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About this blog

My battle with mild cystic acne and my self-esteem

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Spring Break(Out)

So I have spring break in TWO weeks, which is going to be great with the sun on my face and back. I need some vitamin D! I take vitamin D supplements every now and then, but i want the real stuff. Anyway, the reason I am back on here is to look at my progress that I made last year with my acne, and see if I can do anything about my current situation.

Face: three large cysts on chin (always the trouble spot) and multiple, around 10, spots on the rest of my face. Localized mstly on the forehead (which is strange for me), on my left cheek, I think from using my phone, and my eyebrows, probably from plucking them a few days ago.

Back- one large zit, one hyperpigmentation spot, and three little bumps on my neck that aren't too noticeable (I hope)

Anyway, I have switched up my products for winter a little bit:

- neutrogena gentle cream cleanser (the knd that Dan recommends)

- neutrogena combintation skin moisturizer (Dan recommended)

- a little aloe vera (no color/dyes, etc.) on some spots that i think are extra dry- someone said that this actually dries out thier skin though, any thoughts on aloe vera??

- clindomycin lotion on the cysts

- bp (10% because thats all i had left over) on my cysts as well

My face is exremely dry naturally and very sensitive, so do you guys (people that read my blog, ever) think I should just give up on BP again and spot treat which clindo and aloe vera (if it really is a drying agent) to help get rid of my cysts?

My cysts, since they are on my chin, are most likely due to hormones, but I am on trisprintec and have been since last year, so I am not too sure what is going on with that, and if this type of hromonal birthcontrol is really beneficial anymore. Thoughts?

Is it just the dry weather? Is it my routine? Is it my BC?

Help, because I'm giong nuts and I really don't want to be so acne ridden on the beach!

It Has Been A While!

Well, I had a long summer in the sun and a few months back at school with no back acne at all and close to no facial acne. It was great!

But of course, I'm back. Back has about 3 big spots and some small bumps on my neck. While my face has 4 or 5 small bumps and one HUGE cystic bump on my chin. My chin has always been a problem area, and now its starting up again. I don't know why my acne is awful during winter...i'm guessing becaues of the lack of vitamin D, but here I am again, with acne.

Getting off of the nuva ring and back onto trisprintec really helped last time to clear me up. Also, having a moisturizing routine and showering right after working out.

Yet, I'm still doing all of these things, and i'm breaking out. So, I'm going back to the BP. BP on my back and spot treatment on my face. Also, to get rid of the huge cyst on my face I will try using a hot rag to cut back on some of th inflammation and try to get it not to come up.

Anyway, any suggestions on getting back to clear?

ACNE UPDATE!

Face: still only one very very stubborn cyst left (its going away, but it is definitely taking its sweet time). stikl keep having those stubborn little zits all over random spots on my face (around 5 or so). the little spots come and go everyday. They are small and some are even flesh colored so its not a huge deal, but its annoying. Honestly, I think its from the benzoyl peroxide . I am giong to try to stop using it except on my cystic zits starting tomorrow (I already used it today before I came to the benzoyl-related conclusion). I think my skin is just too sensitive for it. The cysts do fine with it, but any other imperfection that I have been putting it on hasn't been responding well.

Back: ALMOST CLEAR! I have been an emotional rollercoaster about my back. It was horrible about 2 months ago. I mean horrible and inflammed like crazy. Then about 3 weeks ago it was almost completely clear...then wham (when i wrote my last update) I got a bunch of zits again. I was still using the benzoyl every day and I didn't know why my back just randomly freaked out. Well, its under control now and it is on its way to clear. hyperpigmentation (like on my face) is an issue, of course, but I'm just ready to wear bathing suits or tank tops so I don't even care about it anymore. still using BP all over back.

Chest: the random break out went away. still have one small one (its going away though).

Routine:

BP spot treatment on face

BP all over on back

BP spot treatment on chest

combination skin lotion on face a million times a day (trying to cut back, but I have so many dry areas...)

face wash only once a day if I can handle it

rinsing with cold water in morning and wash at night

Just bought some nuetrogena 'clear skin' sunscreen that i can use this summer at summer camp that I will be working at

Hopefully the sun will do my face/back some good!

Also, I have been eating horribly terrible for the past two or so weeks...so that might be a reason for the facial breakouts...trying to get back on track with that soon (oops!)

ACNE UPDATE!

Face: still only one very very stubborn cyst left (its going away, but it is definitely taking its sweet time). stikl keep having those stubborn little zits all over random spots on my face (around 5 or so). the little spots come and go everyday. They are small and some are even flesh colored so its not a huge deal, but its annoying. Honestly, I think its from the benzoyl peroxide . I am giong to try to stop using it except on my cystic zits starting tomorrow (I already used it today before I came to the benzoyl-related conclusion). I think my skin is just too sensitive for it. The cysts do fine with it, but any other imperfection that I have been putting it on hasn't been responding well.

Back: ALMOST CLEAR! I have been an emotional rollercoaster about my back. It was horrible about 2 months ago. I mean horrible and inflammed like crazy. Then about 3 weeks ago it was almost completely clear...then wham (when i wrote my last update) I got a bunch of zits again. I was still using the benzoyl every day and I didn't know why my back just randomly freaked out. Well, its under control now and it is on its way to clear. hyperpigmentation (like on my face) is an issue, of course, but I'm just ready to wear bathing suits or tank tops so I don't even care about it anymore. still using BP all over back.

Chest: the random break out went away. still have one small one (its going away though).

Routine:

BP spot treatment on face

BP all over on back

BP spot treatment on chest

combination skin lotion on face a million times a day (trying to cut back, but I have so many dry areas...)

face wash only once a day if I can handle it

rinsing with cold water in morning and wash at night

Just bought some nuetrogena 'clear skin' sunscreen that i can use this summer at summer camp that I will be working at

Hopefully the sun will do my face/back some good!

Also, I have been eating horribly terrible for the past two or so weeks...so that might be a reason for the facial breakouts...trying to get back on track with that soon (oops!)

About A Month

Well, I said I was going to post a picture in my gallery, but I keep forgetting...but I will soon!

Quick update:

face: cysts are almost completely gone. Have around 3-4 little tiny pimples that aren't too noticeable (easily covered with makeup), so I am not too worried about them. However, I do have about 10 acne scars from all of my cysts. They are slowwwwwwly going away. I mean SLOWLY. I have had acne scars before...and on my sensitive/pale face they take around 3 or so months to fully go away.

back: have around 5-6 zits right now (I broke out again randomly this past week), but they are healing now...just have to wait till they go away. Have a few hyperpigmentation marks on my back too :/ But I feel like the marks on my back aren't as noticeable and hopefully people just think they are freckles. I can't wait until my back is completely clear, I really want to wear backless things again! Keeping my fingers crossed that the BP keeps working.

Chest (?): yeah, I didn't have any acne here before, but I randomly got around 2-3 zits the other day, 2 of them went away by the next day, but I still have one big one. I really don't know what this was from...

Anyway,

Still hoping for the best I guess.

Routine: spot treating with BP on face (2.5%), 10% all over back, and spot treatment of BP on chest. face wash- Neutrogena daily scrub. moisturize twice a day with Neutrogena for combination skin. off the Bactrim still (woops). birth control hasn't broken me out really (good sign!).

So,

I know I am supposed to be studying for my exams, but of course I am doing skin care research...so i guess if I fail at least my skin will hopefully look nice. Anyway, I just bought some new makeup to try out-

covergirl's tru blend mineral pressed powder

and Maybelline's super stay 24 hour concealer

and was thinking of going out to buy the physicians formula talc free mineral foundation

My regular makeup (covergirl's aquasmoothers foundation) does not break me out at all, covers my acne moderately, and is a good price (I like cheap stuff, sorry!) but I really wanted to try a more liquid foundation that I can use with a brush instead of a dirty sponge, like that comes with my current foundaition, which is not really a liquid but more like a pressed liquid...if that makes sense.

Anyway, if you have used any of these products at all (or some similar versions), tell me what you think, or if you have other products in mind that you think I should try, then please comment!

What I usually look for:

non-codemogenic (obviously)

oil-free

fragrance free

hypoallergenic (I have SENSITIVE skin, very sensitive skin)

I also have dry-combination skin so, maybe keep that in mind if you give any recommendations.

Thanks!

Obviously, I have been sucked into finals week. However i have a BIG BIG issue that I need to ask about, which is why I am writing this entry...

Well the 5th is my 21st birthday (yay me!), however, I am on bactrim still (oh no).

I have looked up alcohol interactions with this drug and don't think I'll be taking the risk of drinking while on it...so I'm going to have to stop taking the bactrim before it is time to. oooppps. medical side of acne.org, don't hate me, please. I know you should never stop taking an antibiotic before it is time to, but I really don't want to vomit all night and possibly end up in the ER because of some drug interaction between ethanol and bactrim. So, just wnated everyone to know that i am stopping bactrim soon.

I was told to take it twice a day for 10 days then once a day for the remainder of the month (20 days). I will be stopping it right after the last 'twice a day' pill. So hopefully I will not be getting any bacterial resistant acne after this point...

Question though:

after my 21st birthday festivities are over, should I take the remainder of the 20 pills? (it will be about a week after stopping since my birthday will be spent over an entire week)???

Let me know what you think..

(also, don't lecture me on stopping the antibiotic early, i know its bad... blah blah blah)

Ps. I will also be adding new pictures to my gallery once finals week is over. face update: looking better, eveyrthing is drying up now, slowly. back: a few new spots that made me upset, but hitting it hard with the BP this week and maybe once this week is over, going to go find some AHA ( maybe?)

Mid Week 3-Ish

Its finals week- so I wanted to go ahead and post about what is going on this week a little earlier than at the end of the 3rd week mark...

back- clearing (almost completely clear besides red marks and slowly fading bumps that you can't really see, but that I can feel on my back)

face- cysts are clearing, SLOWLY. So slowly. The bp is helping (still only spot treating), but I'm still getting other bumps on my face (not as bad as the cysts), so it is still not 100% clear at all.

Have been taking bactrim for a few days now (3? 4?) and going to take my first othro tri cyclen pill tonight. hopefully within a month or 3 everything will be either back to normal or I will be back to trying a different birth control pill.

I realy do beleive that my acne is hormonal...and probably stress induced too... it doesn't help that it is finals week...

in the mean time: drinking lots of water (have to anyway to take the bactrim) and trying not to completely junk food out over finals time (SO HARD, my body loves sugar when I'm stressed)

Everyone keep your fingers crossed that bactrim will help, because I don't want to have to ignore the pretty weather for a month all for nothing!

End Of Week 2

Well...

My back is getting better. I think the picture I posted to my gallery was a little misleading on what it actually looks like (bad lighting, etc.). It isn't fully better yet. I still have some (around 5) active acne spots, but they are starting to subside. My back has been so itchy and dry lately though that I have been putting a small amount of my face lotion (neutrogena combination skin lotion) on my neck and upper shoulders.

My face on the other hand is getting better and worse at the same time. It is a nightmare. My cysts are starting to clear. They are still there, but defintiely not as large and irritated. However, I now have 3 really inflammed zits on my cheeks (which NEVER has happened before). I am going to give up on the BP on my face after today, to be honest. I have only been spot treating with it anyway, and I think it is making my face irritated and dry.

I am going to go back to my old face scrub (Nuetrogena daily scrub) and hope that my face decides to stop freaking out. Also, I have an appointment at the doctor to talk about switching YET AGAIN to a differnt birth control. I took out my NuvaRing this past weekend and hope that it was the cause of my acne on my face. I have been looking up ortho tri cyclin and other things, but do not know if it is for me or not. Hopefully my doctor can give me some good input on what I should start taking.

Anyway, if you have any comments on BC or on what I should be trying for inflammation, then please leave it below!

Well, obviously week 1 has been hell. My face is freaking out on the BP. I am only using it as a spot treatment, but my skin is SO sensitive anyway that in the places that I have been spot treating it has been either breaking out more or is SO exremely red that I have to wear makeup during the day so it doesn't look like I got punched in the face. I'm hoping that at least by the third week my acne will be subsiding and so will this redness, I can't take it much longer. I'm very impatient and I also keep touching my face wishing all of this would just disappear.

I have emailed my doctor and told her how my back is starting to clear up but that my face is breaking out now and that I think it is due to the nuvaring that I started this month. She thinks it might be that too since I've never had much acne on my face before this month. So I'm most likely going to go back to the pill (probably try ortho tri cyclin? any suggestions?). I hate that I have to give up nuva, because it has been so easy this month, and haven't had any side effects other than the HORRRIBLEEEE cystic acne. I really don't want to wait around for 2 or 3 more months to see if my body adjusts either. I don't think my doctor wants that for me either.

My back is starting to clear. I have only around 6 or so active acne spots. It is super red and dry though. I have been using a little bit of my neutrogena lotion on my neck becuase of the dryness, but for the most part I havne't moisturized my back and it has been fine. I hope it continues to clear up!

I took my last doxy yesterday. I honestly don't think doxy helped at all with my acne. I think my back was due to sweat from the gym and my face is hormonal. So the antibiotic was just a pill that I took for no reason.

I'll be posting back pictures (and maybe face pictures...not sure....) soon in my gallery.

FINGERS CROSSED FOR ACNE CLEAR UP SOON!

Well, I ended up buying the 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide from CVS a few days ago. It is the Neutrogena brand "on the spot acne treatment". So, here is my regimen (I am trying to stay close to what this website recommends, without actually having to buy the products promoted on here)...

- Rinse face with water in the morning

- put on neutrogena moisterizer with spf 15 (I'm still on doxy and my skin is sensitive to sun, also I recommend an spf anyway so you don't have a lot of aging on your skin later!)

- makeup (yep, still use it...trying to phase it out, its a process)

-doxy with lunch and tons of water

- if i workout that day (4 times a week usually) then a noxzema salycitic acid pad on my back post workout

- wash face with neutrogena ultra hydrating, gentle face wash (creamy formula)...doesn't get all of my makeup off but like i said, i'm trying to phase out the makeup anyway

- wait 5-10 mins

- put on clindamycin phosphate lotion on back/face

- wait 10-15 mins

- put generous amount of 10% BP on back (it hasn't been drying out like i want it to yet...)

- put small dabs of 2.5% neutrogena BP on cysts and problem areas on face

- wait 10-15 mins

- use neutrogena oil free moisturizer for combination skin on face

(I don't use any moisturizer on my back....should I start doing this??)

anyway, there you have it...my terribly long regimen that takes up most of my night haha

So far:

seeing slight improvement of cysts on face (reducing in size), but of course have terrrrrrible drying of face/peeling and redness :(

my back doens't seem to have changed at all... I know that I am supposed to you glycolic acid or something on it (the acne.org regimen) but I really want to keep it minimal on my back because its hard to reach back there as it is with all of the items that I have now.

Anyway,

tips/comments are appreciated

Week 1-Ish

Well, I never thought that I would be posting on an acne forum...but here I am.

Overview:

I have had really horrible back acne for the past 3 years. I was prescribed tretinoin cream for it when it began, this always cleared it up within a month or 2. However, my current doctor decided not to prescribe me the cream and instead gave me clindamycin lotion. This didn't help (she didn't mention that I should also use BP with it...). So after a month of doing that, she put me on doxycycline. I have been on doxy for the past month. It cleared up a lot of the redness and irritation, at first. Now I still have a lot of pimples and not many doxy pills left (around 5). I am beginning to get very discouraged. I mean, VERY discouraged. I am 20 years old and just didn't think I would be dealing with this stuff at this age since I didn't have any acne as a teen, really...especially not on my back. I am too self-conscious to even wear anything that shows my back off in the slightest. It has become a wardrobe nightmare.

So now, I am using BP (10% since its just going on my back and not my face) with the doxy and I began that this past weekend, so I'm at the beginning of week 1 really. I thought it worked really well after day 1, but honestly at this point I think I am imagining any sort of clearing up because I want it to be true so badly.

What has been really frustrating is that I would rarely get acne on my face (around one or so a week, just regualr pimples) and now I have 2 giant cysts and at least 4 regular pimples on my face! I AM DEVASTATED. I really don't know what to do, I feel like the doxy is deestroying me.

So I put on some of the 10% BP on my face for the past 2 nights (spot treatment), the zits have gotten worse, and OF COURSE my face is super dry because it is such a high dosage. I don't know if I have time to go buy a lower dosage of BP for my face or not... so I might continue to use the 10% and hope for the best?

Habits:

I work out 3-4 times a week and don't have time to take a shower right after I work out, so I have been using Noxema salycitic acid pads after my workouts on my back to get rid of the dirt/sweat. I know this is not ideal, and is probably a HUGE reason as to why I have the acne on my back in the first place, but I really can't change my schedule and I don't want to stop working out, thats even more unhealthy than the acne.

I eat pretty healthy. I'm not a health nut by any means (I eat pizza/pasta/taco bell every now and then), but I don't drink sodas, eat too much candy on a daily basis. I think I am just average to be honest. Maybe I will start working on my diet a little and see if that helps any, I know a lot of people really recommend cuttng out dairy and whatnot, so I will try to elimate as much dairy as I can.

I just got placed on nuva ring this past month. This might be a big reason for the cystic acne, I am not sure. Nuva ring doesn't have any things that say that it is super effective for acne prevention, but i'm also not sure if it causes much acne either. Its a change in hormones, so obviously it is going to do something. Just not sure if my face is just freaking out for right now or if this is going to be a constant thing.

Anyway, so basically: I am on BP/doxy/salycitic acid for my back and BP (too strong) and sometimes a swipe a salycitic acid pad on my face after I rinse it with water at the gym.

Current:

at least 30 pimples on my back, 5 that are inflammed heavily

2 cysts on face with at least 5 other pimples that are noticeable as well

Lets see where this goes....

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