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Female 33, mild to moderate but persistent acne

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Proactive Only

By maria411,

Hey there, I wanted to give a quick update on my skin.  I have been off Diane 35 since August and I am currently using Proactive and limiting my dairy intake and my skin is clear, clear, clear.  I have also been drinking a pot of Rooibos tea a day over the past few weeks and it appears to be making a difference in my skin.  It is high in minerals such as zinc and it appears to have taken on an additional glow.  Anyways, I will periodically update my state of my skin.  So far, so good.

Proactive Only

By maria411,

So I am currently off Diane 35 for a bit and I am using Proactive only and trying to avoid dairy products and my skin is the best it has been in a very long time.  I was told the other day by someone "I am 60 years old and a nurse and have seen a lot of skin and you have the most beautiful skin".  It meant so much to me because of all my struggles.  I know Proactiv does not work for everyone but I use it sparingly, every night and the mask once in awhile and my skin is clear as can be.
So my skin has been relatively clear with a few bumps here and there and I decided to try Proactive again. I have been on the regimen for around a month and my skin is clear as can be. Maybe the small bumps on my cheeks were likely caused by a product I was using. Anyways, Proactive is perfect for the summer - it might be too drying in the winter but we will see. I am still on the clear skin diet and Diane 35.
I am happy to report that my skin has been very well behaved since my last entry in December.  By following the Clear Skin Diet my skin has stayed clear and I have not experienced any deep pimples.  I had a few very small bumps on my cheeks but I know I need to use a strong cleanser with 2% salicylic acid to keep me clear.  Diet appears to be the cause of my acne - it is very hard not eating dairy but it is worth it in the end. 
So I have been traveling around South East Asia and my skin on my trip has never been better. The humidity works for me and I forgot to take Spiro consistently while I was away. I was in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand and it was hot, hot, hot - I sweated all day and honestly I did not break out once. I have reduced my spiro to 25mg, 3 times a week and I am thinking I will go down to 2 times a week. I like the fact I never have to do my eyebrows because the hair growth is non-existent. I am still on Diane and the Clear Skin Diet and my skin has not looked this good in a very long time.
So my skin is looking very good - ever since I started the clear skin diet I have not had one deep pimple. Not one. I had some tiny, tiny bumps along my jaw line but it could be KP as my derma said but I am just being overly picky - my skin is glowing and people notice. My co-worker said I look air brushed. Eating clean makes a huge difference - there is relationship between acne and diet - especially for the acne prone!

I am on 25mg daily of Spiro and I am going to do another month and then cut down further to 25mg every other day and see how my skin reacts.
Sorry I have not posted any updates. I cannot believe I am on Day 58 of Aldactone - I started with 50 mg for the first 30 days and I found that I was too dehydrated. I read several reviews on acne.org and makeupalley.com and most ladies taking the medication decrease their dosage when the side effects are too harsh. So starting in month two I knocked my dosage down to 25mg. I had two large spots around my period on my left cheek and then one or two smaller spots on my right cheek. They have cleared up and perhaps that was my initial breakup.

I bought the book The Clear Skin Diet - it makes sense, eat clean, exercise and reduce stress will equal clear skin. I started last week and I have already see a difference. Loading up on Omega 3 rich foods, yoga and no dairy is making a big difference. My skin has not looked this good in awhile. I am going to stick to the diet for 90 days and see what I look like.

Acne is a on going battle for me but I will out grow it - everyone does.
Aldactone in Canada - so my skin has been reasonably good. No deep spots since I stopped with Retin A just a few small bumps around my jaw line. My doctor is amazed that my skin is not clear yet. I refused to go back on Retin A because it never worked for me - EVER! in the past 20 years of dealing with Acne - Retin A never worked for me.

The only other medication I have not tried (and I have tried EVERYTHING) is Aldactone. So I agreed, my acne is no doubt hormonal and I wanted to try to this medication after reading all the postive reviews on acne.org, makeupalley.com etc. Maybe this is my Acne Cure - maybe.

So it has been 5 days on Aldactone (AD for short) and I have noticed subtle changes in my skin already - it is smoother and I have not broken out. In all fairness, my acne is quite mild right now but I want clear skin - is that too much to ask? I notice I have to pee like crazy and I feel fatigued and sleep right thru the night which is a good thing.

I will keep y'all updated.
So, my skin is getting better and better. I feel like I am jinxing myself by saying this but I have to share. So I stopped the Acne cure program because my skin cleared up and it is a bit of a hassle of icing and drying your face out with BP. I use BP once or twice a week as a spot treatment right now. I have not gotten any deep sore pimples for awhile and that is a blessing in itself. I went to the dermatologist this month and for the first time he did not have to inject anything! I have two small spots and I didnt trust that he did not have to inject - he extracted them and that was it! I feel my skin returning back to health like it was in 2004 to 2010 - smooth, clear,

I have been using Neostrata - Level 2, 8% Gylcolic as my moisturizer for day and evening. The day moisturizer only has SPF 15 which is not good enough if I am outside all day so I am looking for a cream with SPF 30 or higher. I usually use SPF 50 in the summer - I am going to NYC next month and I am going to visit Pratima skincare and try their SPF cream as recommended by an acne.org reader.

Anyways, I will be checking in periodically - I started breaking out in March 2011 and after a round of Tane and loads of treatment options I am just getting better now. Luckily I have no scarring since I NEVER pick just hyperpigmentation which I am treating with AHA, Obagi and I will start up my microdermabrasion treatments again.

For those of you out there please keep fighting the good fight! Acne is not forever but you can control it when you have it.

Clearing Up

By maria411,

So I am off Vitamin A Cream and I am using the "Acne Cure Method" which is BP and ice and it is working. My face is clear - I have a few small spots on my left jaw line but they are fading, my right side is completely clear. Vitamin A Cream does not work for me and I will not forget. I am hoping I am taking the turn for the better.
So I decided to go off the low dose Accutane even on 10mg my skin was dry and my lips we getting unbearably dry. I knew I didnt want to be on Accutane again which this round could be considered the fourth time on the drug. So, I remembered I broke out after the last time I finished Tane back in 2005 - I controlled the break out with BP and used the "The Acne Cure" method which is a book written by Terry Dubrow.

So I did a little research and I concluded that I am low on Zinc - I workout a lot, on the birth control pill both depletes Zinc. The reviews on acne.org regarding Zinc have been nothing but mostly glowing. So I went out and bought myself a bottle of Zinc - its been about 5 days combined with yoga my skin is looking massively clearer - naturally. I think I should be able to control my acne with yoga and vitamins and eating clean. But only because I just finished a massively tough Tane cycle in November it is still a miracle drug.

Also, I have come to the conclusion that Vitamin A does nothing for me - it just doesnt agree with me. I know how to use to the medication but it just doesnt clear me up - it didnt 7 years ago and the 7 years before that. I am way more clear using one week of straight BP than the past year on Vitamin A cream. My doctor had me use Vitamin A cream while I was on Tane but on 80mg of Tane most people will be clear no matter what they put on your face.

I will keep you informed with how my skin reacts to this new skin regime.
My skin is much better than before but I still have a few bumps on my right jawline. I had a few drinks last night and I paid the price today - do not drink on low dose Tane. I asked my doctor and he said it was fine but for me - I feel like I have been hit by a truck. I am hoping for clearer skin soon.
So my skin has really improved in 5 days. All the bumps around my jawline are clearing up nicely and I the oil production is way down. My lips are dry but not uncomfortably and Aquaphor is doing the trick. So hopefully within two weeks my skin will be clear but my question is "what is next for me?" I can't be on Tane forever - I eventually have to wean off - or do I? Can I take 20 mg a week and be clear for life? It would be a small price to pay for all my skin stress.
So I went to see my doctor on Friday and I wished I could say it was all in my mind but it is not and he agreed that the oil was coming back far too fast and I had a lot of bumps and white heads on my face. He said my acne is hormonal (duh?) and that low dose Tane will clear it up and we can decide next steps from there. So I started lose dose tane on Friday 10mg a day and I have seen an immediate difference - the oil has started to disappear and my face already looks clearer. I am disheartned to be here less than 5 months after my killer Tane treatment but I will keep on fighting acne till it is gone. I will not have acne forever but while I have it I will manage it to the best of my ability.
So I still have bumps on my jaw line and a few whiteheads on my cheeks. I also have some mild acne on my right shoulder something I have never experienced before. I have stopped Retin A and I am using BP on my face at night. I cannot believe after my third and most terrible Accutane experience I am not clear. 80mg a day and currently weigh less than 50kg for 5 months. I am seeing my Dermatologist on Friday and I am going to request low dose Accutane maybe 10mg a week as he suggested. I am on Diane 35, Retin A and BP in the morning and I am still not clear. I am frustrated as hell. I eat clean, exercise at least 4 times a week and take care of myself and I am still suffering from acne - enough is enough.

I am following the The Acne Cure book - I used the method once before after Accutane and it cleared my face up for the next 7 years - I hope it will do the same. I really done want to go back on Tane again but I cannot live with bad skin.
So my skin is getting better but I still have these small tiny bumps near my jaw line and a few small bumps on my cheeks. When I wear makeup nothing is really visible but I can feel them. I am using Vitamin A Acid 0.05% at night and it doesn't seem to be helping these tiny spots. I have never been a fan of Vitamin A but my Dermatologist insists I keep using it. He said being on Diane 35 and Vitamin A Acid will prevent the acne from coming back full force. This is solution - only if I plan to never have children - lol!

I am going to make an appointment for tomorrow and see what the Doctor says - he told me his goal is to control my acne meaning one sore pimple every 3 months. He has done it before so I am hopeful.

Another Spot!

By maria411,

I went to the Dermatologist to have another pimple extracted that is 2 in 2 two weeks. I am gutted, and sick of acne! My doctor started bantering about low dose Accutane 10mg a day then to be weened off to one pill a week. Are you kidding me?! What is the point, I am in my early 30's and would hate to think my option for clear skin is low dose Tane. Anyways, I am waiting for my happy ending - and I am not giving up.

Not Happy

By maria411,

So I went to the dermatologist this morning, he told me to return the Clarisonic stat - I will. I stopped using it for a week and intend to never use it again. So my cheeks are covered with tiny white heads and then I had two sore spots that needed to be injected. This is so disappointing after a killer course of Accutane and then to break out three months after. I am hoping that this was a this is just a minor setback and clear skin awaits.
So I am three months post tane and my skin has been pretty good. I woke up with a pimple on my right cheek - small enough to hide but big enough to have extracted. I also bought a Clarisonic and it was too exfoliating for my skin combined with Vitamin A cream - some people love it - I am luke warm about it. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow to extract my pimple - I am going to wait a few more month before I go off Diane 35. My skin is doing okay but it is not 100% crystal clear like I have hoped it to be.

Will keep you all updated.
My skin is clear but I have a tiny, tiny whiteheads on my cheeks. I am going to the Dermatologist to find out why - I have two more weeks on Obagi and my hyperpigmentation is significantly lighter almost gone. Obagi is a 12 week program so I will be glad to be done - I am looking a bit pale and have been loading up on the brozner and blush to give me some colour. Then I plan to use Obagi maybe twice a week for maintenance.
Not much to report my skin is as clear as can be. I had one small pimple on my left cheek but it went away. The Obagi is working very well and is lightening up my hyperpigmentation. I am using Retin A every night and I am on Diane 35.

So it is approximately one month post Accutane and my skin is as clear as can be. The oil is slowly returning to my skin which is great since it was so uncomfortable for so long. I have been using Obagi to lighten my hyperpigmentation and it is working slowly but surely. No more muscle aches, no more crazy dry lips - it seems like my tane treatment was years ago and I am back to super clear skin. But I know there is no cure for acne and I am fully aware that it can come back to haunt me. I am off for holidays for a month so I will check in periodically.

Merry Christmas everyone and all the best in 2012.