Over the past few years I would occasionally develop some pimples on my very upper back. They would surface and be easily dealt with.
However, I've been getting cystic acne on my back which can be pretty painful. I can't pop them because they don't surface. They are completely under the skin and will stick around for several weeks and eventually cause scarring because the skin gets stretched and destroyed. Eventually the area becomes filled with blood and will easily pop, but the scarring was already there and will continue to be there regardless of popping. It drains for a while (I know, gross) and eventually heals up. The scarring doesn't bother me so much but the painful lumps do. After they pop and drain they can be very sensitive to showering. If a stream of water hits it, it can feel like it is hitting a nerve, it is very peculiar. It is a very quick sharp pain.
The thing is, my overall skin is relatively clear. I have the occasional zit and pimple on my face, but I'm 21 and that is expected. My girlfriend even comments on how clear my skin is. I only get the cystic acne on my back, and to be even more specific, it is primarily on my right side. I've had three or four pimples on my left upper back in the past 2 months that didn't amount to much, most of them were easy to get rid of. However, I've had probably 12 - 15on my right upper back that were much larger and much deeper.
My diet is excellent. I drink plenty of water. I exercise regularly. I don't scrub the affected area of the skin vigorously. I use a salicylic acid treatment once a day and I shower very soon after training so the sweat doesn't set in the skin and clog the pores. I don't touch the affected area and then touch other areas of the back. I also don't take, nor have ever, taken steroids or any prohormone. (I figure that would be a natural question)
I just don't get it. I am going to make an appointment with a dermatologist tomorrow. I could deal with it before but it is to the point where I can feel them sometimes just sitting doing nothing. It is especially annoying when I lie on my back/side to sleep and it aggravates them.
I always know it could be worse (and I am grateful for that), but I want to do something about it.
Can anyone offer some help?