I am 33 years old and have been struggling with some form of acne for as long as I can remember. I have a family history of acne on both sides. My Mother's acne was a mild form and was cystic in nature, but well managed with birth control and antibiotics. She was/is beautiful and I really never noticed she had a problem. She said it finally subsided when she went through menopause. My Father is in his 60's and still has blackheads and enlarged pores on his nose and consistently breaks out on his chest and back. He gets cysts as well very similar to the ones that I experience. My brother did a course of accutane when he was in highschool and besides back acne he has been clear his whole life.
As I said, I have had acne for as long as I can remember and in some way shape or form it has always had a huge impact on my life. It has caused me immense amounts of physical and emotional pain and has definitely held me back from achieving my goals. It has effected my self esteem and essentially "made me crazy." I can't remember a day in my life that I didn't worry about what was going to pop up that day and consistently prayed that I could just experience one day with a clear face. I went through the creams, the antibiotics etc
That never happened so here I am.
After those pubescent teenage years in my 20's I do rememeber it not being so bad. I would just have one or two that were easily covered up and remember that as being one of the happiest times of my life. It was manageable until I was 29, with a new boyfriend, now my husband, and I started taking birth control for the first time in years. I believe I was prescibed Yaz. After a few weeks on this bc i began to experience the worst breakout I had ever experienced in my life, very painful cysts on my jawline, chin and back. I went to the derm and he told me to hang in there with the BC and gave me spiro and antibiotics, and retin-a. After two more months with no change I gave up the BC and things got better. Shortly after I got pregnant and contined to clear up and stayed manageably clear until my baby turned 1.
The winter after my baby turned 1, i began breaking out in places I never imagined, all painful cysts. Especially my neck, jawline, chin and forehead. I never knew where one would pop up next. In the winter it was always worse and I would get very painful cysts on my neck that would take months to go away. It was and is TERRIBLE. During this time my skin became extremely greasy as well especially my forehead. I have missed work because of embarrassment and pain. I can barely let me husband kiss or touch me because I am always in pain or sobbing from all the emotional stress. I essentially live in a personal hell.
I went back to the derm and for a year tried everything imagineable, changed all my makeup, changed my diet, tried supplements, liver cleanses and apple cider vinegar, tried all the different oral antibiotics, Acanya, Retin-A, Finacea. The Retin-A and Finacea helped on the surface, but not with the cysts. You named it I tried it. I got acupuncture, which I loved and really helped, but I had to give up because my insurance didn't cover it and it was soooo expensive. I went to an endocrinologist who tested my hormones (specifically for to much testosterone) and tested me for PCOS. The endocrinologist found nothing.
So finally here I am Day 1 on Claravis.........if this doesn't work I don't know what I will do.