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About CNA7

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  • Gender Female
  • Location USA
  • Interests I love to cook vegan & gluten-free meals! I enjoy spending time with my husband, family & friends. I also love to travel, discover new places, and live a simple life.

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  1. Accutane, on the fence

    With only two months on Accutane, I would guess that it could possibly make your skin worse since this is when initial break out "purging" happens... between 1-2 months. I wouldn't risk it to be honest. I would recommend Ortho tric cyclen lo birth control and spironolactone for 6 months. Many women clear up with the combination of the two (I did for many years). Best wishes and congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Having clear skin was my ultimate goal for our wedding and it happened with those two things. 
  2. Day 140 - Week 20

    Well some birth controls can help acne; specifically Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo, and then others can aggravate it. I would definitely get your hormones checked to rule out common acne-causing issues like PCOS (if you do have PCOS, the drug spironolactone (an andorgen blocker)) and a birth control could potentially help your acne tremendously. Food sensitives are rare, but they are also worth getting checked! In order to get checked for PCOS, you'll have to go in for various blood samples during your menstrual cycle plus have a trans-vaginal ultrasound to identify if there are cysts on your ovaries. I certainly hope this isn't the case, but I got checked for everything before going on accutane (which I'll be starting March 1st). Is there a reason you wont give the accutane a second round? Sometimes 1 round doesn't work for everyone. I personally know a few people that had to do two rounds. 
  3. Isotretinoin journey is expected to begin March 1st, 2016! Counting down the days. 

  4. Accutane Part Deux

    Omg, thank you so much for writing back! You are too kind. Thank you for your input on the dosage... I will prob ask my derm again what his thoughts are based in my weight, but both you and I are 110lbs. So maybe the 20mg twice a day will be good. I did go back on the Ortho BC because I've done just fine on it... plus, post accutane we hope to start trying for a baby so having the IUD only for a 6-7 months isn't worth it for me. But I agree, the less hormonal stuff the better! I will definitely to a log when I start the treatment, and I'll let you know when that happens, we can be logging buddies. <3 Hope the weather is getting better on your side of the country!  
  5. Day 140 - Week 20

    So sorry to hear you are going through this. Have you also been checked for PCOS or other hormonal abnormalities? Food sensitives, etc? I know that certain birth controls can also cause acne. The best ones for acne are Ortho-Tri-Cyclen Lo and Yaz I believe. I prefer Ortho....What type of products are you using on your skin during your treatment? 
  6. Accutane Part Deux

    I am really happy you are posting again for your second round. I just read your entire first round and was so dissappointed to hear it did not work out the first time. I hope you can stay on accutane longer, so that it make have the chance to work better. I am contemplating starting accutane beginning of March... I am so nervous, just like you were. I have the unique opportunity at this point in my life to try it (I work from home), so I have the availability to slather myself in moisturizers all day & not have to wear make up lol. But I am of course worried about the side effects... I only get cystic acne on my chin, I rarely get zits anywhere else, but from time to time a small one here or there around my mouth or forehead or nose. But the chin acne is just becoming unbearable and I can't even leave my house without having anxiety -- this is why i feel like its now or never to try accutane. If it's effecting me that much emotionally, I need to do something about it. Because nothing seems to help except (I was 90% clear) taking Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo BC and 150mg of spironolactone. However, I recently came off both back in September in hopes to try for our first baby, but now my skin is exploded in cystic acne on a weekly basis and it's put baby making on halt right now (since I'll prob start Accutane soon). My derm wants me to do 20mg, twice a day, but I think I will request 10 mg twice a day for the first month. Only because my acne is so localized. I've had all my hormones checked/androgens checked and everything checks out normal. Have you been checked for PCOS? or any other hormonal issues? I've definitely done a lot of leg work, spent a lot of money trying to cure my acne naturally, and to no avail. It's only get worse. Do you think that if my acne is localized to my chin that if i have an IB it will only happen there?  
  7. Day 140 - Week 20

    Has your derm gave any reason or explanation as to why the acne hasn't cleared up yet? Might I ask also, how many mg are you on? 
  8. Try a castor oil hot compress! I just posted about it the other day and it really worked. I did it about 4 times yesterday. It's 90% gone today.  Cold compresses help swelling, warm/hot compresses bring healthy blood circulation to the cyst to heal it and destroy the bacteria. Castor oil will also aid in killing the bacteria!
  9. Update: This did work, the next morning (today) there was a tiny white head left, popped with a sterile needle and placed a hydrocolloid bandage over (to draw out the remaining impurities), and we are good to go today! Merry Christmas! 
  10. Thought I'd share this new method with you all since there are virtually little to no posts about this method on I have a cyst that is not infected, meaning it doesn't hurt, it's just kinda there. It's been inflating and deflating for about two weeks now. I've heard about doing castor oil hot packs for cysts on other parts of the body, and it's also used for a million different things; from fertility, to curing PCOS-cysts on the ovaries, to helping circulation, the lymphatic system, you name it, it can be used for it (most likely). I had castor oil on hand anyhow, so I rubbed some on the cyst (it's non comedogenic!) and placed a tissue over the oil to allow it to stick. I got a clean sock, filled it with rice, and microwaved the rice-sock for 30 seconds. Placed the warm compress over the oil to help it penetrate. I did this for 30 min (reheating the sock at the 15 min mark), and the cyst is 50% decreased in size.  " Castor oil contains ricin, a chemical very effective against bacteria. Soak a piece of cloth in castor oil and place it on the cyst. Place a hot compress on top of the castor oil soaked cloth and hold it for 30 minutes. The heat will help the oil diffuse into the skin a lot easier. The ricin will destroy the bacteria causing the infection."  I plan to try another hot pack tonight (they say to do it 2-3 times p/day)! They say to try this method as soon as you feel a cyst coming on... ! I cant say it works 100% but it sure seems promising so far. Thought I'd share for anyone in desperate need of a new cyst healing method.  The type I am using is "The Heritage Store" link to the picture of it... <3 
  11. Should I Be Taking Spironolactone?

      Some do, but not all...! 
  12. Should I Be Taking Spironolactone?

    There are a lot of factors that go into "curing" PCOS, although it's something you can always have, you can get rid of the symptoms -- I have a few friends with PCOS who have dramatically changed their lifestyles -- they don't use anything that can cause hormonal fluctuations; chemicals in everyday products can alter your hormones, this includes BPA, plastics, certain cleansers, moisturizers, foods, etc. My friend has 45 cysts on her ovaries but was able to rid herself of all the symptoms of PCOS; cystic acne, excess hair, etc. just by changing her lifestyle and supplementing with Saw Palmetto, Red Clover, Spearmint tea, and eating very whole foods. Sure, it can't work for everyone, but there is always hope! I got my blood work back and my testosterone levels are low (which is great), but my androgen are high, but still within normal range, so I am dealing with that right now and working with my ND so that we can lower the androgen levels. 
  13. I recommend Eminence Organic Skin Care products; I have sensitive, acne-prone skin and these have never caused a breakout nor stripped my skin of moisture. If you're looking for a drugstore brand though, I'd recommend CeraVe. 
  14. This doesn't sound normal, it could be a case of folliculitis and not acne...I would visit your GP or a derm. Sounds like you might need some antibiotics to clear this, which it sounds like an infection to me... considering the color of the whiteheads, and how long you've been dealing with it. It could also be a yeast infection known as candida on the skin. 
  15. Hydrocolloid Plasters

    Hydrocolloid patches are amazing! They work so, so well. It definitely heals it much better, less chance of a scar, but it they ONLY work on popped or pricked pimples, especially if you go town on a cyst (which I did recently, BAD idea)... Been wearing a patch for 8 hrs so far and I can tell its working. I use both the ones designed for acne spots but also the bigger patches and cut them down to size, i think these are a bit stronger, in my opinion. I cant believe after ALL these years suffering with popped pimple disasters I hadn't heard of these things. Amazing right?! 
  16. Looking for Acne Advisory Board Members

    I am interested  
  17. Rate my acne severeness/10

    I'd say about a 7. What other course of treatments have you considered or gone through prior to accutane?

    Hey there! I've been dealing with periocular dermatitis, where I get it around my eyes instead of around my mouth. I've found that the ointment Protopic (which is used for people with dermatitis and eczema) works really well, although cannot be used in the long term. I use it when I start to see a flare up and it's gone usually in a day or two. I've also noticed that eating foods high in nickel cause a flare up for me. I am allergic to contact nickel, but notice when I eat more things with nickel (which is found in soil, grows into vegetables and fruits) I notice the dryness starting. I have read BCP's can cause it, but I've been off BCP's since September and no change has occurred. I found that doxy actually made mine worse, so I discontinued it. You could try ACV (apple cider vinegar diluted) on your skin as well, it balances the pH in your skin and gently exfoliates. I've also found success with use facial microfiber cloths for exfoliating gently. I too found that working out caused it to flare up. Ice your skin right after you work out! xx.
  19. Not so good

    Hey girl, sorry to hear your having such a tough time. I know exactly how you feel and what you are going through emotionally; I am in a similar place right now. Have you by chance ever had your hormones tested? I say this because I know going on BCP helps a lot of women our age, but there is a reason for that; our natural hormones are currently out of balance in someway shape or form, that's why BCP seem to help combat hormonal acne. I definitely advocate consuming less dairy, if none at all. In addition to limiting meat as much as possible as well. Both dairy and meat contain the hormones of the animal itself, which in affect can alter your own hormones. We also use a lot products in our daily lives that can disrupt our hormonal balances; BPA, plastics, cleansers, soaps, etc. Testing your hormones is pretty simple; you do three blood draws during you cycle, once during your period, once before ovulation, and once after ovulation. By doing these blood draws you'll be able to know whether or not your acne is hormonal or not, if you have PCOS, etc. I advocate men to also test their hormones as well -- both men and women can have hormonal deficiencies and over production. 
  20. Blog Entry No. 1

    Today started off like most; fear, anxiety, other words, I pretty terrible way to start your day....and I've been living this way for 13 years. I've been on for many years now, popping in from time to time, finally becoming a member back in 2012. I find peace here... talking with others who are experiencing the same things; whether it's acne itself or they psychological effects of acne; depression, scabbing, scarring, hyper-pigmentation, etc. And I enjoy being here for you guys too, lending a helping hand and sharing my experiences. Discussing acne in general, in public, is definitely an awkward subject, so having this community as always been something I could come to in good times and bad.  Back in June this year my skin started acting differently... I was getting a lot of clogged pores (which is not common for me whatsoever), and tiny little bumps everywhere along my chin and around my nose. It drove me insane. I was committed to not use BP or any other harsh chemicals on my skin, since i had been BP-free and SA-free for about a year with success. But something changed; as most things in life do. I was fed up come August and got topical clindamycin to help, and it did, but it never truly does lasts or prevents new lesions. In September I quit birth control pills and my spirnolactone to start trying for our first baby; my skin remained relatively in good condition until mid October. My skin got dry (perhaps due to the weather changes) and I opted for a new foundation; what a terrible idea. Major clogged pores and breakouts in the weeks to come. In mid November I started getting cystic acne again, not just one at time, but 2-3 at a time. It's been a terrible two months to say the very least. In the past two months I've had 10 cystic lesions, 7 of which were hit with a cortisone shot, 1 that disappeared as quickly as it appeared (which yes, is amazing) and two that I thought I could extract myself... and today I sit here in my home office with a hydrocoloid bandage on my face.... (lets just say it did not go well)... the repercussions of trying to extract a cyst are HUGE. Bigger than the cyst itself. Embarrassment, shame, guilt, and potential scarring....oh and the hiding in your house all weekend to follow. Sigh.  I want to CHANGE this behavior. I want to live my life through acne differently. I want to be bigger and better than the acne itself and not let it define me. Being perfect is not possible, I know this... but why has my life surrounded this entire notion that I have to be perfect and yet I don't hold that standard to anyone else. It sounds absolutely crazy... But I know I'm not the only one. I can't be.  
  21. Ugh! Rashes suck  I don't necessarily think you are allergic to the hydrocortisone, but perhaps one of the ingredients in the cream/ointment itself? Maybe, that would be extremely rare. Try taking a Benadryl and see if that helps. I would continue using it unless you get extremely itchy from it. But again, I suggest trying a Benadryl as well, and washing your sheets/pillow. Perhaps something got on your linens that isn't meant to be there. Best of luck!
  22. Cortisone shot not working??

    It can take anywhere from 24-48 hours for the cyst to deflate. Hang in there!
  23. Hey girl, did you ever find out what your hormone levels were?? Hope things are getting better for you!
  24. Can you tell me what this is?

    It almost looks like periocular dermatitis (the same thing as perioral dermatitis, just around the eyes) OR it could be an allergic reaction. Try taking a benadryl for a few days at night time since it can make you drowsy. If nothing happens, then I would suggest trying hydrocortisone cream on these bumps. Are they getting dry or itchy?
  25. I don't think it's stress in general terms that is causing your acne, but perhaps its the reason why its not getting better. I would look into getting your hormones checked. A lot of women go through hormonal changes and develop acne in their mid twenties. But this doesnt mean men are at all out of the equation. A simple blood test can determine if your body is producing too many androgen's. Also, there is such a thing called Cushing Syndrome which is an over production of cortisol (the stress hormone) and it can show up as acne on the skin. Again, a blood test can tell you all these things. Here is a good article that talks about androgen's in both male and females and some medications that can help.