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As bad, maybe worse, than ever at 42

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#1 40+hoping

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 08:57 PM

I've been reading posts and would like to share my 30-year ongoing fight with acne, which has gotten worse with age, now 42. I am hoping someone else may have other symptoms I have or experience and share insight, mainly appendectomy in childhood, chronic intestinal distress and post-nasal drip from 30 on. Obviously hormonal imbalance...Liver toxicity? Adrenal problems? I may also have fibromyalgia, not diagnosed.

First, history. I've been through the Accutane program twice, once as a teenager, once in my early 20s. Each time I was clear for a year and then breakouts started again. I've tried every over-the-counter medication and prescribed topical in my 20s, nothing worked.

Only one thing has ever totally kept me clear - low dose Accutane. My dermatologist started me with one 40mg Accutane capsule every other day. I was able to work this down to one 40mg pill every three weeks! It was wonderful, but I stopped due to potential long-term risks. Sure enough, now the known IBS, Crohn's, etc., which I wonder if I get to look forward to.

I did this low-dose experiment in my early/mid-30s. I now have chronically chapped lips, and I wonder about the intestinal distress. I don't seem to digest anything very well.

After Accutane, it was Yaz until 40 and it worked really well. I would only have very mild breakouts premenstrually. But stopped that when I heard of its problems.

Since Yaz, I've been on tretinoin at night, clyndamycin in morning. It has done a nice job. I still get a handful of cysts the week before and after my period, but I can't treat the painful cysts in my hairline and scalp, which started there in my 30s.

Just before Thanksgiving, I wanted to see how bad my skin was and stopped the topicals. My face and neck have exploded as bad as I ever remember. And I'm really frustrated.

My diet is pretty clean. I've greatly reduced processed foods, high-carbs since my 30s. Don't drink, never smoked, lots of fresh veggies, water, sleep in total blackness, fair amount of sunlight, probiotics, digestive aid, etc. I stay away from paraben/petroleum hair/skin products, wash, double rinse my pillowcases weekly. I exercise regularly and it aggravates the condition. I counter by cleansing immediately afterwards.

I have fine, peach-fuzz hair all over my face in the male beard pattern, which developed in my late 20s, and I also get the couple of thick, dark chin hairs. I also have a chronic post-nasal drip, which developed when I was 30-32. Does this tie in for anyone? Would you recommend a food allergy test? I've already had an environmental allergy test and nothing came up.

I just started taking an anti-inflammatory herbal supplement to see and am starting zinc after reading posts. I am just sooo tired of spending a small fortune, having drugs in my system and petroleum products on my face!

#2 wicky

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 10:31 PM

I am 43 and have battled skin issues for 30 straight yrs. I did accutane back in 1980 when it was experiemental and it did help. Now my issues are rosacea, sebhorreic dermatitis, clogged pores, and lately cystic acne on jawline. I feel distraught just like you and its all i think about. I continually try things and nothing ever helps it only adds to my confusion and distress. I really want to go on low dose accutane because my quality of life is horrible and i need some relief. I feel like a derm wont perscribe because i dont have those hugh pimples people talk about when going this. How long did you stay on the low dose and did you have an initial breakout with such a low starting dosage?

#3 Lotushead

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 12:34 PM

Your story sounds somewhat like mine. Please read my post regarding Niacinamide (same forum, I posted it today). I literally have only been using this for 10 weeks. I went out 2 days ago without make-up for the first time in 15 years! Ok, that's a white lie, I put some specks of cover-up on a few spots (old scars). But that's nothing, because for 15 years, I have been wearing foundation to cover the miserable mess of my face. Never has a product worked so quickly and effectively for me (except the toxic Accutane). I hope Niacinamide can bless you and give you your youth back the way it has me. If not, I hope you find your healing nectar very soon!

Edited by Lotushead, 01 January 2011 - 12:35 PM.


#4 40+hoping

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 08:52 PM

QUOTE (Lotushead @ Jan 1 2011, 01:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Your story sounds somewhat like mine. Please read my post regarding Niacinamide (same forum, I posted it today). I literally have only been using this for 10 weeks. I went out 2 days ago without make-up for the first time in 15 years! Ok, that's a white lie, I put some specks of cover-up on a few spots (old scars). But that's nothing, because for 15 years, I have been wearing foundation to cover the miserable mess of my face. Never has a product worked so quickly and effectively for me (except the toxic Accutane). I hope Niacinamide can bless you and give you your youth back the way it has me. If not, I hope you find your healing nectar very soon!


Hi, I either read your post or another on niacinamide and found it helpful/hopeful. Yesterday looked for it at a local organic market. No luck, but will keep looking. Did you have to order it online or find it in a run-of-the-mill supermarket?

I did get multivitamins for 40+ with substantial zinc. Will see. I'm thinking about the allergy test. I have a feeling I'm gluten and sugar intolerant. It's very frustrating when you have more blemishes than your age...at this age!

#5 40+hoping

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 09:07 PM

QUOTE (wicky @ Dec 28 2010, 11:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am 43 and have battled skin issues for 30 straight yrs. I did accutane back in 1980 when it was experiemental and it did help. Now my issues are rosacea, sebhorreic dermatitis, clogged pores, and lately cystic acne on jawline. I feel distraught just like you and its all i think about. I continually try things and nothing ever helps it only adds to my confusion and distress. I really want to go on low dose accutane because my quality of life is horrible and i need some relief. I feel like a derm wont perscribe because i dont have those hugh pimples people talk about when going this. How long did you stay on the low dose and did you have an initial breakout with such a low starting dosage?


I was on the low dose for a good 3-5 years, but as tempting as the low dose is, I wouldn't do it now with all long-term side affects coming to light. My tretinoin/clindamycin routine does keep it under control, I just hate putting petroleum products on my skin. My derm prescribed clindamycin twice a day, tretinoin once a day, at bedtime. I do each once a day to stretch it out, which is probably why i get the two/three blemishes pre-menstrually.

I think my skin is due to hormonal imbalance, liver not processing, etc. See other posts here. Starting on daily vitamin for women over 40, anti-inflammatory supplement (zymagen), trying to cut out carbs and as much processed food as possible. NO JOY!

I already use a tea-tree cleanser, wash my face immediately after workouts, which makes my skin worse and eat fairly cleanly. I started the tret/clin routine last week because I couldn't stand it anymore. I'll come off again in another month to see if the vitamin/anti-inflam have had any effect.

#6 Lotushead

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 12:53 AM

This is how I did it: Oral Niacinamide can be found at any vitamin store. Someone posted somewhere on this website how make your own topical Niacinamide concoction. I haven't tried that. I ordered Niapads and Freederm Gel on Amazon.com . They were reasonably priced, and smell nice.
In the morning, I use Niapads to wash my face. They are these dried wipes that you wet, and then clean your face in a gentle circular motion. There's no lather. You leave it on for about 30 seconds, and then rinse. Then you can use whatever moisturizer or cover-up you normally do. In order to get my money's worth, I cut each Niapad into 1/3rds, so now instead of having 30 per pack, I have 90. At first, since my skin had been so flaky, raw, and sensitive, I thought all that circular scubbing would make my face fall off, but surprisingly, it has been a non-issue.
At night, I wash my face with a gentle cleanser (Aveeno Positively Radiant has been working fine for me). After I dry, I apply Freederm Gel (has 4% Niacinamide). It is only available in the UK, but I was able to order it via Amazon.com, also for a reasonable price. Sometimes at night I clean with a Niapad after washing, before applying the Freederm Gel. It might be a good way to start off, kind of like a loading dose, but as your skin (hopefully) clears, it might be overkill or waste of $ to use the nightly Niapad when you will already be sleeping in Freederm Gel.
I would just start taking the pills now, and order the products, and start using them as they arrive, to set it in motion. Or, you could also meanwhile try the other person's suggestion about making your own topical concoction from the niacinamide capsule- hopefully it will be wearable in public.
I was amazed how quickly niacinamide worked, because after years of having 'faith' that different bizarre regimens would work only after months of repetition, I was burnt out. I wanted so badly to stop having to wear make-up, which was probably creating a vicious cycle of causing break-outs and then needing more make-up. I think only other adult-acne sufferers could appreciate how emancipating it is to stop needing to hide behind all that gunk.
Please let me know of your progress. I am curious to know whether I just made a lucky guess, or whether it can help others in my situation, too. Best wishes.
One more thing. This might sound cliche, but I have experienced that it really is important to never go to bed without doing the nightly cleansing routine. No matter how tired you are, don't go to bed without it.


#7 ctbo

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 01:42 PM

I still get acne and im in my 40s to and im a guy.I been taking niacin 500 mg a day for while now and I still break out even get cysts and one I have now and it sucks.so niacin doesn stop everyone from breaking out it didnt with me.only thing I notice is i get less cysts pimples then i use to.I have had acne for over 30 years and I hate it I really do as we all do.I never did try accutane and my derm didnt really want me to but I may if this keeps up..I have been using aczone a topical gel tat works pretty good from my derm and it doesnt make your skin all red like retin a does.but again I still break out just not as bad.seems theres never an end.I wish you all luck.

Edited by ctbo, 02 January 2011 - 01:44 PM.


#8 Lotushead

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 06:26 PM

QUOTE (ctbo @ Jan 2 2011, 02:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I still get acne and im in my 40s to and im a guy.I been taking niacin 500 mg a day for while now and I still break out even get cysts and one I have now and it sucks.so niacin doesn stop everyone from breaking out it didnt with me.only thing I notice is i get less cysts pimples then i use to.I have had acne for over 30 years and I hate it I really do as we all do.I never did try accutane and my derm didnt really want me to but I may if this keeps up..I have been using aczone a topical gel tat works pretty good from my derm and it doesnt make your skin all red like retin a does.but again I still break out just not as bad.seems theres never an end.I wish you all luck.


Have you tried the niacinamide topically? I first started it topicallly, and then after 3 weeks, I started the niacinamide pills. By that time, the topical part was already working. I take the pill as a complement, but I believe it's the topical products that have really helped me. Studies have shown that a 4% Niacinamide topical solution is the most effective (on those who it can help). And you're right, it might not be for you and certainly not everyone. I just wanted to share, because by the time I found this remedy, I well believed that if something can help me, then anyone can find help! Anyway, best of luck.

#9 wicky

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 08:43 PM

where do you get topical niacinamide topically? Ive nver heard of this before...how do you use it,,as a toner or cleanser or moisturizer? im soo intrigued...

#10 Lotushead

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 10:27 PM

QUOTE (wicky @ Jan 2 2011, 08:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
where do you get topical niacinamide topically? Ive nver heard of this before...how do you use it,,as a toner or cleanser or moisturizer? im soo intrigued...


Wicky, please read post #6 above, where all is explained.

#11 wicky

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Posted 03 January 2011 - 03:04 PM

thanks...do you find the niacinamide moisturinzing enough or do you apply anything else after.

#12 Lotushead

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 08:08 AM

QUOTE (wicky @ Jan 3 2011, 04:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
thanks...do you find the niacinamide moisturinzing enough or do you apply anything else after.


No, the niacinamide is not moisturizing. I do use a cream that has niacinamide in it after cleansing, called Swanson with Niancinamide. But I'm not recommending it, since it's not standardized, and I don't know if it's the best choice out there. It hasn't interfered with the healing process, though, and it does feel nice.

#13 LoveGreenSmoothies

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Posted 04 January 2011 - 08:08 PM

If you're a woman you should try spironolactone. You most likely have a hormonal imbalance and maybe even PCOS.

You can find info about spiro in the hormone treatment board of this site.

Diet won't clear you and neither will topicals.
Please only PM me if it's something that cannot be talked about on the thread or is highly personal. This way, everyone benefits.