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Alternative to Epiduo?

benzoyl peroxide zinc

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#1 Nushiiii

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 03:48 AM

Hi,

I am 31 and have had acne since the age of 13. I am based in the UK. I have been on Accutane (Roaccutane in the UK) three times since the age of 16 (my last treatment was about 2 years ago) but still I get spots. My acne has however reduced from severe to moderate, but obviously after having been a sufferer for so long, even moderate acne causes me a lot of upset, purely because I have never in my life had a respite from it.

Because of the accutane treatments, I have gone from suffering acne on my face and back (severe) and chest (moderate) to predominently having problems with moderate acne on my face with occasional bouts of acne on my back and chest (although the main problem remains my face).

I have been under the care of a dermatologist for the past 3 years, and since coming off accutanr for the third time, was initially put on a lotion comprising an antibiotic with zinc, which to be honest did nothing for me, and was then put on Epiduo, which was good in clearing breakouts but didn't stop them.

My dermatologist recently took a skin swab to check if what I was suffering was strictly speaking 'acne' or a form of folliculitis, but she's not called me back with any results which is usually the case in the UK when the doctor has nothing to say (ie. the assumption is that this is acne). She has however put me back on the topical lotion antibiotic, and again I am seeing no great benefit in it (in fact it causes extreme skin drying and sensitivity while causing more breakouts) and I at least get a greater degree of benefit from the Epiduo. The problem is that my dermatologist is now going on sabbatical, therefore I am facing having to start over again with a new specialist and I cannot face - after 18 years - being told I have to start again with treatment under a new dermatologist. I am sick to death of telling dermatologists that I know something doesn't work for me, only to be told I have to go on a treatment for at least 3 months before I can be put on something else. Its ridiculous. I therefore want to know if there is any way I can replicate the benefits of Epiduo with treatments that are available off prescription. Basically I need a good over-the-counter benzyol perozide (preferrably in gel format) and a retinoid (Epiduo contains adapalene, but any retinoid that could give a similar result in combination would be good...) Can anyone advise I was thinking of panoxyl gel for the benzoyl peroxide but have no idea if I can get a retinoid off presription....?

In terms of what else I use, I currently use a tea tree face wash which I temper with a small amount of Dermol cream, which is an antimacrobial and antibacterial cream that tempers any dryness of itchiness associated with acne treatments (and with dermatitis and exzema). I then actually use some standard products (making sure they have a high water content, no oils and definitely nothing like cocoa butter or shea butter) but mix my day and night moisturisers with a small amount of Avene Triacneal which has brought about some nice results. I then use a salicyclic acid face mask every few days to really get rid of any dead skin build up and that works well too. I think the only reason I am having this success with this combination however is the recent treatment of accutane, which has obviously helped to ensure my breakouts (which comprise, blackheads, whiteheads and cysts) now are of moderate severity. I think if I had skin that was back to how it was (severe) this regime would not work.

Any advice about the Epiduo issue would be very much appreciated. Any suggestions ould be great and also in particular if products suggested are either available in the UK or easily available online...

Cheers

x

#2 belerak9

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 12:18 AM

Hey, from what I've read and heard about Epiduo, the reason it works so well (and is so highly coveted by some) is because Adapalene is the only form of a retinoid that will not be "deactivated" by the benzoyl peroxide. The reason for this is still unsure, but finding Adapalene over the counter is not possible yet. It's in Differin, a gel-based topical, but once again that's prescription. Hope this helps you a bit.

#3 Nushiiii

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 03:08 AM

That's fantastic - thanks for that information. I have a doctors appointment booked, but not until July 11th. Am trying to keep things under control with some PanOxyl 5 gel, but its just not as effective.... I hate suffering with bad skin in the summer time. Nothing worse!

Thanks for the advice again - very much appreciated.

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