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I've never had a derm give shots to my cyst, but they are done on many occassions. So, don't worry about that. I'm pretty sure he gave you cortisone shots, which will relieve the cyst of it's inflammation, however doesn't necessarily mean that the cyst will totally go away.

As for recomendations...

I say this a lot, but have you looked into Accutane? You seem like the perfect candidate for the drug. Reasons:

-You're in your twenties, acne shouldn't play a role in your hectic life.
-You've got cystic acne.
-And as you said, you've been there done that as far as acne medications go.

I realize you said you wanted to go the cheapest and less irritating way of methods to fight your acne, but in some situations for some people, using topicals won't do anything for you.

The tetracycline will help you for the time being, but eventually when you get off of it, all the sebum collected in the epidermis will become infected once the antibacterial properties of the tetracycline deminish within your body, which could possibly make your acne even worse.

I'm crossing my fingers for you man, I know how it is. Calling out of work isn't the answer. Though it may make you feel better, in the long run, facing up to your horrors and fears works out for the better.

Good luck.

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