Hi, I am a 25-year old female. For the past 7 years I've tried a variety of antibiotics, topical creams/gels/washes, and birth control to treat acne. I want share my acne history with other girls/women, so you can decide what to take or not take to treat acne.
If you have any questions please feel free to ask.
1) age 16-19, had mild acne, no medications to treat it at this time. Used a variety of cleansers, wore makeup to cover blemishes.
2) age 19-23, started using Duac Topical Gel twice a day, and 100 mg of Adoxa (doxycycline) once a day (both prescribed by my dermatologist), and Cetaphil face wash. Within a month or two my face was completely clear.
3) age 23, my family physician told me to stop taking the Adoxa medication. She came to this conclusion after reviewing by blood tests. I had a low white blood cell count, and she said the doxycycline could have been the cause, also because this medication was not supposed to be used over a long period of time. I still continued using the duac topical gel.
4) age 23, a month or two after stopping the Adoxa, some acne returned. Skin wasn't pimple free, but still mild.
5) age 24, I started getting some cystic acne along my jawline. I sought advice from a different dermatologist, and at first she had me try various washes (Clenia, Brevoxyl, Benziq) and creams/gels (Klaron, Differin, Tretin-X, Duac). Her intention was to try fighting acne topically, before prescribing antibiotics.
6) age 24, my dermatologist saw that my skin was not clearing, so decided to have me try taking Adoxa again. She prescribed a higher dosage (150mg), that Adoxa had recently come out with. After a couple of months on Adoxa, Duac Topical gel, and Tretin-X, the acne did not dissipate.
7)age 24, She said that doxycycline tends to work better on teenagers, but now that I was in my mid-20's it was very likely my acne was hormone-related. She then recommended I try Yaz birth control. She preferred Yaz, because it was a BC especially known for clearing acne, and less water retention (weight gain).
8) age 25, I stopped taking the Adoxa, and started taking Yaz birth control, Benziq cleanser and duac topical gel. My skin was flawless 6 weeks later. I also got facials twice a month which dramatically improved the texture of my skin and had a healthy glow. I was able to use an organic oil blend to hydrate my face with no problems whatsoever. However, I did gain about 7 or 8 lbs., felt more anxious, and was always hungry because of the BC.
9) age 25, A little over three months after starting Yaz, breakouts starting coming back. Not a lot, the worst was a cluster of five blemishes on the side of my face. The little bit of acne I had on my back was clear. I wasn't sure if it was stress causing the breakouts, or that my body had adjusted to the Yaz, and it wasn't working as powerfully anymore.
10) age 25, Started seeing a lot of health warnings on television regarding Yaz. This concerned me, because the main reason I started taking birth control was for the acne only, not to prevent pregnancy. Since Yaz is advised to ONLY be taken to prevent pregnancy, and because of the weight gain, anxiety and feelings of constant hunger, I decided to stop taking the birth control.
11) age 25, two weeks after stopping birth control, my acne broke out worse than ever before (only on my face). I was totally shocked and embarrassed to be seen in public. Literally every pore on my face was covered with acne: whiteheads, red bumps and blackheads. Each day it was getting worse and worse. I was mad at myself for not reading more about the adverse effects after stopping birth control. Acne is a very common adverse effect, when women stop taking BC (9 out of 10 cases), and comes back worse than it was before taking it. Also, I have not had my period since stopping the pill. I talked with a nurse over the phone affiliated with Yaz, and he told me it takes some women 3-6 months to get their period back after stopping BC.
12) age 25, current: It has been 3 1/2 months since being off of Yaz. I contemplated going back on the BC to clear my skin, but I figured I was only prolonging the inevitable--that if I ever wanted to have a baby, I'd have to stop taking the pill and my acne would come back, and I was concerned the longer I take the BC, the more difficult it would be to re-balance my hormones.
I still have not gotten my period back, but my acne is getting A LOT better. I started doing the Regimen on Oct. 2, 2009. I am now at the beginning of week 4. I am so relieved that it is working. My results have followed the "what to expect" sheet exactly so far. I just started taking 80 mg of zinc, and fish oil daily.
13) age 25, I finally got my period! I am so relieved. This indicates my body is becoming more balanced again. I was almost at 4 months of not having a menstrual cycle.
...to be continued!
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