Acne that forms strange patterns & lines?

6 posts in this topic

I'm 30 years old and for the last year, I have been suffering severe onsets of acne. (Let me explain here that I am just calling it "acne" but I am actually skeptical if it really is)

It does go through phases... worst was about Fall of 2010... hundreds of bumps errupting on my face literally in 1-2 days... and also bumps on just one side of my back and kind of in a wing shaped area across my hipbone (acne version skank stamp lol) ... then clearing up magically while I was on a trip to Indianapolis for a week right after the onset. Right now is is not as bad, but I do have quite a few bumps I am battling. Last night I felt 3 new ones well up under my chin in a matter of 30 minutes.

What is puzzling me is how last year's worst breakout phase errupted in a few days and cleared in a few days... plus, they formed in strange parts of my body (like across my hipbone) that I wouldn't usually think are acne prone. What is also puzzling me is that my acne seems to form strange patterns. Right now, notable discolorations (post acne) I can see on my face are in a 1 inch "triangle" right under my cheekbones adjacent to my hairline, a mild "C" shape line along my laugh lines, and straight lines starting (a few of them) from my jaw bone to under my jaw/neck.

The 3 new ones under my chin that formed just last night, out of those 3, 2 are prominent and 1 is very minor. But the 2 are approximately 1/2 inch apart from each other, and I noticed that those 2 formed parallel to an older set of pimples (now dark discoloration/spots) that are remarkably also 1/2 inch apart from each other. I have been noticing that my bumps always seem to form in a cluster or line of 2 or 3. For this reason I have wondered for a long time if these may not be acne at all... perhaps some sort of a bug bite (our neighborhood has tons of spiders and bugs... right now our house seems to be infested with baby spiders as I found them in my bathroom and also hanging from my office bookshelf... but for the most part these bumps don't really itch. They usually don't have white heads either... bumps seem to be deeper into my skin. Some of them go away in a few hours whether or not I do anythings with them, some of them stay, and a few new ones will form in as short as 30 min like I've mentioned. I have gotten cystic acne in the past too and these are somewhat like them, except for the most part they are pretty small, and only turn into a pussy infected mess when I end up messing with them (guilty as charged). And I used to have GREAT skin!

My dermatologist is essentially useless.. he wanted me to go on 2 months of antibiotics the last fall when I made an emergency appointment with him when my skin went crazy, but I didn't want to nuke myself with antibiotics unless there was proof that this was really just acne & bacterial and he didn't bother scraping the lesions or anything so I was skeptical. I ended up not taking them as my skin suddenly cleared up a few days afterwards and I felt that that kind of extreme fluctuation shouldn't have happened if it was just a tough case of simple acne. So I am researching for other possibilities.

Does anyone else out there have a story like mine? Can common acne form lines and patterns?? Do you know of other skin conditions or illnesses that manifests as bumps forming strange lines & shapes or occurring in unusual spots?? I thought I may have psoriasis or another type of dermatitis instead of acne (I was diagnosed with eczema and dermatitis on my limbs a couple of years back) and I read some success stories of people trying Nizoral shampoo and I have been looking everywhere for it but somehow every drugstore I've been to over the last 2-3 months were out of stock.

What could I have that the docs may be missing?? The other big picture possibilities I am considering are hormonal (thyroid, pituitary, hormonal buildup in liver etc), toxic build up in my liver/body, or allergies or sensitivities to something (many possible causes.... live near lots of plants, have dog/cat, moved into this house about a year ago (and yes, it does seem to coincide with my acne issues) with older carpet, noticeable number of spiders (a few species), very different water from before (VERY hard, tons of lime... run humidifier and furniture will be covered in white powdery film). I also got cat scratch disease as a teenager and have had a chronic lump in my lymph nodes under my ears for the last 15 or so years : ( ... possibly immunocompromised and battling some infection??

There are so many possibilites I don't really know where to start... while my skin issues bothered me tremendously over the last year, I was also prepping for jaw surgery and going through lots of pre-surgery orthodontic work, treatments for my scoliosis, etc so I just had too much on my plate to really debunk my skin condition... but I am now done with the surgery and feel like I am finally ready to get to the bottom of my skin issues!

I know it would be impossible for you guys to diagnose me just from reading my posts, but I AM hoping that I can get comments from others that may have had similar situations, if not identical, similar in some aspects of it. I want to do as much research and collect as much info as I can before starting to bombard doc offices : ) Thanks so much in advance!

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It sounds like an allergic reaction to something rather than acne. Some Derms can be really stupid and useless...I had one once that looked at my cystic acne that was forming behind my ears and (no joke) said, "well honey...what is that? Omg...you poor thing..." and continued to poke around trying to figure out what it was...idiot haha.

needless to say I switched to a GOOD derm in a larger city and I have been with them since. So I'd go hunting for a new and better doctor. Ask around.

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Maybe you should see your primary care physician. Is it possible that you have shingles?

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HEY!!!!!!! PLEAASSE PLEASE PLEASE reply to this ....

I also have a similar case to you. My acne began like normal acne. Spots during my time of the month etc and this never bothered me because it looked identifiable as acne, and therefore I was kinda okay with people being like 'oh she has acne'. But then, somehow, The spots started to appear in symetrical lines on either side of my nose. These spots were a lot smaller, but still whitehead spots. I went to the doctors, after scrubbing (or trying to) them out of my skin. When I went, the docs put me on strong antibiotics. These worked, but left behind red scarring which now looks like two lines down the sides of my nose.

Ever since a kid, I've always been a chronic blusher, so now, whenever I blush, I look like I have the 'butterfly rash' of Lupus. I finally got to see a derm, but here in the UK, because we don't pay privately, we get whichever specialist we are 'bloody well given', and that specialist said I have rosacea. I think she's wrong. My skin is oily, it presented with acne, and weird spots, not visible blood vessels as rosacea did. Anyway, to cut a long story short, as time went on I got iller and iller as I got depressed about my skin. I got put on anti depressants and then I got joint pains and stuff. I then got diagnosed with Lupus. I think I have been misdiagnosed multiple times, and now I am left with my face in a right state!!

I was just wondering how your case was resolved (if at all) ???

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I sometimes get strange acne that doesn't seem like acne at all. It's a series of bumps that form a line or a unique pattern. It's odd because I usually don't get acne. When this type of patterned acne shows up, I think it is an allergic reaction or hormonal imbalance, because I usually have great, acne free skin.

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I found this website after googling for 'spots that form patterns of 3' because that's what my main symptom is.  I'm now 63 so a late starter for acne if that's what it is....   It started when I went to Ecuador in 2014 - I got a lot of bites around my ankles which took ages to heal.  In the same area ie around my ankles, rows of raised spots started to appear; they were extremely itchy and I made the mistake of scratching and possibly exacerbating them.  Three or four GPs at my surgery attempted diagnoses (shingles, vasculitis) and so I eventually got referred to a dermatologist.  She diagnosed vasculitis and didn't think the link with the Ecuadorean bites was significant, but a trainee specialist who was working with my specialist diagnosed 'discoid eczema' and I note that this is linked to bites ie it can be triggered by them.  If you have discoid eczema, you may also have 'atopic eczema'   http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Eczema-%28atopic%29/Pages/Causes.aspx  which I sense may be the 'rows of spots'.   Causes are genetic predisposition, allergens, etc.  I find that  topical steroid cream has helped and I have only the scars of the leg problem left.  Now, though, the rows of spots are appearing down my nose, on my cheeks and chin and on my shoulders, underarms and elbows. 

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