I figured I would comment on this because, well, I actually diagnosed what was wrong with me by message boards like this. Here's my story:
I'm a 26 year old Italian-American with naturally oily skin. About 10 years ago in high school I went to a dermatologist for my bad acne. I was prescribed an antibiotic Doxycycline 100mg twice a day. I took if for months because, well, it cleared me up pretty damn good. I refilled the script if there was a refill available and continued to take it because as long as I was on it, I had no acne. I always had some Doxy even after I stopped taking it. If my acne got bad again, I'd take 1 pill a day until it got better.
I now know that you're not supposed to take this medication this way. It probably caused my candida (yeast) overgrowth and pityrosporum folliculitis.
Around that time, I developed a really bad rash on the back of my neck right at my hairline after I had my haircut. I get it cut short, so they always use a buzzer back there to line it up. But every time I got it cut, for 10 YEARS, it would flare up really bad and look really terrible. Even in between haircuts it was still there. Every derm and doc told me I need to grow my hair out and not get it cut short. I did that. But it was still present under my hair. I could feel it.
Fast forward about 10 years and I see another dermatologist because of this rash on the back of my neck. Again, I am failed by the professionals and given an antibiotic, Minocycline. It helps clear up any acne I have on my face (by this time at age 26, my acne is not bad at all) but does nothing for the rash on my neck. I give up hope. Again.
I researched online for hours and hours each day and finally came upon a post that made me realize what I was dealing with. A fungal overgrowth. I had many of the symptoms of Candida Overgrowth. I had PF on by back. Whatever is on my neck is either Candida of PF. I just knew it.
I went to a physician's assisnt that I used to work with and told her...this is what I have, and this is what I need. What I needed was an oral antifungal. The one I asked for was Ketoconazole because I had read that was the common treatment for this issue.
BACKGROUND: What ended up happening to me was a direct result of continued use of oral antibiotics. Using antibiotics for extended periods of time kills not only all the "bad" bacteria (stuff that causes acne) but also all the "good" bacteria in your digestive system. When this happens, it allows the "good" yeast/fungus in your digestive tract to grow and multiply and TAKE OVER YOUR LIFE. With no good bacteria to battle the yeast/fungus for a spot to live, it thrives. My poor diet didn't help. And it may have actually been caused by the candida overgrowth. I had such a sweet tooth. I would eat sweets and desserts like they were going out of style. I loved greasy food (who doesn't) and I was living on my own so ordering a pizza or calzone was so easy. Well, sugars and carbohydrates feed the yeast, and it continues to grow uncontrollably. It caused a myriad of symptoms: grumpiness, irritability, depression, heartburn, sluggishness, lack of motivation, low libido, etc. There's many more I neglect to mention. I knew I had a Candida overgrowth because I did the spit test. If you don't know what that is, Google it and try it. It may shed some light as it did for me. I knew that I had a fungal overgrowth in my gut and that the "acne" on my back and the rash on my neck was also fungal. Whether it was candida or pityrosporum or something else...I didn't know for sure. But I knew it was fungal and that an antifungal would help whatever it was.
I started a Candida diet about 2 weeks ago. It is essentially a no sugar, no carb diet. Only meat and veggies. I felt great immediately due to the diet and lost significant weight. Im down about 7 pounds in 2 weeks. I was religious with the diet for about a week. I'm talking literally NO SUGAR NO CARBS. But i broke the diet a little but in the last few days. I mean, it's summertime....
I started oral Ketoconazole about a week ago. I take one 200mg tablet 3 times a day on an empty stomach for 600mg daily. I know most people here have been taking 200 or 400mg daily, but this is what I was directed to do and I have had absolutely no problems on the medication so far. I'm also putting Nystatin antifungal cream on it at night. I can't put it on before work because it leaves my hair white and looks ridiculous. I do however use some tee tree oil before work and the smell usually subsides significantly by the time i get to work.
I am seeing results. It has only been 5 days and the back of my neck is drying up. I used to have little tiny cystic-like pustules back there and most of them are gone. Now when I say gone, the pustules and bumps are gone. However, I've had this for 10 years and have had numerous barbers' clippers go over it time and time again so there is certainly some scarring back there. So the scarring can still be seen, but the pustules are certainly subsiding. I can even feel it when I run my hands over it.
I am confident that I can beat this with continued use of the Ketoconazole, Nystatin at night, tee tree oil during the day, and a low-sugar, low-carb diet. Oh and I also take a probiotic pill once a day. This restores the good bacteria in your gut.
I must say....anyone with either of these issues (and really, anyone in general) should really consider changing your diet to a low-sugar low-carb. It has made a world of a difference for me. It's not all that fun (no soda or other flavored drinks, no breads, no fast food, no candy, no desserts, etc). My blood pressure has dropped from 135/85 to 110/70 in 2 weeks. Very significant. I also try to run a couple miles 3-4 times a week. I have lost about 7 pounds. I no longer need coffee in the morning. I am so energized compared to what I used to be. My skin is looking great. I am happier and livlier.
I will continue to post my experiences and updates if people are interested. I just thought I would give my story since I've been dealing with this issue for 10 years and only figured out what it was and how I can stop it by reading someone else's story.
Good luck and keep fighting the good fight.
Edited by nickv182, 01 July 2013 - 10:14 AM.