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Dealing with mild adult acne without prescriptions.

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So...I started breaking out again about a week and half ago, so approximately 6 weeks after finishing the course of antibiotics. Urgh! What gives?

I had a small cluster of cystic-type acne on the left side of my chin (always the left side!) and one under my left nostril. The cluster is healing now (but still red and lumpy) and the one under my nose is smaller than it was, but still a visible lump. I am more than a little worried that another lump is forming in the cluster area. It is not too painful though - that seems to be the best indication of how bad something is going to turn out to be - if it's sore even before you can see it - you're in trouble.

I attempted to see the nurse again today, but couldn't get an appointment. I might see if I can get in tomorrow.

I hate this soooo much. :(

So, it's been about 2 years since I last blogged here. Unfortunately, I am back again! Earlier this year (January/February) I started breaking out again with cystic acne. I really don't know what caused it, but I had recently switched from eating Special K every morning to oatmeal - hoping that oatmeal would help keep me fuller as I was trying to lose some post-holiday weight gain. Anyway, I started getting about 2 per week over the course of about 4-5 weeks so I hauled myself into the doctor, knowing I'd been down this road before and I didn't want my skin to get as bad as it was by the time I saw the doctor last time. I'd quit eating the porridge but the spots continued. I was given an 8 week prescription of lymecycline as before and I finished the course 5 days ago. I checked out this old blog to remind myself how long before I started breaking out after the first time I was in antibiotics and it was 10 I've got 5 more days. :-/ The nurse who prescribed the abx did say that I might need another course, but hopefully not.

I'm hoping that the fact I still don't eat much dairy will help to control the spots, and I still use Altacleanse (formerly Ultra Clear) faithfully everyday, however, I haven't taken any supplements for a long time, so maybe I'll start taking vit D3 again, seeing as though I've still got some in the cupboard.

I'm obviously hoping I won't have anything to blog about, but I am going out for a family birthday in about 10 days so I really hope my skin will still be clear!

Week 8

Just a quick update but there really is nothing to tell. Still no new spots in 3 weeks... carrying on with using UltraClear (have not been using BP), plus vitamin D3 supplement and (what I think is the main reason I am staying clear)...very little dairy. Also, I am loving the AHA lotion, it makes my skin feel so smooth!

Despite no new spots, I am still working on clearing the left side of my chin of hyperpigmentation and the last two spots I had are still a tiny bit inflamed, but thankfully, only noticeable to me.

From here on in, I am hoping to have very little to report as it's been 2 weeks since I've had a new spot and my skin appears to be getting clearer by the day. I have to admit that I am still living in a little bit of fear that that could change any day now.... but for the moment, all is good. smile.png

Day 40

12 days and no new spots - amazing! The last two spots are no longer visible under makeup; they're almost completely flat, but there is still some redness and I've also got redness from the spot that started on what, Day 9? saywhat.gif No matter, I am feeling pretty good about my skin, so a bit of redness that can be concealed isn't going to bother me.

I made French Toast for breakfast today....milk, cinnamon sugar AND maple syrup - damn they were good; must make them more often... or perhaps not! Anyway... will I regret eating them? Only time will tell!

Day 37

9 days and still no new spots. The cyst from 9 days ago is nearly flattened as is the one from 2.5 weeks ago (which was much bigger). I did actually wake up with a teeny tiny whitehead this morning, but it was so small, not even worth mentioning, really. Apart from a bit of redness from previous spots, my skin is now nearly clear.

However, it could all change in the next day or two - I made corn chowder for dinner tonight - with milk!! Not tons, mind you. Will keep my fingers crossed that there aren't any new developments!

Day 35

I'm starting to suspect that milk/dairy was the culprit. I have eaten very little dairy in the past 35 days, just a little bit of milk to wet my small bowl of cereal at breakfast. When I had my horrendous breakout in December & January, I was eating a lot of yogurt. And though I has no breakouts whilst taking antibiotics through February and March and was regularly eating yogurt, I starting breaking out soon after the antibiotics finished. Since I replaced the milk with almond milk last week, I haven't had even one new spot. Interesting.

Day 34 new spots in 6 days and only 1 new spot in over 2 weeks (and it wasn't very big), so something's working. A few weeks ago I started taking vitamin D3. I'm only taking 25ug per day, not a huge amount but I have noticed a slight decrease in the oiliness of my forehead (though this is not usually a problem area for me). If it is the reason for the reduction of oil, has it also helped with my chin cysts? I don't really know. Last week I started using unsweetened almond milk with my morning cereal. I stopped eating yogurt about a month ago; I had been eating it every day, and I barely eat any cheese now, although I love it. :( So, with the slight changes to my diet, the added supplement, plus continuing use of ACV as a toner, Ultra clear on my chin and BP on my clear areas....I *think* I am finally starting to see light at the end of the tunnel. Of course, that could all change tomorrow with the emergence of a new lump!

Day 29

Damn - I knew it was too good to be true! Eight days without a new spot seems to be my limit; yesterday I discovered a new one. It's in the usual place, the left side of my chin - perhaps I should be grateful that my breakouts are limited to an inch square of skin! This one doesn't seem to be all that painful, so with some luck it'll go away a little bit quicker than usual. A spot I reported on my first blog entry (10 days into regimen) is finally flat enough to not be noticeable with makeup on but it is still a bit red and if I push it out with my tongue, you can see that there is still a small amount of inflammation. So, that's a life span of 20 days and counting. :(

I'm still using ultraclear on my chin - as there are active and healing spots here, I want to avoid using BP as I think it prolongs the redness. I am still using BP on my clear areas, though I thought I should point out that I am not using a whole lot of it, quite a thin layer to be honest, but this seems to be all I need.

It's been 8 days since I had a new spot....from tomorrow I will be on uncharted territory, well, in a long while anyway. I've been using Ultra Clear on my chin (my worst breakout area) and BP above my mouth and along the sides of my nose (previous breakout prone areas but more or less clear now since January). Apart from three marks on the left side of my chin, my skin looks better than its looked in ages. One thing I've noticed about the BP I've been using (Benzac Ac 2.5%) is that it makes my face sweat a little bit! Odd.

Day 26

Still not a lot to tell - which is a good thing! It's been a week since I had a new spot, and that one is still a lump which has not come to a head. I don't think it's going to either. The two spots from before are more or less flat now, but still in the process of healing, but with make-up, there are hidden fairly well. I am still using UltraClear on the spotty side of my chin and BP on the clear (but blemish prone) areas. I think the U/C is the best to use on the spots themselves. Not only does it reduce them without over-drying the skin, it doesn't prolong the redness that BP does. Post-hyperpigmentation has been such a big problem for me and I'm convinced that the BP is responsible. I thought it was my age, as in it was getting worse as I got older, but I think it's just because I use BP now.

Keeping fingers firmly crossed that I can clear this one spot before another one emerges!

Day 23

Not much to tell today. The two spots are still (!!) healing and I have one bump that I believe would have turned into a big ugly zit had it not been for the UltraClear. The reason I think this is because it hurts just like the big ones always do. But it's quite small now and getting smaller every day. It has not come to the surface yet, but what I think is going to happen it that it will continue to shrink until its just a blackhead. That has happened in the past, but for the last 6 months or so, all my blemishes have been turning into inflamed spots. There were two similar bumps that were trying to emerge on Saturday, but they are completely gone now, apart from some redness.

So the good news: no new spots/blemishes

And the bad: currently healing 3 small bumps, and wondering how long until my chin is smooth!

I found a couple of websites selling discounted bareMinerals products; yesterday I received 'Pure Transformation Night Treatment' and 'Firming Eye Treatment' and I am still waiting for the 'Blemish Remedy' and the starter Makeup Kit. Hoping that I'll at least be able to disguise the blemishes better while I wait for them to disappear! :)

Day 21

Not much to report, my UltraClear experiment is going pretty good. I am STILL in the healing process of the two big spots (day 12 for one of them!) And though there have been a few small lumps that have tried to form, the U/C seems to be getting rid of them before they turn into anything. Last night I noticed about 4 tiny blemishes - not the type to turn into a fully fledged zit, but a small, raised, pinkish spot. I put the U/C on them and I am not exaggerating when I say that they had already shrunk within half an hour! This is some good stuff! I also noticed I had a reddish blemish on my leg (yes, my leg!!) and I also put some U/C on that and this morning it has really faded and shrunk. I think I'm going to have to take some photos the next time this happens. I really don't know how well it'll work against the big ones that try cropping up - only time will tell...... or not, if I am really lucky!

I am still using BP on my clear areas and remaining clear. It is now over a month since my first initial breakout after finishing the antibiotics, so I've definitely gone a full "cycle". I am on the mini pill, so do not actually have a menstrual cycle, but I think that my skin reactions are possibly cyclical, which is the reason behind this blog.

Day 18

Two nights ago I went a bit overboard with the BP and aha in an attempt to obliterate the two spots. I kinda knew I was going to pay for it though because my chin was quite red and stinging a little bit. By yesterday morning it was still bit red, the spots had gone down a bit but my skin was super dry.

Last night I decided to lay off the BP but decided to use Ultra clear instead. I am starting to wonder if I should ditch the BP in favour of UltraClear. This morning both spots have shrunken quite a lot and the redness is going down too, but that could also be due to Origins Mega Mushroom Serum which I also used last night. I have been using it for the past few months on super dry skin caused by BP. It doesn't break me out and it seems to help moisturise and soothe the really dry skin. The ultra clear doesn't seem to over dry my skin either and I haven't really given it much of a chance since I got it as I've mostly been using BP. Hmmm...

On the plus side of things, no new spots in 2 days and no new breakouts above the mouth (except for that small one) since I started using BP twice per day. On the negative side of things, one of the two spots I am trying to heal is the same one from Day 9! It's been 9 days since it first started to show it's ugly self and its still not gone. I'm thinking it might be another week or even longer until it's nothing but a red mark. :(

Day 16

Yesterday I thought that maybe one of the small spots from a few weeks ago was trying to make a resurgence, but wasn't too sure. Last night it was definitely a bit swollen - gah!!! I slathered BP on it and the rest of the left side of my chin. The right side seems to be a little bit more under control, but the left side seems always on the verge of a new breakout. I guess it's only been 16 days since I started using BP twice a day, hopefully I just need to persevere. This morning it doesn't seem any worse, but I'm not convinced it'll stay that way.

I watched a success story video on here from a woman my age and then I watched a few of her videos from before she went on the regimen. Her skin was worse than mine and now she's clear, so there's no reason why it shouldn't work for me too.

Apart from my chin, my skin is actually really nice right now; I'm prone to breakouts next to my nose (along the nasolabial lines) but I am currently quite nicely clear.

I have to admit I'm a bit obsessed by this at the moment and desperate for a quick solution. I started taking Apple Cider Vinegar tablets just after finishing the antibiotics. In truth, I don't think they've helped my skin at all, but I've kept taking them because ACV is supposed to be good for all sorts of ailments. They definitely help to keep me regular and I am convinced there is a correlation between constipation and acne. I have been using ACV as a toner, not sure if its helping, but don't think its harming. I also take EPO, I thought this might help with the acne, but it didn't. I do think it helps to keep my skin softer though, this winter I really suffered with dry, itchy skin on my abdomen and back and it seems less bothersome when I take EPO.

I have started taking Vitamin C with Zinc (500mg & 15mg respectively). This is something I already had in the cupboard, again, not sure about effectiveness, but don't think it'll do any harm. Lastly, I have introduced vitamin D3. I live in a rainy climate and spend a great deal of time indoors. Maybe it'll help - who knows. Have only been taking it for a few days, so the jury is still out on that one.

This week I have also been attempting to up my water intake (I barely drink any usually - I know, bad!) and have also been drinking green tea.

I was only going to write entries when I got a new spot, but thankfully I don't have any new ones to report. The two small spots are healing but the bigger spot just kept getting bigger though it might now finally be starting to heal. It was looking awful last night; I peeled a layer of skin off the top but you could clearly see the swelling underneath. I decided to put some UltraClear on it since I knew that BP would only dry out the top of it. This morning it appeared much more shrunken, but still pretty ugly. :(

So, since finishing the antibiotics 4 weeks ago and having relatively clear skin, I now have one horrible spot, and 4 small red marks from previous spots, plus general redness on the left side if my chin. Not sure how long I'll go before the next spot comes, but the redness that lasts afterwards is almost as bad as the initial spot - and I reckon the redness from the spot I have now will probably take a few months to heal. :(

The one thing I am pleased about today is the AHA that I have started using. I have used it twice now and only used a tiny blob mixed in with my moisturiser and I have definitely noticed that my skin is smoother! I think I like this stuff! :)

Day 12

Well, the little spot is healing, the re-emerging one is still emerging and is bigger :( but not huge and last night I found 2 more small spots. I bought some ointment last week called UltraClear that had really good reviews on Amazon. I haven't had much chance to try it out because I've been unsure whether I should use it instead of BP. I have used it on a few small blemishes and it seemed to work really well, so I took a chance and used it instead of BP last night. I'm not sure it had much effect on the bigger one, but the two small ones looked smaller and one even came to a little head (so I popped it, of course!). Today I've gone back to the BP - maybe I'll alternate the days I use them. With my makeup on, my face looks almost completely clear apart from a few lumps - seems I've always got at least one lump. :(

I've decided to start recording the days when I get new spots in an attempt to see if there is a pattern.

Three weeks ago I finished an 8 week course of antibiotics (lymecycline) which cleared my skin beautifully. For about 2 months I'd been suffering from a terrible breakout with new spots emerging on a daily basis. My face was a mess. I finally went to the doctor and she prescribed the antibiotics. Before that, I had suffered from mild acne, possibly stemming from the birth control that I started taking 4 years ago (Cerazette - progesterone only pill). I no longer get any periods (yippee!) but I think my skin is suffering because of it. I am possibly premenopausal (I'm 44) so I am content to stay on Cerazette until the menopause. I just need to sort my skin out.

About 10 days after finishing the antibiotics, I started to breakout. I got about 10 spots in all, most of them fairly small, but visible nonetheless. I started applying Panoxyl BP 2.5% (which I have used for years) but after reading Dan's regimen, I started applying it twice per day, even to the areas where I am currently clear (but my trouble areas) as I had never done that before, I usually just use lotion on clear skin.

Yesterday (9 days into my regimen) I was feeling really good about my skin, I hadn't had a new spot in over a week and the old ones were healing nicely. Then, last night I discovered a very small new spot above my mouth that emerged throughout the day. I didn't even feel it coming, it was just there when I was going to wash my face before bed. Luckily it is very small. Today, I can feel a spot that was previously recovering, starting to re-emerge. Again, it's quite small (at the moment anyway). Wondering if the yogurt I ate 2 days ago has anything to do with it.

I put panoxyl 2.5 mixed with lotion on the spots, then benzac 2.5 on my normal problem areas (which are mostly currently clear) followed by lotion. I've only just started using benzac since panoxyl has been discontinued (still have some left) and I'm not sure of its effectiveness compared to panoxyl - it is certainly less drying. I also dabbed a little AHA on it - just got this the other day but have not really tested it out. I think the emerging one might already be flatter..not sure though.

Overall, I am still fairly happy with the current state of my skin, but hoping these two spots go away quickly and that there aren't any more on their way!

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