your skin, creating a red and tender painful bump that is filled with pus.

Acne takes two to three weeks to appear on your skin surface. During this period your body does a few things that result in the development of your acne spots.

+ What causes acne (cystic acne)?

For those who have acne, it can be overwhelming and confusing as to how to get rid of it. Having acne is not your fault! Several factors can determine the severity of acne and who may get acne. Factors such as hormones, genetics and emotional stress play a role in acne, most of which your body needs internal support to help get your skin acne free.

Step 1 – Your skin gets out of balance
Your skin depends on a healthy balance of moisture, skin flora and shedding phases. Inside your skin, your body contains hair follicles that contain a special gland (sebaceous gland) that produces oil (sebum). Without this natural production of oil, our skin would be dry, dull, irritated and flaking.

Additionally, your skin contains several various species of bacteria that help protect your skin.

Step 2 – Your hair follicles gets blocked
As your skin sheds to make room for new skin, your dead skin cells block your pores causing the oil (sebum), dead skins and bacteria to get trapped inside your pores.

Step 3 – Your skin gets inflamed and develops acne
The combination of sebum, dirt, dead skin cells and trapped bacteria (P. acnes - Propionibacterium acnes, clinically can cause redness, swelling and pus), causes the surrounding skin cells to become inflamed and swollen, triggering your immune system to produce white blood cells resulting in the development of acne.

+ What are symptoms of acne (cystic acne)?

The most common symptoms are red bumps on the face that may have a whitehead on the bumps.

If you have severe symptoms such as large red bumps that are deep and painful you most likely have cystic acne.

+ Self-care & Prevention - acne (cystic acne)

Increase your water intake.
Avoid smoking, drinking, and carbonated beverages.
Avoid fatty foods.
Reduce dairy and sugar intake.
Wear sunscreen.
Eat more fruits and vegetables.
Have a daily face wash regime.
Get plenty of rest; minimum 7 hours, preferably 8-9 hours.
Wash your bed sheets and pillow case every two weeks and wash your pillows every 2-3 months to clear the oil and dead skin buildup.

+ Acne (Cystic Acne) Treatment - How We Can Help

Step 1 - Listen and understand your concerns: Listen to your health concerns, symptoms, review your health history and check your hormones.

Step 2 - Start your treatment plan to address your main areas of concern: Start your initial treatment plan to address acne symptoms you are struggling with.

Step 3 - Treating your cause: Tailor your treatment to address underlying hormonal imbalance to help you recover from acne.

Natural Acne (Cystic Acne) Treatment

NIELSEN CLINIC 3R's (Remove, Restore & Recover)

Remove Symptoms


Remove: Start addressing acne by address the symptoms you are struggling the most with: breakouts, oil skin and painful cystic acne.

 Restore Hormones


Restore: Hormonal balance by addressing the underlying hormonal imbalances as well as reduce inflammation to improve your skin. 

Recover Your Health


Recover: Tailoring your treatment may decrease or eliminate acne symptoms and get clear skin. Say goodbye to signs and symptoms of acne.