I have moderate to severe cystic acne combined with big pustules. They form a sort of U shape from my lower cheeks to my chin. The area around my chin and jawline is definitely the worst. Lots of blackheads in this same area and on my nose. Very little on my outer cheeks or forehead.
This log is mostly for the regimen I started on February 15 (2 months ago from this posting).
100mg spiro (generic)
Nightly application of Retin A Micro 0.04 (brand-name)
Nightly session of LightWave CS
I've been doing this for 2 months, although the spiro started at 50mg, so I've only been on 100mg of spiro for 1 month. Before spiro and retin-a, for the last 8 months, I've been using the Lightwave CS blue/red light. It does make a small difference. Pustules that are closer to the skin resolve faster. But it doesn't touch the cysts, and it's not killing bumps fast or well enough to make my skin clear.
Right now I feel like I've had the worst inflamed acne of my life. By the third week my face became Pus Hell. The one positive is that some of the cysts that have reocurred in the same spot, never coming to a head, for YEARS, have actually come to the surface and popped. Some pustules that I thought had disappeared months or years ago have also come back up in the exact same spot. I've got a cluster of 5 on one cheek, and a sea of diagonal lines of pustules and cysts across my chin and jaw.
I have never found, through the many cleansing regimens I've tried, that how I clean my face makes a serious dent in my acne. I do notice that washing gently once a day seems to be the best. More than that and my face overproduces oil, less than that (I did try the don't wash your face trend a few years ago) and things start embedding themselves into my pores. Right now I am cleansing once a day with CeraVe and a clean washcloth. If my face is getting flaky, I moisturize with CeraVe face moisturizer. I wear sunscreen daily. I've been makeup-free for about 5 years. I gave up trying to cover it up since it's still so obvious no matter what I do.
I'm also maintaning a few health practices I started in order to eliminate acne, which none of them did, but they improved my mood and energy a little.
-Vitamin D, 5000 IU
-MSM supplement, 1000mg
-Very little dairy in my diet
I should note on the dairy, that I went off dairy completely 3 years ago and stuck with it for 3 years. I was very strict about not even eating a little dairy and checking for hidden sources of dairy in processed foods. For the first few months I thought it was the miracle cure. My inflammation went down a ton—not completely clear, but it was the best improvement I'd seen in ages. After about 4 months, though, my acne came back with a vengeance even though my lifestyle hadn't changed. I'm still staying mostly dairy-free because I feel better and lost some weight, but since it didn't cure my acne, I don't freak when there's dairy in Olive Garden's alfredo sauce.
I haven't felt a lot of side effects from the spiro. The first few weeks I was going to the bathroom a lot and was a bit insomniatic. That stopped, though, and even when my derm increased my dosage, I didn't notice those effects coming back.
So, right now I hate my face, but I'm trying to focus on the fact that a few persistent cysts are gone, even though with all the new acne, the overall level of acne on my face has not really gone down.
Feel free to comment, ask questions, give advice...I'm just hoping this works.
Edited by Green Gables, 19 July 2012 - 12:18 PM.