Oh, I'm sorry to hear you've had a hard time! Acne can really suck the life out of you. I wouldn't give up on spiro yet if I were you though, hormonal acne takes forever to clear out. In my experience when I've been on the pill (or pregnant, which also cleared me), my acne has only fully gone away after about 8-9 months, until then I've been prone to very bad breakouts, even though they started to become less frequent after a few months and pretty rare (but not non-existent) towards the end of that time. I'm sure it can take even longer for some, so I would try it for at least a year before giving up, assuming you can wait it out without being too stressed about your skin.
Are you trying anything else besides spiro to help with your acne? I think it would be a good idea to try topicals to help with the inflammation, so you don't have to live with new emerging bumps that can be really stressful. Or oral antibiotics are an option too, but they wreak havoc on your gut flora, so topicals would be better in that sense. BP and topical Dalacin (which needs a prescription, at least where I live in Europe) have both worked great for me (BP in small amounts allover acne-prone skin to prevent cysts and Dalacin as a spot treatment to heal breakouts). They're not a cure, but they could help with the symptoms while you wait for spiro to do its thing (assuming it does work, fingers crossed!).
Please don't call it a scar if you mean just the dark pigment. That's hyperpigmentation, not a cyst scar. It should fade on its own, although I guess mild peels or e.g. Retin-A might help speed the process.
Sorry for the late reply. I'm looking forward to hearing from your treatments from May onwards. I may not be commenting that often as I have very limited time to browse the internet these days, but I will definitely be following your progress! Hope you're well!
My acne treatment is now at a standstill since I can't do much while breastfeeding. I'm keeping inflammation sort of under control with BP and topical Dalacin, but my skin is getting worse, back to its former state. Having a child made me realize how hormonal my acne is, and it was amazing how completely clear I was at the end of the pregnancy and shortly after labour, and then seeing how it's coming back now and there's practically nothing I can do. I suppose I'll either have to try to get on Accutane or go on birth control, but I don't know which route to take yet. My son is now almost 10 months and I'm not planning on weaning any time soon (possibly until he's 2 years or so), so I'll just have to deal with topicals for the time being. It does suck though, I really miss having completely clear skin, even though I know it could be much worse than it is now, and the BP does actually prevent cysts (and thus scarring) pretty well.
I got most of my acne scars by picking at pimples (fairly harshly to be fair) and then picking the scabs. I've got a lot less scarring ever since i stopped picking at inflamed spots (unless there is a clear whitehead, in which case I do it as gently as possible) and whenever there is a scab, leaving it alone. So please, if you don't want acne scars and I'm sure you don't, do not pick your skin.
However, sometimes if you have picked an inflamed spot, I've found that it's best for healing skin if you can avoid a scab to begin with, as scabs aren't really that useful for healing. So now if I have picked at something, I put a hydrocolloid bandage on it right after picking and keep it on for one night - this is usually enough to prevent a scab and it heals nicely (with a bit of flaking skin for a few days though, which you could prevent by having the bandage on for longer). Another good thing to do is moisturising - either the picked skin or the scab.
I'm sorry to hear about your situation, katie27! I know how horrible it is having to deal with bad acne. I assume you must have been on birth control before your pregnancy? If you get back on it after you've stopped breastfeeding, it will most likely clear your skin again. You just have to find other solutions to deal with skin problems during pregnancy and breastfeeding that aren't necessarily as effective, but keep things sort of in control. I'm nursing now and started getting some acne a few months after birth (I also had moderate and stubborn acne before I got pregnant that had continued for years ever since I came off the pill, it all cleared during the pregnancy). Now I've managed to keep my inflamed acne in control with topical bp (to all acne-prone areas, bought from this website actually) and topical clindamycin (as a spot treatment). Then after I've stopped breastfeeding (which might be a while, as I plan to breastfeed long) I might go on the pill, or try spiro or accutane.
On a related note, does anyone have advice on what you can do about hormones WHILE still breastfeeding? Doesn't it mean that birth control pills are out of the question? I assume that herbs and spiro would be as well, right?
Just dropping by to say hi and I hope you're doing well, CherrySoda! And I'm on-and-off following the forums again, so I look forward to reading about your possible future treatments.
I've been away for a long long while due to having some other things (namely a little person soon turning 7 months) taking priority in my life. I'm not pursuing scar treatments anymore - I realized that when my skin is completely acne-free and in great condition otherwise, my scars don't actually bother me anymore. However, I am starting to have acne again and even though it's sort of in control right now, I still have to look for more options to treat it.
Sorry to hear about the possible granuloma, tricia! At least it seems like you're in good hands, so hopefully it will heal well. Do you know what the usual treatment plan for this is? Is it just cortisone shots + antibiotics, or is it going to be surgically removed?
I'm sure your skin and scarring will look better once the accutane dryness is over. I'd be very interested in reading your journal if you decide to start one, since I am seriously considering it for the future and am trying to read up on it more. It's completely understandable not to have time to keep such a journal though, even if it's very helpful I still wouldn't have energy/time for it myself.
And thank you, I'm very excited about this new phase in my life! It's so great to have much more important things to think about than how my skin looks. I only hope I can accept and deal with my scarring in such a way that my child will never pick up on how much it has bothered me and how self-conscious about my looks I've been because of it. In the end there are far more important things in life than some scarring.
I've read some accounts of it happening, and that it's supposed to revert back after you finish, but I don't have personal experience unfortunately. Hope you're doing well, Cherry! Good luck with accutane, I bet it's wonderful to say good-bye to break-outs for good! My skin is currently doing much better due to pregnancy hormones and topical clindamycin so I haven't got much new scarring recently, but I may face the same treatment in the end.
I've read two accounts of dermabrasion on the nose here (one was self-administered ) from years back and they seemed to produce good results. However, I would try to consult with doctors experienced in this procedure first, and try to find more similar cases. It's probably more risky than average dermabrasion, which already is risky! You have to weigh in the pros and cons, get experts' advice and then make your own decision. I'd say it's more likely than not it would go relatively well if you can get a doctor experienced in dermabrasion, but your scarring right now doesn't look bad, so it would be a real shame if the treatment turned out poorly and may not be worth the risk.
Thanks. Yes, hydrocolloid bandages are really great for healing skin. Also it's true that out of sight - out of mind. I can usually relax about my spot and just let it be when there's a bandaid on.
Unfortunately my saga with this spot continues. I had to switch the bandaid the next day and it had a little head which I had to squeeze. Then I put a new bandaid on, but I could only keep it for one more day. On Sunday when I took it off, the skin looked red and a bit puffy but alright. However, the skin wasn't done healing and dried up to this thin scab. Whenever I've used hydrocolloid bandaids and had to stop too early, the scabs end up looking a bit weird. This one also seems to have raised edges around it. The thing that worries me the most though is that it looks VEEERY indented. I wasn't expecting this, it didn't look like it would scar at all on Sunday and I can't tell if it's just how the scab has crumpled up while healing making it look like a scar or if it's truly indented. Or well, it definitely looks truly indented. However, after I wash my face and the scab gets wet the skin looks perfectly smooth, but soon after it again looks VERY indented. I'm really pining for the scab to fall so I could see I got a new scar or not. This is also quite large and almost right between my eyebrows, so it would be noticeable. Agh. No more picking.
Good luck with healing! I hope you get good results, I'm keeping my fingers crossed. It sounds like a very effective combo treatment at least.
If I had all the money and downtime in the world, I'd try dermabrasion + Recell too, possibly laser as well. Maybe I will some day. Since you seem to have mostly rolling scars, you should try subcision at some point if you haven't yet for added improvement.
I had this annoying but fairly small pimple on my forehead that wasn't going down, and last night I popped it even though it wasn't ready for it (what a mistake!). This morning it still looked swollen and like it might scab, so I tried to pop it again. Now it just looks mutilated. I put a hydrocolloid bandage on and will wear it for at least two days now without touching the whole thing. Hopefully it will heal okay.
This just means that I can't really go out much this weekend. I know I shouldn't care about stuff like this and make it such a big deal, especially at my age and considering how long I've dealt with acne, but I do feel awkward going out with a strange thick orange plastic plate in the middle of my face. Having just a pimple would be much less awkward. Serves me right I guess. At least I can go to the store if I pull my winter hat down to cover it and just look a bit silly.
A bit pointless this post, but I just wanted to vent somewhere. If I told about this to my partner (who's out of town) or anyone else, they would just think I was being ridiculous letting one pimple control me like this. I guess it's my choice to put a ridiculous plaster on it to make sure it heals well, but oh well. Stupid acne troubles.
I've had to come off topical clindamycin since it has upset my stomach for the past few days - I don't want to risk any serious complications that clindamycin-induced diarrhea could have so that's it. I'm possibly meeting a derm later to discuss treatment options when pregnant, but I'd be up for any suggestions for safe topicals. Dalacin worked wonderfully and now my skin is in good shape, but I'm sure my inflamed pustular acne will return in some form or another. I'm considering sulfur-based products for spot treating, and possibly BP. Basically any spot treatment that would work even half as well as Dalacin and be safe during pregnancy would be wonderful.
I think it's impressive that you got rid of those scars, so congrats again. At the same time, I doubt dermarolling would be as effective for smaller harsher boxcars that I have (like the smallest in the same picture but more shallow). I might try it for the shallow rolling scars I have though.